Travel | Craziest Moments During My Solo Travels

Solo travel is something that a lot of people don’t understand but I really love. I haven’t travelled to a lot of places solo but the few trips I’ve taken have left me with great memories and experiences. I am someone who does their research and avoids taking too many risks while travelling alone but here are some of my craziest travel moments.

Sunset at Matanga Hill, Hampi:

In December 2018, I went on a solo trip to Hampi. This was my second solo trip. Hampi is an ancient village in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It’s dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. A lot of locals work as guides, who show you around and tell you about the temples and their history. I decided to hire one for my first two days. I told him the temples I wanted to see and insisted on being taken to a good point to catch the sunset and sunrise. The Matanga Hill has the ruins of an ancient temple and from its roof you can see an amazing sunset over Hampi. We got a little late while sightseeing and in an endeavour to make it to the top of the hill on time, my guide insisted on taking a shortcut. The hills in Hampi are all made of big huge boulders. We started our ascent finding our way through these boulders. Half way through, I started panicking because I realised that it was just us two and no one else for miles and I also didn’t know where we were exactly going. I started cursing myself for being so adventurous. At one point, we entered a dark cave and at that point I was sure I’m not making it out of there alive. Thankfully it was just a wrong path and my guide found his way to the right path. We had been hiking for about 40mins at this point and my heart was beating crazily out of fear. The right path, which I was thankful that he found, was the craziest path ever. Also I have an insane fear of heights. The path included climbing this huge boulder through these tiny miniscule crevices in it – one missed step would mean plummeting to death. I gave up and refused to go ahead. I told the guide, I’d walk back the way we came up but that I wasn’t ready to risk my life just for a good sunset! He convinced me that he’d pull me up, so I closed my eyes (not a good idea when you’re climbing) and went for it. Definitely the worst 20 seconds of my life – I just wanted to message my parents and tell them that I love them. After another 15mins of crazy hiking, we reached the top. Granted that the view and sunset were worth it but that one hour was the scariest one hour of my life.

Sunrise at Malyavanta Hill, Hampi:

Me waiting for the sun!

If my adventures from the sunset weren’t crazy enough, I agreed for a sunrise quest for my day 2 in Hampi. The guide agreed to pick me up at 4AM to head to the Malyavanta Hill for sunrise. It was only when I was in the auto at 4AM in the pitch dark and empty streets that I started freaking out a little. I texted my sister my live location even though I was sure she was asleep. I was insanely scared the entire 25 minutes journey. It was dark and quiet, so quiet that I could hear my own heart beat! We reached the temple and the noise of the temple bells and priest chants filled the air, leaving me so relieved. At 4:30AM, there were around 20 tourists huddled in the temple with the priests singing and chanting bhajans. We proceeded through the ruins of a century old temple to this hidden view point. We sat there with some monkeys for company for 2 hours waiting for the sun to rise. We had climbed to the point in pitch darkness, seeing the surroundings lit up in the morning light was such an amazing experience.

Seeing this view in the light was amazing.
Unfortunately I didn’t have a better camera on me.

Sunset at Howrah Bridge, Kolkata:

I am a sucker for sunrises and sunsets. Most of my trips revolve around them. During my trip to Kolkata in January this year, I decided to catch the sunset on the iconic Howrah Bridge (built in 1942). I was at Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s house and my next stop was Howrah for sunset. The sunset was supposed to happen in 25-30 mins and on checking Google maps it showed that by cab it would take me 25mins to reach the bridge. It also showed a walking route of 18mins to the bridge. I decided to walk the 2kms to the bridge to ensure I don’t miss the sunset. Now this walking route turned out to be a route through a crazy dock area with no women around and only hundreds of men. About 10mins into the walk I started regretting my decision as the route was pretty shady and I was freaked out. But I could see the bridge and decided to make a run for it. Literally while saying the Hanuman Chalisa (a popular Hindu prayer), I navigated my way through some shady streets with no light and hundreds of men to reach the bridge. I was 100% freaked out my now – but once I climbed up to the bridge it was a nightmare. There were 1000s of people rushing and pushing. It was day end and all workers were rushing home on the bridge. I literally couldn’t walk 10mtrs without being pushed by an impatient walker by. My freak out from before had hardly subsided and I was so so nervous that I decided to hail a taxi and just head out from there. This was definitely my bad planning and I should have chosen the bridge for a sunrise pass through instead of visiting it at its most crowded time. Pro tip: definitely avoid visiting the bridge at sunset!

