Traveling Solo as a Woman

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

Every now and then I come across a book that makes me feel I can realise my dream of reading one book per week. It’s unputdownable, and I’m more than willing to ditch my phone and email to read it.

Currently, the book I’m reading is The Shooting Star, by Shivya Nath. Shivya left her corporate job at age 23 and decided she needed to travel. The book beautifully captures her journey and you really get a sense of her growth…well, not ‘sense’, she literally tells you about it.

She’s kept a blog all this while by the same name. I’ll link it here.

I’m reading this book and thinking, ah! I can relate to her so much. I too, to some degree, am privileged with independence. My parents don’t worry if the life I want isn’t the life they’ve imagined for me. They’re ready to allow me to be my own person.

Of course, it’s never that simple and society provides enough restrictions…restrictions that needn’t be so if I could just get out of my own head.

But while I’m not thinking of giving up my stable job to travel the world, nor do I think I’m the sort who can survive without a place to come back to, I love her book.

I never underline words in a book. But I’ve started, because there are lines I’d love to read and re-read all my life. Here are some beautiful quotes from her book:

“How can you explain the joy of feeling in tune with the wind and the ocean and the sky and your own heart, even if it only seems like loneliness to the rest of the world?”
We live in transit, he said. We think we can control our circumstances, but really, what we can control is our spirit.
“I had begun learning from the stories of women I met across the country that I could count myself among the small percentage of Indian girls who were privileged enough to choose their own path in life, even if it came with its own set of obstacles. That not all fathers let their daughters pursue an independent life and not all mothers spend sleepless nights praying for their safety. That not all elder brothers vouch to support their sisters – financially and emotionally – when they come of age and not all teachers care enough about their students to have high expectations of them. That there are only a few families in India where a boy and girl are brought up with subtle nearly imperceptible differences.”

And my absolute favorite:

“It had dawned on me for the first time in my life that my inexplicable desire to travel solo had perhaps sprung out of the inherent frustration of growing up as a sheltered girl in India. One who couldn’t take control of her own life. One who always needed a man to protect her. One who, even after becoming financially independent, needed to rely on others to make her decisions.”

I urge you all to pick a copy of the book up, it’ll only change your life for the better.

#BooksonTravel #ShivyaNath #Bookreview #travel #Solotravel #WomenTravellers #TheShootingStar


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