"I spent so much time convincing friends and family it would be fine I had almost convinced myself... Right up until the moment I stepped off the plane in Delhi."
I was 22 and I decided I was going to travel to India... Alone.
My wanderlust started at a very young age. My family had taken my brother and I on plenty of road trips in our motorhome. In high school, I was lucky enough to join a travel group to Greece, Spain and Italy. From then on I was hooked and the travel bug hit me hard. After graduation I couldn't stop dreaming about the world and all the places I hadn't seen, that I desperately wanted to. I saved some money while attending post secondary and when I was done I decided to see as much of the world as I could before starting my new career.
There was only one problem: I could never find someone to go with, or if I did they would always end up bailing. I was no longer content with spending my weekends partying and I needed to change it up. I decided I could not wait or rely on anyone else to make this happen so I faced India head on. With no parents, no leader, just me.
I spent so much time convincing friends and family it would be fine I had almost convinced myself... Right up until the moment I stepped off the plane in Delhi. I was terrified of being alone, never mind being a woman and alone. I arrived in the middle of the night and I took an hour’s tuk tuk ride through the dirt path roads to my hostel with a driver who spoke no English. I finally arrived at my hostel and both the driver and concierge were extremely friendly.
I tried to sleep but I was too rattled to do so. I contemplated flying home but then talked some sense into myself and realised I can do this, but on my own terms. I had always seen and heard other women, so brave, conquering new cities and sites all on their own, but I knew I would need some help to get there. I found a younger Indian lady who did private tours so I called her. By the end of the first day of my solo adventure I had become surprisingly comfortable with the city but also myself. From that day on I realised that everything was going to be okay. My trip from that moment became one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had.
I had never tried curry in my life before India and by the end I was eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My new favourite cuisine. I tented off the Ganges river, celebrated Diwali, and of course was completely mesmerized by the Taj Mahal. I bungee jumped off a rope bridge, river rafted, visited the gorgeous backwaters of Kerala and soaked in the sun on the beaches of Goa.
From the 18-hr sketchiest train ride of my life to the most elaborate 3-day Indian wedding, these experiences, even though scary at times are some of my most memorable and I wouldn't change them even if I could.
My trip to India completely shaped me into the person I am today. I learned to be alone but not lonely. I found a new meaning for independent. 6 weeks of "finding myself" and my life just all fell into place. I met the love of my life, started my amazing career and of course went on many more solo trips! Traveling has always been a passion of mine and every trip and every adventure teaches me something new. Venturing to India alone is by far the best decision I have ever made. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
My name is Meagan Mckillop and I am from a very small town in Canada. Always loved the idea of moving away but love my friends, career and family too much to ever leave. I am a real estate agent with my mom, dad, grandma, brother and boyfriend. My career allows me to do what I love which is always meet new people and take off time to see the world. You can reach Meagan by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for visiting! Here you will find a collection of travel stories from women around the world. We post new ones each week and every one is as unique and varied as the next. Enjoy!