Looking back as I walked away from the bridge.
This is the crowd around the bridge

Paella Lunch in Valencia, Spain

I’ve already written a blog with this story so I’ll recap it in short. I didn’t have any crazy adventures during my solo trip in Spain. In Valencia for lunch I decided to go to one of the most recommended restaurants for Paella. This was this tiny cutesy corner cafe like one often imagines a cafe in Europe to be. But to my horror, they refused to serve me paella since I had come alone and it was a two people dish. I tried to convince them that I’d pay for the full dish and they could give me only half if they were concerned with me wasting the food but they refused. This wasn’t a crazy moment but I think this was the only moment during my entire trip that I wished I had someone with me and it left me teary eyed.

Valencian Paella

I can’t wait for the world to go back to normal so that I can go on more solo adventures and add to this list. What are some of your crazy travel memories?

PS: Re-sharing this post I wrote in May’20. I’m still working on getting back to writing with my writer’s block and general mood. I am also trying to concentrate on getting my work back on track – so all my thoughts are focused there.

In the mean time, check out my other latest posts/rants –

44 Comments Add yours

  1. Love all your pics!! They are soo pretty!β™₯️..the sunset at hampi, oh God that must have been super scary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thanks for reading!
      It was super scary. I don’t know what I was thinking. πŸ™ˆ

      Liked by 2 people

      1. my pleasure!πŸ’–

        Like

  2. Lani says:

    I’ve definitely been in those “this is where I’m going to die” situations #notfunnyatthetime I think reading a lot of crazy stories about what can happen to women has made me a defensive taxi passenger, etc. I try to pay attention and at the end of the day we need to trust our gut.

    Fun adventures! xo

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      True. I really don’t feel like putting a stop to my adventures just because I’m a woman but sometimes it does get scary like walking around late night in a new city or getting a drink with someone new. As women we always have to pay attention to what’s happening to and around us.

      Thankfully these stories turned out to be fun ones. πŸ™ˆ

      Hope you’re doing well!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jgatt13 says:

    Great post! I agree, I also can’t wait to go back to the travel life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you 😊

      Like

  4. Your photos are amazing!! Crazy moments, but worth it hahaha. Solo trips can lead to so many interesting stories to tell, I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you! Yeah, they were totally worth it. πŸ™‚
      Do you travel solo too?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I took my first solo trip a few years ago, and I was addicted ever since!! So much freedom. I’m try to do one solo trip every year now πŸ˜ƒ

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You should know by mow that you inspired me to take solo trips. Everytime I thought of trips I always had fronds and family on mind but now I want to try out solo trips.

    πŸ˜†πŸ˜†visiting the bridge at sunset. Ahh I don’t know what would have transpired had been the one with 100 men. I could not imagine how you felt being pushed around in a different environment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yayayy! When things are better (I am so tired of saying this) – plan a solo trip to India. I’ll take you around the best places and also plan some solo itinerary for you! πŸ™‚ ❀
      Haha – it was very bad timing – there were these 1000s of men rushing home – and me standing there with my tripod and camera – looking stupid. πŸ˜€

      Like

  6. Sonali says:

    Reading this is making me want to go on a solo trip, even though I’m an extreme introvert and I never go anywhere alone ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I am a HUGE introvert too. The longest solo trip I did was 2 weeks – and I was sure I won’t be able to make friends but other people spoke to me and really made me feel comfortable – so I ended up with a bunch of friends from across the globe. But it was funny when they’d want me to hangout with a big group of people – I’d just run away. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sonali says:

        Haha, I can imagine myself in a situation like that. But seriously, you’ve really inspired me to go out on my own. I can’t do that right now but in coming 4-5 years, I plan on going on a solo trip. β™₯β™₯

        Like

  7. vaniheart says:

    Wow these are sure does crazy 😜 😳 but after looking at the pictures I can say it is worth it❀❀❀
    Ps-Hey can I request you something 😊??. If its possible can you make a blog post about how do you deal with safety issues while solo traveling?? As a girl’s POV

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Heyy! Yes, I saw your comment on my other post too about this. I definitely will do a post on it soon with focus on traveling solo within India! But I think the most important part of traveling solo is to be self reliant – you should have enough faith in yourself that you’ll figure out any problem that comes your way πŸ™‚ But post coming up soon! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Those pictures are gorgeous. I’m sure that the views must have been worth the struggle. It’s such a struggle that as women, we feel scared about our own safety when it gets too dark, isolated or too crowded and shady. You’re so brave and adventurous, Moksha ❀️
    I enjoyed living vicariously through your descriptions. I hope that the writer’s block leaves you soon! Take care

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Yesss!! Travelling solo is fun till you end up in a lonely alley while following a google map route! But as long as you take precautions – I think it can be fun too.

