Merely Deciding to pursue your Dream is Important but very small step of your jouney. your comfortable life will soon be filled with many difficult questions about we gonna do it.
Similar thing happened to me when I made my mind to pursue solo trip. I thought I can easily handle trip planning and parents reaction also.
Various questions pop-up in your head like where to go for trip? Is this place or that place? is it risky? how much to spare on each place? how much budget I have? where will I live in those places? what all things I need before leaving? ohh and the main thing the tickets?
when I was planning what destination to travel, one thing was sure to keep costs low and complete this trip in low budget. I took care of this while choosing those destinations, I promised myself that I will decide the route which may offer unexpected experiences where to reduce shelter and food costs I willl stay at unknown strangers if possible. Next question was, where I would stay if I decide on travelling from Gujarat-to-Rajasthan-to-Punjab-to-Agra. So on googling and on quora sites , I found the most relevant option to try is: couchsurfing.org site. So next obvious step I registered there and composed my Stay request message that I broadcasted in zones of Ahmedabad and Ajmer communities on CS site, and also sent 1 to 1 requests to few selected hosts who’s profile sounds decent to talk by reading the references made for them by previous guest travelers.
Initially, I had an anxiety to try this couchsurfing site, but then a simple realization made my decision making simple in this whole journey. That simple realization come from a fact that: If foreigners can roam around in my country freely without knowing any Good guide, then also they get through India with some of the memorable experiences, due to this they ruled for 300 years on India because they are not afraid to take a chance on something unknown and its reverse characteristics are very prominent which are taught to most Indian children’s like : don’t do this and that, it’s risky and it won’t do any good to you, try this thing as Choonooh uncles son did this and he’s richest in our society currently. Due to this fact, I got tired of comparisons, they just breed negative personality and being in positive frame of mind becomes difficult due to this society comparisons.
On couchsurfing site, I waited for a month before even a single response come to my requests for stay, this first guy from Ahmedabad replied to my broadcasted request was:
Welcome on CS. I will be more than happy to help you explore Ahmedabad. Just gimme a call one day before you arrive. I can be reached at 9898***9898”
After this message, I called him and kept in touch with this new stranger friend who was a CA in Ahmedabad, and was quite busy due to its exams at that time, so I didn’t got the place to stay at his place as he was also a First timer to CS community. But he promised to assist me by arranging a short stay at his PG friend’s flats.
After this, as workaround stay for Gujarat was arranged, I searched some people in Ajmer, and gradually found one profile of Uniformed forces officer who also displayed its contact number and as usual contacted him in next early morning in December 10 days before my scheduled Trip start Date (13th).
On the phone, that officer sounded really helpful and after a day as he didn’t had any place for me to make stay, so he inquired in local hotel near Ajmer rail way station at cheaper cost, as I asked him to help me in keeping this trip low-budget.
So now after these all Jugad’s (Hacks), I had some places to keep my bags while travelling to so many places in this manner:
– In Gujarat, new stranger friend from Ahmedabad was ready to make some arrangements.
– In Rajasthan, new stranger Officer friend from Ajmer helped in getting some budget hotel stay.
– In Punjab, I arranged a stay at one of the office colleagues home who was native of Amritsar.
– In Madya pradesh, I arranged stay at cousins home at Gwalior which is 2 hours away from Agra.
Hence as I was new to Booking railway tickets, one of the office colleague helped me in understanding Irctc.co.in portal and explained its worst experiences and workaround which I can take in case of no ticket availability and with this help, In all I booked tickets for routes like:
1. Ahmedabad to Ajmer (Passenger train).
2. Ajmer to Amritsar (Superfast train).
3. Amritsar to Delhi, then Delhi to Gwalior (Super fast train).
4. Gwalior to Mumbai (Super train).
In these all bookings, I didn’t booked my first ticket from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, as one of my office colleague said that, he would accompany me on the day I planned trip start date as he also stays in Ahmedabad. So I relied on him.
But, But, But, he cancelled a week before the trip start date , so I have taken his guidance on how he book passenger General bogie tickets and what care to be taken as I was travelling alone for first time to strange place.
Like this, Tickets and Stay arrangements done.