Fun of backpacking !

So, it’s on.
The air tickets were booked more than 5 months back. And that was it. Travel insurance and other paperwork was done last week and I am off……

I have started my 48 day solo backpacking trip to two countries and am in first leg of the journey. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t a great start. I would call it risky. On this later,  if I feel like writing here.

But I am told I am the first Indian female to go solo backpacking abroad ! Is that so? Then Yayy!! 😛

Since I wanted it to be a ‘backpacking’ trip, everything is on budget. I want to keep a tab on my expenses and later assess how much I saved.

First, I am flying on a frill free flight. That means I am not taking it from Mumbai but from a smaller place in some other state of India where I have never been before. Well, that also means taking a two night train to that place and checking into a hotel for the day and taking a cab at wee hours for the airport… all this without knowing the local language or a local person. 🙂

Since it is a frill free flight, there is no weight concept of weight limit like 20-25 Kgs allowed. I have to pay for every single Kg that I carry. While booking my air ticket, I have already paid in advance for my food, comfort kit and 15 Kgs of weight. If I exceed this wt limit, I’ll have to pay a fat amount per extra Kg. That’s how these cheap airlines earn their booty. It’s not that I can’t pay but then whole idea of budget travel will fail.

15 Kgs is too much ? Well, I am carrying some things to be handed over to a person who lives in the city I touch down. Around 9 Kgs or so. Only one bag is allowed to check in so his bag should go inside mine or vice versa.

Sounds interesting ? 🙂

Budget traveling also means there won’t be luxurious hotels where I can barge in without any hesitations and be demanding. I will have to really look for budgeted ones….  if possible, bargain and also check for safety issues.

Neeraj could manage within a budget of RS 1,000 or approx $20 per day, all inclusive. But my expenses will be higher…. almost double.  Mostly I will stay in independent rooms.  At places I will have to share bathrooms but no dorms. V is totally against this idea, so I might drop it this time. Only this time. 😛

There is no question of relaxing sauna or jacuzzi baths but a knock at the door might remind me of the place I am in. 🙂

Budgeting does not mean I won’t do anything. I will spend the money thus saved on better enjoyable things such as exploring new places, hopping islands, boat cruises, and so on.  I will not be eating at expensive restaurants, rather will be relishing street food. I will rely on local transports instead of chauffeur driven cars and cabs.
Also, I know it can not always happen but being a female I will have to look for modes of transports which reach me to a new place during daytime.
So it will be airplane, train, bus, cab, long-tail boat, ferry, tuk-tuk etc. Would love to travel on bus roof like Neeraj did but then looking at my physical condition I guess I am asking for too much. 😛 (I sincerely hope V is not reading this.)

And I have a feel that some exaggerated sign language will rule throughout this journey. It has already started actually. If you read my updates on Facebook, you’ll come to know. 🙂

Hail sign language !!

Also, my flight back into the country is again at evening in some other small town which will be first time for me. I will have to check in a hotel till I catch a train next day for Mumbai. 🙂
And return train ticket is not yet booked. That will happen later sometime during this trip.

Note:– I have not disclosed the places for safety purpose but you’ll come to know in another 1-2 posts.

I wonder how it’ll go and how often I will be able to update my site. But I’ll be more active on Twitter and Facebook for smaller tit-bits which I don’t want to publish here. 🙂

If you need to know more on this, don’t hesitate to shoot a mail or contact me.
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20 thoughts on “Fun of backpacking !

  1. Enjoying your trip already!!! 🙂 You had me smiling with your comment about hoping “V” was not reading what you wrote- ha ha!! Oh man- I wish I could be with you on this wonderful trip!!! Have a great time for the rest of the journey- and I’m keeping updated on ALL fronts…sitting on the edge of my seat!!
    .-= anjuli´s last [post] ..Feb 20- Ghana- Akwaaba =-.

  2. Anjuli.,
    Oh how I wish you were with me too. Then I could have gladly said “to hell with solo backpacking’ :P.

    Well, V rarely reads this blog. He has better things to do. 😛
    But to be on the safer side, I have sternly asked him not to venture here lest he face the consequences. 🙂

  3. Good luck on your journey, I will be keeping up. I’ve received a surprising number of “travelling, on your own??” incredulous looks and comments so far – I didn’t realise it was such an uncommon thing. I can only imagine being an an Indian woman will treble the occurrences of this conversation for you.

    The first questions Malaysian women ask:

    1) Where are you from? (Scotland)
    2) Are you on your own? (Yes)
    3) Are you not married? (No)

    My answers each give way to rapid discussions in Malay between the women. In my mind they are saying “cripes, what a catch!”, but in reality they’re probably saying “yeah, no wonder he’s alone, he’s as ugly as a shoe”.
    .-= Richard´s last [post] ..Exploring Kuala Lumpur =-.

  4. When I backpack (for several months), my backpack weights about 10-12 kilos. That’s really the most I can carry but it allows me to have all that I need (clothes, basic toiletry etc.).

    Have a great trip! I envy you, I’m stuck at home for now.
    .-= Zhu´s last [post] ..The Customer Is King =-.

  5. Anil,
    I wish I have more real memories than the photographic ones.:)

    Celine,
    Oh, why do I think nobody looks at the tags ? They are for me. 🙁

  6. Neeraj,
    Thanks. That’s what I had planned to do !
    No questions for the time being. I think I’ll enjoy being myself in spite of some nagging pains. 🙂

  7. Richard,
    Welcome aboard.

    Ha Ha I am told I am first Indian woman to do so, makes me wonder what’s in store for me. How will they react to me for your 3rd question if I tell I am happily married ?

    And I can see, you are in Malaysia too.

    Keep coming, pleasure to have you here. 🙂

  8. Zhu,
    Mine is lighter and I am trying to make it even more. The trip is only 45 days but I too have everything from clothes to toiletries.

    Will list out them as some readers have asked for it.

  9. Oh, I hadn’t seen this post since I was so busy. This is an awesome trip and I am sure you are having great fun right now. Looking forward to your experiences on traveling alone!
    .-= Sid´s last [post] ..What a drive! =-.

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