As Planned, I left from 10.30pm train from Thane to Dadar, but it was 15mins late which usually doesn’t happen and it was the first frustration I head at start of trip and noticed that If I don’t leave my this attitude of Expecting some or other ideal situation ,then even if I’m looking to enjoy every experience I may get in this unexpected trip,then I can’t enjoy due to expectations, Like this I let go of any expectations and tried to go forward with the flow. So like this, on Dadar station, I straight went to ticket counter in one of the hidden section of this Big Railway station, during which I found my first Momentarily friend “Vaibhav” the Gujju Bhai who reached Mumbai for some Business dealing and now returning to Gujarat via his first Train travel from Dadar, where he got confused about where the train would come, as he was informed that train would come on Platform no.6 at 12am in Dadar West from ticket counter where I was also maintaining ticket Queue by using my angry expression on one of the idiot who tried to take ticket from mid without getting in queue, using public majority brawls, I got my General bogie ticket of Dadar-Bhuj Superfast train scheduled to run at 12:05am and then I got busy in finding the same platform no.6, but there was no platform 6, it was 5th platform on western railway side area of Dadar station. Like this with this that Gujju friend also got this way out and boarded his AC coach and I boarded my General Coach where I took lower side seat. In that bogie, people were shouting, brawling,laughing and some sleeping straight on sitting places in General Bogie, it was first time experience of such Circus which was happening when people were boarding this crowded bogie. And as I got my seat in that bogie, I started chating over whatsapp to share experience till now with office friends and they were Lolz on some of my experience in this little time and wished me Good luck before my train left from Dadar station.
Soon after arranging tickets and stay for this trip, just 2 Days before from my trip start date (13th Dec,2013), I informed my parents about my trip in little vague manner with little details like I’m going to Ahmedabad with my office colleague(which was not the case), so I was questioned like I did some Lafda(Crime) or something.
I answered some of the critical questions of parents:
0. why are you going?
1.When you are leaving?
2. With whom you are leaving?
3. where do you live?
4. when you will be back?
To all above questions, which I handled them very carelessly and it resulted into suspicion about my plans into their minds, as I answered like this.
0. why are you going?
: To see new things because its my wish to see.
they said, you go to where we say and we can suggest you some good place.
I said , No sometimes I also want to make my own choice.
1.When are you leaving?
:I said on Friday night directly from office, then Mom said : then how can you take some food for night.
I responded, I don’t need that.
2. With whom you are leaving?
:Previously I said, my office friend who’s from Ahmedabad will accompany me and now I was saying, that he may or may not accompany me, and then the fury started, parents responded that you won’t go alone and I declared my decision of going there
3. Where would you live?
: I answered like I will stay at a Office friend-Friends House, and will be back in 3-4 days without any exact info.
4. When you will be back?
: I answered in unsure tone of 2-3 days sometime and then 3-4 days sometime.
So this all created a bit tension and suspicion on my plans for them.
But I can’t postponed this once in a life time trip.
On Next day,i.e Thursday, Mom said both parents are bit ill and in tension after I declared about my trip and they want me to go where they want me, not where I want to.
But they reacted in similar manner, when I first said them that I’m starting Bagtag an online store and they advised me to focus on my Job.
I’m still firm on my decision to make this trip, because all things are set well for this trip, like:
1. Cool Trip Route.
2. All route tickets got confirmed.
3. All Hosts at each location are ready to help me, may not allow me to stay at their place, but will surely assist me in getting some place.
Due to this, I somehow got this belief in me, that even My lord wants me to take this trip, to come out of the Pond, in which I’m just surviving,not yet Living.
where we just run to attain some imaginary path to Success, which will be like a small fire shower like we have in Diwali at the end and then every one don’t even give a damn about it.
So its just a Life circle which everyone needs to complete and most live by how others want them to live like with a secure day to day life and no one is understanding that they only got one life to experience what they never did till now.
So Just 3 hours before leaving from Office with my packed bags towards Gujarat,here is what I wrote in mail to self:
Current State Before Leaving for first Train of Route:
“Initially , I was travelling Ahmedabad to stay with some stranger friends,then as family was not agreeing on my idea of this trip, I changed my first halt point to Baroda, as my Relative Mama was staying there and I will be OK with them.
hence by this, I given them a Sense of Security that I will be secured and in this activity I found this common characteristic:
If I make people mindset cool down with a sense of Secure future, they can be made agreed on anything, even if initially they were afraid of some what similar path, but due to pre-conceived notions, they take late decisions which sometimes limit the growth of them and same thing people learn in future by some or the other experience.”
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.
Until Now, You heard many different stories of different themes like romance, action, adventure,craze,comedy,confusion,horror etc in movies, radios or online . From these how many stories you have read/heard about an “Average Guy like you who took a Step to Live his Dream”. This is story of one of the guy who got so fed-up with postponing his dreams in lure of a regular routine life like others in which he was travelling to and fro from home to office on each day for 2 continuous years in crowded trains of Mumbai.
One day! that Average Guy took a step which appeared to be horror as well as exciting to many of his peers. Suddenly he moved onto live his old dream by leaving all those external reasoning’s of his family and office work.
His old dream was: To Travel alone and spend time with unknown people.
That Guy, finally took a plunge to pursue a lone trip in different states of India. Although this is not such a big dream as before him, already many exceptional people in this world did more than what this average guy was up-to, like travelling alone to different harsh places like Antarctica, north pole etc. But Who cares! Being a regular middle class guy who was not even from well sound financial background and who already had many chores to look after such as being a consistent top performer in office and being an obedient son of the house. Taking a step for lone trip is worthwhile decision of his lifetime. Consequences might be dangerous, but as Scientist Einstein once quoted: “A Ship is always Safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for“.
That guy chose to travel around different regions of India almost traversing 5 states of India including destinations like: Vadodara,Anand,Khambat,Nadiad,Ahmedabad,Ajmer,Pushkar,Amritsar,Beas,Delhi,Agra,Gwalior and then back to home Mumbai.
Considering this journey, although it’s not a moon mission but it’s not less than that for a regular youngster of India who usually spends his most life in survival race of adulthood to perform his various responsibilities.
It was an Incredible Experience of Lifetime. Here are the parts of that experience that may assist you to take your plunge and get out somewhere:
PARTS of experience:
- Why I decided to pursue this Solo trip?
- How I arranged this solo trip?
- How I handled parents reaction to this solo trip thought?
- How this trip got started?
- Why I actually started this lone trip? (Refining…).
- First Stop: Gujarat (Refining…).
- Exploring more in Gujarat only (Refining…).
- Thinking about further Trip while in Gujarat (Refining).
- On my way to Rajasthan’s Ajmer (Refining…).
- Memorable Day in Ajmer Before I had to leave (Refining…).
- Reached Punjab’s Amritsar (Refining…).
- Amritsar Day 1 Intro Visits (Refining…).
- Amritsar Day 2 Before Morning (Refining…).
- Experienced Calm Day at Golden Temple (Refining…).
- Amritsar Day 3 a Day to remember at Beas Dera before leaving (Refining…).
- Reaching MP’s Gwalior for Stay before TAJ visit (Refining…).
- Experienced Inside Silence of Taj (Refining…).
- Back to Home (Refining…).
Hope it helps!