My First Solo Trip 11
I should’ve planned it out better. Back in September 2018, when I chose Mumbai – The City of Dreams, for my first solo adventure, I had no clue what I’d learn from it. I wasn’t even sure whether this was a good idea. Initially, I was dead scared even by the thought of travelling alone and navigating my way through an unfamiliar territory. But this was also the reason that made me want to do it. I had this strong urge to conquer my fears, to face my demons and defeat them. I wanted to know what I’m actually made up of. Therefore, putting my worries aside, I decided to undertake this journey. I had put up in Andheri East and with absolutely no prior experience of managing the budget while travelling, I was almost certain that I’d end up spending a lot. Call it luck, or the divine plan, or whatever, the hotel guards proved to be of immense help as they guided me through the workings of the city and helped me in cutting down on a lot of unnecessary costs. With their guidance, I avoided the cabs and the possible traffic jams I could’ve been stuck in for hours, and instead, hopped onto the local trains that saved me a lot of time and bucks. I visited ‘The Gateway of India’ and saw in reality, what until now I had only seen on television and movies, the famous ‘Taj Mahal Palace’. However, ‘The Churchgate’, located in South Mumbai, appealed the most to my visual senses. It was built as an entrance to Mumbai, between the eighteenth and the nineteenth century, when Mumbai was still a walled city. The place is beautifully designed and the brilliant architecture coupled with the general cleanliness really makes it a treat for the eyes. The ‘Elephanta Caves’ also proved to be quite mesmerizing. Famous for their depiction of the ancient Hindu culture using the beautifully cut rock sculptures, the caves are connected to the mainland by ferries that take around one hour to complete each side of the journey. I was particularly excited for the ferry ride part, as it was my very first time, and I should mention that I wasn’t disappointed.
something strangely magical about gliding on the calm blue waves, in the middle of the seemingly infinite expanse of water. Slowly, but surely, I was beginning to notice my inclination towards the natural rather than the man-made, the wild rather than the tamed. It was only a two-day trip so I couldn’t cover a lot of places, although with all the places I did touch upon, I discovered an interesting thing about myself. Unlike other people, I didn’t find myself attracted to the celebrity mansions, the film city, or other mainstream urban tourist spots. Mumbai, although a wonderful place, helped me figure out that it wasn’t what I was looking for. Major, modern cities were not my niche. I was more of a nature lover, preferring the wild wind and adventures over the air conditioners and cosy comfortable hotels. This knowledge helped me plan and shape my future travels accordingly. Although this trip proved to be quite a ride, I feel it could have been a little smoother and I could’ve explored a lot more places had I properly planned everything in advance.