Why I Decided to Travel to India Alone

Not too long ago, I was living in Lima, Perú for almost four years, working for a big corporation for a total of seven years, and playing the role of a “successful” working woman. However, I couldn’t help but feel like a complete robot, aware there was more to life than the one I was living.  That was until one day, I got the news that I was being laid off. I know these type of news can come as a shock to anyone, specially after working for a company for so long and being used to putting their priorities before mine. So to me, these were exactly the news I had been hoping for, and I decided to take them as a gift. 

“I had been craving soul in my life for so long.”

Soul. That has been the word resonating in my mind for the past years. My inner voice has been screaming it, pulling me to live a life aligned to my values but I was just ignoring it as much as I could, dozing off or escaping temporarily.

Now, with the amazing gift of time and freedom in my hands, I decided to stop, to pause, to reset and only after that pause I would decide what my next step in life would be. Despite the desperation and the external expectations I was showered with, I felt I owed it to myself to start listening to me. We are much wiser than we know and it seems we go through life following outside perceptions and societal expectations way too much. Why? 

One of my favorite ways of resetting is bringing newness to my life. New places, new perspectives, new people, new everything. So, after a bit of  hesitation, I chose to explore India for the first time, and I chose to do so, on my own.

The moment I decided this, I was bombarded by noise, prejudice and negativity; not only about the country, but also about the fact that I was going alone.  I received all kinds of warnings, judgement, disapproval from family and friends, who thought I was going insane. I even considered at one point giving into the noise and join a pricy tour, bring a friend or even my mom along! 

Why does it have to be such a big deal for a woman to travel solo? Yes, I am aware there are news all the time about the atrocities that happen to women all over the world, specially in countries like India, where women’s roles in society are almost inexistent; but I failed to see a valid argument on why I could not handle a trip to an unknown land as a 32 year old woman. If we as women, refrain ourselves from traveling and exploring the world solo, how are we going to change this absurd mindset?

 “It was then, that I decided to stop feeding the fear around me with more fear.”

So there I went without much of a plan, without a tour guide to hold my hand, without my best friend or my mom. Only me, my 60 liter backpack (full of unnecessary things) and the road ahead.  

It was through this decision that the journey brought me an array of gifts I will be forever thankful for. Not the material kinds of gifts, but the ones that truly feed your soul, the ones that remain within you, the ones I can’t even put into words. The type of gifts no one can take away from me.

Here are a few glimpses of them. 

Namasté India


Alejandra Endara