Bhavi is our Woman of the Week this October 11th. Born in India, Bhavi has developed a huge love for travel. Recently, she started blogging about her adventures and now she’s here to share her advice and inspiration with you. I know you’ll find her tips super helpful!
Connect with Bhavi: BLOG
Tell us about yourself?
Hi, I am Bhavi. I am from India, have spent all of my life so far here. I am almost 27 years old, and I am extremely passionate about two things in my life, one is food, the other is travel; and there is nothing better than doing these two together for me. I specialize in communication, mostly marketing communication. I started blogging about my experiences a little over a year ago. I am a solo traveller, and I prefer to go off the beaten track and explore the unexplored.
Why do you travel?
Travel means my life to me, maybe more. With a family to support, it does get difficult at times, however, I make sure I set out enough time to focus on travel as I am really very passionate about it. Travel makes me feel something that no other activity has ever made me feel. I get to learn so much on each trip I make – about the people, about the culture, and above all, about myself. Travel rejuvenates me from within, it has become like food for my soul now, besides obviously helping break the monotony of daily life. Travel to me is like an addiction now, if I don’t travel somewhere in a few months, I start going cranky, and then all my friends know what’s wrong and will push me to make a trip somewhere, even if only for a short time.
How do you balance work and travel?
Thankfully, my job gives me a five day workweek, which is a huge blessing. Most jobs in India do not come with this perk and India primarily follows a six day workweek, or has alternate Saturdays working. With my job, I get weekends all to myself, which gives me ample time to begin my trip Friday night itself and return Monday morning and still conveniently reach office in time. I plan my trips for the year quite in advance, and prefer to take time off around the long weekends, when there is generally a slack time at work. This way, work doesn’t get affected much, boss is happy because the work is sorted plus I gave him a long, long notice before taking time off and I also get to take lesser days time off but have more days of fun travelling. I make sure to travel somewhere every two-three months, and a shorter, simpler trip about every month.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from your travels?
I used to be scared of venturing anywhere alone. I had never known how to catch a train or a bus because dad would always drive us everywhere, almost all the time. Dad was very fond of travelling too, but he preferred road trips, so we used to be driving all over the country for our vacations. The few times I had to take a train or a bus, I had people around me to guide me through, so I never had to learn such stuff. But once I completed my Masters and was on my own, I missed travelling. I asked a lot of my friends to tag along, but once we start working, not everyone has the same schedule, not everyone has the same priorities, not everybody understands why you want to travel to some place.
One day, fed up of waiting for everyone to find time, I decided I was done, I packed my bag, booked a ticket for myself and just left. That was my first solo trip. I went to Mumbai, a place that is super complicated to figure out, a place that is too fast paced for a stranger like me. I stumbled, I went in the wrong directions, went around with a map open on my phone and eventually worked it all out. I learnt so much from it. And now I am so used to travelling solo that travelling with somebody gives me the creeps, lol! Travelling alone taught me how to have my own back, how to find solutions to problems effectively, how to stay calm in scary situations. It made me stronger, more courageous, bolder and definitely happier. It has played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today.
My favourite travel memory is in a small coastal village on the Konkan coast of India – Gapatipule. I travelled there in the middle of a raging monsoon. There was one entire day that I spent on the beach, sometime lying on a hammock, sometime sitting up over some stones, reading a book, lazing around, doing nothing significant. I didn’t touch my phone for the entire day so there was no distraction or social media intervention or anything. It was just me and the endless sea. And it felt so amazing, breathing in that fresh sea air, feeling the waves come by and go. I generally don’t enjoy doing nothing, I like keeping busy. But that one day, i enjoyed doing nothing so much that I would love to trade in my workday any day and do that all over again.
Women, there is nothing like travelling solo. Once in your life, you must travel somewhere alone. You would feel the ecstasy you haven’t felt before, ever. You will learn so much about yourself that you didn’t know. Apart from that, whenever you travel, make sure you always, always have your phone and your wallet close to you. They are always a life saver. And yes, don’t ever plan your trip down to each minute. Select your destination, make a list of places you would like to visit there and consult the map on the routes. Travel by foot as much as you can, the true beauty of any place is generally best explored by foot.
Don’t load your trip by trying to see everything in a go. Space it out, enjoy each experience. It is ok to leave some things unseen, it gives you a reason to come back again. Seeing two spots and enjoying it thoroughly is always better than seeing ten and enjoying nothing. Plus, see the places through your own eyes, more than you see it through the lenses of your camera, especially the front camera. Doing this creates better memories for yourself.
Thanks for reading! Want more travel tips from Bhavi and women like her?
Join the Suitcase Six mailing list and you’ll get access to 3 freebies to help you plan your next adventure!
After you sign up, you’ll start receiving the following freebies: 50 Practical Travel Tips from Solo Lady Backpackers (a 6-page PDF), 20 Tips for Considerate Travel (a checklist), and 30 Jobs to See the World.
Want more interviews? Head to our Woman of the Week archives for the full library.
PIN IT TO PINTEREST