On the top of my bucket list..
Take a break from 9 to 5 world and visit all around the world with a bag on my back and memories to carry back.
This notion hit me when I was viewing my brother's pictures of a trip to Europe he went in July 16. He actually covered most of Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, venice and many more.
I had just passed my college by then, & was very excited for the trip which me and some of my college friends have decided - A trip to north India. But as said planned trips never happened, so was our plan which didnt succeed as many of the friends backed out.
But once the travel bug bites there is no known antidote.
And thats how I started travelling alone solo. The very first trip i went was the trip to mid India covering most of heritage sights, landscapes, waterfalls and much more (approx. in 12-13 days).
As they say "When one is traveling, everything looks brighter and lovelier" thereby i never stopped and have covered south india, west India and some part of north till date.
It seemed an advantage to be traveling alone. Our responses to the world are crucially moulded by the company we keep, for we temper our curiosity to fit in with the expectations of others...Being closely observed by a companion can also inhibit our observation of others; then, too, we may become caught up in adjusting ourselves to the companion's questions and remarks, or feel the need to make ourselves seem more normal than is good for our curiosity.
My solo travel bucketlist is very big but will be ticking off Bolivia first and thereby want to cover Portugal, greece and also France :)
Since childhood, I was always fascinated by the idea of long term travel across India (Swami Vivekananda's writings). The travel bug finally bit me in 2012 during a solo trip to Death Valley national park, USA. I ended up visiting 20+ national parks in USA in 12 months before moving back to India. But still in a well established career path, I was not bold enough to quit my job, stall my career/ cash flow and travel long term.
In 2015, a trek to Hampta pass in Himachal gave me that boost.
I quit my job in July 2016 with the intention to travel six months and then decide. What happened next was an unplanned travel spree across 19 countries till I stopped after 18 months (December 2017).
I ended up spending close to six months in Himalayas with a dozen of treks. That not only included group treks but 200+ kms of solo trekking in Nepal.
I ended up going to Alps and trekking in less visited trek routes in Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia, trusting an offline app "MAPS.ME".
I ended up backpacking across Europe for 80 days in the budget of usual 2 week Euro trips, staying in villages where google translate was my only option to communicate.
I traveled for 3 weeks in Indonesia like a local, trekked in volcanoes and witnessed sunsets from tiny islands (Gili Meno and Gili T). I have cycled 140 kms all around Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I surfed and kayaked in the seas of Thailand. I walked all around Singapore.
Not only outside India, I have used the cheapest modes of travel in India. Taking buses to travel from one village to another with a full bearded look was another experience. I spent close to 2 months in various non profits.
I did bungy jumping. I did tandem paragliding. I did snow rappelling at 15000 ft (Buran Ghati trek). I did kayaking inside caves (Thailand). I saw tiger from a stranded vehicle without any protection. I walked on and went below the longest glacier of Alps. I grazed sheep at 15000+ ft with villagers of Spiti valley.
I never knew the initial six month plan would become a 18 month journey that I will remember for ever. And this is not the end. Even after I joined back my technical field, I know the backpacker is still alive and planning for the next long trip.
You can read more at my personal blog: https://padmanavasen.blogspot.in/