I recently visited the golden city of India, Jaisalmer for good 10 days (including my train journey) as a solo traveller. Undeniably, this is one of my fondest experiences because of umpteen reasons. This was not my first solo trip. However, after staying at home in the lockdown for almost a year, planning this trip was not easy. Rajasthan and I have some strange beautiful connection. Previously, I had visited Jodhpur as a solo traveller and this time it was Jaisalmer. There were times when travelling solo in India for a female traveller looked like a far off dream. Not anymore!
During my journey, I met a lot of interesting people who had very many questions for me. And, most of them gave the impression that I’m extremely bold to be travelling alone from Delhi. I’m aware travelling solo is not a new concept; however, by now I was sure there are still a lot of doubts and misconstrued notions about travelling solo in India. On my way back to Delhi on my train, I met another lady who worked in the IT education sector and she asked me, “What is the fun of travelling solo? My 22-year-old daughter keeps telling us she wants to travel solo.” Although I could slightly clear the air of doubt she had, I thought I would pen down my thoughts elaborately for others to refer to and understand better. This blog is precisely more about my experiences related to Jaisalmer as a city and must not be confused with travelling to any and everywhere.
Who Am I and What Gives me Confidence to Travel Solo
I think this question makes much more sense when I’m suggesting solo travelling. How you are as a person, your nature, your professional background and your age does matter when you are travelling solo. Being in my middle 30s and having worked for 15 years in the field of Journalism and Marketing, I feel I have had my own set of experiences—good and bad. I can assess a situation because of the exposure I’ve got. Corporate life teaches you a lot, right from people management, self-control to crisis management. Having had my share of troubles and combating them independently has helped me a lot to gain the kind of confidence one needs to be travelling alone. However, this does not mean people who have been at home or college may not travel solo. Everyone has their level of maturity and assessing capabilities. You know yourself the best and no one understands you better than your family. If you plan a solo trip, make plans in consensus with your loved ones and ensure to keep them informed and stay well-connected throughout your journey by any means. This also gives them further confidence in you. Do not make irrational plans and plan every minute detail possible, much ahead of your bookings.
What does Travelling Solo to Jaisalmer Mean
Travelling solo to Jaisalmer from any part of the country would mean unveiling a city not just rich in its heritage but also the hospitality. Not even one person I met, right from the time I stepped in Jaisalmer, not courteous enough. I have sensed the finest culture and etiquette especially in treating guests or tourists and travellers like us. Jaisalmer has ten times increased my confidence to travel solo because of the amicable hospitality and honest guidance I received from the local people here. Travelling solo to Jaisalmer will give you ample opportunity to interact with locals and merchants and understand their lifestyle, culture and business in depth. It’s always good to learn about a specific region. That is what I did the most and learned the most from my trip. People in Jaisalmer love to interact. They are welcoming and love having heart-warming conversations. They are open to telling you about themselves, their family most humbly and honestly. You can talk to them about anything under the sun and they have good knowledge about it be it sports, politics, cinema and alike. Jaisalmer is a humble abode to many scenic spots and monuments. Travelling solo also gives you an ample opportunity to meet new people, learn, unlearn and relearn and introspect. You can be at your creative best when you are travelling to such places alone.
When is the Best Time to Travel Solo to and within Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer witnesses the extreme heat starting March until September. The best time to visit Jaisalmer is considered to be October-March. However, as per my interactions with the local people, the best months to travel are November-January. This is the time when the weather is at its best and the sun is not extremely harsh either on the skin or camera. The best time to explore this glorious city is early mornings when the forts are open and evenings when you can explore places other than forts like Gadisar Lake, Bara Bagh, Vyas Chhatri. You can cover the city in 4-6 days depending on your interest. I travelled for 10 days to have the local flavour and store as much information as I could. It helps a great deal for someone like me who is an experiential writer. Jaisalmer city is safe even after the sunset. You can watch the sunset from some best rooftop cafes and take an easy-breezy stroll exploring the alleys without being worrisome. The best thing about Jaisalmer is you do not get stares and glares from people irrespective of your persona or attire, something I find to be disgraceful in a few cities I have stayed or visited.
Where can a Solo Traveller Stay and Eat in Jaisalmer?
Jaisalmer is one of the most hospitable cities I have come across, you can comfortably stay in any of the known resorts and homestays or hotels. Jaisalmer does have homestay options and you can opt for the ones you like from AirBnB. I generally prefer homestays and resorts because the latter makes me feel I’m on some official trip and I’d rather prefer feeling at home or on a vacation. During my trip, I stayed at a few great properties Bhimkothi Boutique Homestay, Moonlight Nature Resort & Hotel and Royal Haveli. Each of them was an exceptional experience and I would be talking about them separately in my blog. You have options to eat where you stay or explore some cafes offering the best Jaisalmer city view and good food at reasonable rates. Some of the cafes that need a special mention here are Café +, Café The Kaku, The Traveller’s Cup Coffee Shop (follow me for a detailed blog on Jaisalmer must-visit cafes).
The Question Arises Why to Travel Solo
Travelling in groups is fun, travelling solo is meditative. Meditation can equally be fun for those who have experienced its beauty and strength. Travelling solo unleashes your true self. You know whatever comes; you have to tackle it alone. You learn to be doubly attentive and wise. You learn managing all by yourself, meeting and greeting new people and being at your best to experience the best of the worlds. I am not recommending solo travelling all the time, but once in a while visit places unknown all by you. Meet your inner self and explore your strengths and weaknesses. Each time you travel solo you come back more refined as a person with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You find your daily challenges trivial when you have explored a vast place all by yourself. It allows you to love yourself more and live your life more thoughtfully and carefully by listening to your head and choosing your paths and directions. Spending even a minuscule time in solitude, when the whole world around you is moving at the usual pace, is an eternal feeling; you would know only if you travel solo.
How and Where to Start and How I started
Do not ask and do not wait for someone to answer this to you. During my trip, I received hundreds of questions, especially from women who wish to travel solo but do not have a direction. Take that first step of making up your mind and not looking back. Choose the dates, place and book your tickets. The more you think the more you will withhold yourself. I’m not an irrational traveller, but most of my travels have been successful because I plan much in advance and without thinking twice just book my tickets. There’s lot of planning that goes into researching the place and spots I want to visit, means of transportation, stay and more. The place certainly has to be carefully chosen if you are travelling alone. Research well about the place, read reviews and blogs. There’s plenty of information already, bring it to your best advantage. I can confidently say now that Jaisalmer is a good option to start with, once the weather is favourable. Start to pen down your plan more like a journal. Plan your trip day by day or even minute by minute if you are good at it. The more elaborate and well-thought plan you have, the less the hassle.