      Me too – I’ve written like 20 half finished posts – but I am just not happy with any of them. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely! But it can be fun too. Don’t worry. You’ll be able to finish them soon.

        Like

  9. The paella story upset me, but in a way, understand the shopkeeper, too. I wish someone walked in just at this time and shared the dish with you. It could have been better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I think it wasn’t just that they said no, they were kind of rude also – like I felt like they found it absurd that I had come alone – or maybe I misunderstood them and things got lost in translation. But it felt super lonely in that one moment in my entire trip!

      Like

  10. Vansh Tiwari says:

    I haven’t been to Hampi yet but it looks quite good in the pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      It is both beautiful and fun! The hippie island part is super fun to hangout in. Should plan a trip in December-January.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. akshita1776 says:

    That hampi story😢😢
    Cool pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      hehhe – fun adventures! Thank you πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Jas krish says:

    Enjoyed reading your adventures…I myself being a travel lover has been through some memorable experiences… You aree right one should get the fair idea of the place through various means before setting out on a solo journey…travels are great teachers and each journey rxloses one to some wonderful life lessons.
    Stay blessed Moksha.
    Keep blogging.
    πŸ™πŸŒΉπŸŒΉ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Thank you so much!
      Very true – travel teaches us so much about life and living! I can’t wait to travel again once things get better. πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. Jas krish says:

        πŸ™πŸ™πŸŒΉπŸŒΉ

        Like

  13. Those pictures are amazing.
    I too love solo traveling until unless I’ve to walk haha.
    However, with solo travelling, you’ll interact with 20 more people and believe me that’s something wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Hahha – I funnily walk A LOT when I travel alone. I feel like it is the best way to immerse into the place. On an average I walk about 15kms/day when I travel alone only using transport for very long distances. πŸ˜€
      Definitely – solo travel helps you come out of your shell and meet people from different places. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll be looking forward to adapt that alone walking habit!!!

        Like

  14. Haven’t been on any solo tips just yet but found your stories inspiring. It’s crazy what can happen when you go out of your comfort zone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      Solo travel is INSANE! Like it fills you with so much confidence and is so much fun! πŸ™‚ I hope you give it a try when things are better!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely will 😊

        Like

  15. Juliette says:

    Love these stories! I think I would have felt the same about the guide, but good thing that everything worked out in the end ahah! It’s too bad that they didn’t serve you paella though!! ☹☹ I love solo traveling too but I just can’t meet new people this way, I al too shy! So I usually end up not talking at all for a few days ahah, I don’t mind it but sometimes I wish I was the kind of person that can randomly chat with a stranger in a bar πŸ˜†

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Panda says:

      I am the same. I am so bad at talking to random people. Even the girls I share my hostel room with or Airbnb owner – I am too awkward to talk to them. But I have been very lucky that I found other solo travelers who took me under their wing and forced me out of my shell. But I have spent some days not talking to anyone too and feeling helluva awkward. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  16. samsahana says:

    Clearly, you’re the personification of β€œBride of adventure” πŸ˜„ Loved all the pictures and the post overall. You made me look forward to a solo travel 🀩

    Like

  17. Vanya says:

    Nice post! One of my drem is solo travelling to Hampi πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonani says:

    You are my solo-travel goals!

    Like

  19. Shelly DS says:

    OMG Spain? You went to Spain? 🀩
    I’m so jealous!!! I wanna go there

    Like

  20. Sam Hankss says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights and experiences. A great article and a great blog – I have given you a follow and cannot wait to read more.

    Since you love travel, you may be interested in checking out my blog which details my photographic adventures across Africa (starting with my time as a safari guide) – I hope you like it enough to give it a follow.

    Thank you again for sharing your experiences and I can’t wait to read more.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s