Day 1 of Solo Road Trip in India

Day 1 – Delhi to Udaipur (668 kms)

Let me ensure you one thing in the beginning of this journey – if you are only looking for a list of places to visit or things to eat, or do, then you will be disappointed. Because you will find more in here. I am not only aiming to list down the do’s and don’ts, but also my experiences in this journey. This journey means more to me in terms of learning and unlearning. 100 days on your own…away from family and friends! I know I will be missing all birthdays, festivals, etc. celebrations with family. But then this year started with the aim of getting out of my comfort zone, and this step of mine is another milestone in there.

I started from home early morning – around 5.30 am. That was one rule of the journey that I had to follow – when have to cover long distance, start day early. I was so excited that I couldn’t even sleep properly. I had only four hours of sleep, and had to drive for almost 12 hours to reach Udaipur in time – that is before it gets dark. I had driven earlier too – from Udaipur to Delhi in 12 hours and I was confident about this drive. In fact, the thought of getting into another city, with a car wasn’t troubling me. Maybe because I had been to this city earlier.

This time, I had decided to avoid booking all 4-5 star hotels, but homestays and hostels/zostels. The booking was majorly done through http://www.booking.com and OYO App. Now, the first mistake I made while booking for Zostel in Udaipur was not looking at their facilities. I just assumed that parking would be there. The moment I reached there I realised I had to leave the car down and the Zostel was situated at a certain altitude. I actually felt scared – what to do! I couldn’t leave my car, especially with all luggage inside. Nothing valuable was there inside, but the one who breaks-in usually thinks there is something important. I wasn’t ready to take that risk and decided that if not satisfied I will go to a hotel. I Called up at Zostel Udaipur desk, and the person handling the desk – Kishan – came downstairs. He ensured that nothing happens to vehicle and that is how they are parked. He also assured that we could come a little later in night and park it in another suitable place. I was a little sceptic but still agreed. It was the first night of the trip and the first night in any hostel too – on my own.

I checked – in and got refreshed. Still, I didn’t know who all were staying with me. When I entered the room, I saw four beds occupied and the suitcases under the beds. I was trying to imagine who would be my roommates for that night. I was told that that was a male dorm, so I was a little conscious too. Thought that maybe by the time they come back, I would have slept. But then I also wanted to know about my roommates. Wasn’t that the entire idea of booking a hostel? To know more people, how they travel, what they think, etc. So I was not able to decide. In the middle of these thoughts, I realised I haven’t had lunch and was famished. Zostel Udaipur has a restaurant at the terrace – with one of the best views. I fell in love with Udaipur after that sight.

The food was okay if you don’t want to go outside. If you can, please do. Udaipur is a place for food experiences. One must go out to taste different kinds of Rajasthani foods. Zostel isn’t a place for food tasting.

My roommates came late night. We introduced ourselves to each other. They were surprised to know that I was travelling solo for 100 days. They couldn’t believe that someone could do that solo in India for so long – that too with a car. They shared their stories of travelling – whatever little they had so far. But that story is for another day.

But from the conversations I had with them, I got another #lesson2 of this #100daysjourney – While traveling, one need to be really mindful. Do not travel mindlessly. Travelling is a great responsibility – towards oneself and one’s environment. When I say environment, its not what we do to the environment, but also what we bring to the environment. So, it is important to know about the place we are travelling to. Every place has got its own do’s and don’ts and it is better to stick to them. It is also like respecting the practices, traditions, and culture of that particular place – in terms of dressing, hanging out time, etc. It is also important to remember that those things which we wouldn’t do at the place we live in, why do it when going out somewhere – hundreds or thousands kilometres away from home. It is not that I am defending certain wrong things when I am saying this – but only telling you the way to travel safe.

#Indiaissafe marks #Zostel Udaipur as a safe place.

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