Travel Tales

My Maiden Solo Trip at Fifty Plus

My Maiden Solo Trip at Fifty Plus #MondayMusings

I am a fifty plus woman with the enthusiasm of an eighteen year old. You must be wondering why I’m giving you this extraneous piece of information. Well, you see, I am laying the groundwork for my story. I have been fascinated by Ladakh for as long as I can remember. Perhaps I lived here in my previous birth and that is why my soul yearns for it so. Every time I see pictures or read travel tales of people who were lucky enough to visit this magical place, I long to be in their shoes. I want to go to all the places they mentioned in their posts- the Pangong Lake, Khardungla Pass, Magnetic Hill, Nubra Valley and the many beautiful monasteries in the hills. This post, Map to a Moonland in Ladakh, by Shalzmojo is a visual treat. Shalini is a versatile blogger friend and a member of our favorite blogging group B-A-R. Visit her website and soak in the vibrancy there.

This August, my dream is coming true. V, my hubby of nearly three decades decided to give me a loving nudge in my desired direction. V magnanimously helped me make arrangements for my solo trip. He left the planning to me and did only one thing towards realizing my cherished wish; he punched in his credit card details on the online booking portal. 🙂

The top five things I did to ensure my first solo journey is a hassle-free and happy one.

Chose the best travel time

I chose end-August to visit as I wanted the weather to be just perfect (neither too hot during the day nor too cold at night). The best months to visit Ladakh are July-Aug (summer) source (LonelyPlanet.com)

Made reservations in advance

I checked the various travel sites online, and spoke to a few of their people, but the dates for the group departures didn’t suit me. My travel dates were derived after careful consideration; my husband’s presence at home in the days I was to be away, my daughter’s work commitments and the family’s meals catered for by ensuring the maid was not planning to go awol without prior intimation during this time.

I booked a customized 5 night/6 day package with a reputed travel agency. I got the dates I wanted and all the time in the world to enjoy, undisturbed, the coveted sights of the magical place called Ladakh. Hope it is ready for an ageless solo woman traveler all geared up to visit the various places of interest mentioned in the itinerary!

Read all about my destination

I checked out the weather conditions, suitable clothing, and medicines needed in the unlikely event of me falling sick. I learnt about AMS (acute mountain sickness), what to look for, and how to treat it. I found a lot of information on this helpful site.

Managed my weight

My weight and I don’t see needle to needle. 🙂 The weight I put on during both my pregnancies has stayed with me post-delivery, 28 years later too.  I was happy and resigned be on the good side of 70 but when the needle started rushing to the bad-right side of 70, I panicked. And then this holiday happened.

My husband loves to go for an hour’s walk daily, his work permitting. He keeps odd hours due to his job but he makes time for exercise whenever he can. I, on the other hand, am not so dedicated. I accompany him to the park for evening walks, but when he isn’t around, I stay put at home. Things changed after I booked my tickets. Now I go to the park, irrespective of his company, and walk briskly for an hour daily. I am building my stamina and shedding some excess baggage in the process. I plan to enjoy every moment there and come back with a camera full of pictures and a heart full of priceless memories.

Packed and Repacked

I packed seven days before my travel date and unpacked the next day. Repacked, but the clothes had to be taken out again shortly. No, I wasn’t playing a game of ‘fill up and empty the suitcase’. It’s just that as I kept looking for weather appropriate clothes in my cupboards and bed boxes, my selection kept changing. Out came the soft cotton kurtas of the first day’s packing and in went the hoodies and woolies. I have had to add a few more woolens after reading a few more informative articles online but isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? (Dare I say, the suitcase is finally locked and ready to go, though there is still a particular jacket I’m trying to locate… And Gloves. :\)

Epilogue

My trip will be documented on my blog and is going to be the first of many such solo sojourns. I am all set to enjoy my maiden independent trip after doing due diligence in preparing and planning for it. The expected can be anticipated but the unexpected can only be dealt with when the time comes. Mental and physical strength complement each other while negotiating the twists and turns of the journey of life. Here’s to a wonderful journey!

On this note, have you visited Ladakh? What tips can you give to a newbie-oldie traveler? I look forward to hearing from you.

References-

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/india/jammu-and-kashmir/ladakh/essential-information

http://leh.gov.in/#nogodept

http://vargiskhan.com/log/clothes-for-ladakh-trip-pack/

http://devilonwheels.com/tips-carrying-clothes-for-ladakh-trip/

I am linking this post to Monday Musings

21 thoughts on “My Maiden Solo Trip at Fifty Plus

  1. This sounds so great and terribly adventurous. Do take proper precautions. I love your packing and unpacking. Always happens to me :-).
    All I dream of is to take off to somewhere like panchagani or mahabaleshwar for a day. Even that would be so liberating.

  2. Thank you for the linkback Su – that felt so good (btw I have plenty of ladakh tales on my blog)

    I am so looking forward to knowing how you fared out there – your pics and adventures, pls share all!!

    Loved your packing and unpacking woes- happens to me as well. Now I have started packing a night before leaving (tho my mental checklist kicks in days in adcance and I know where everything is) 😉

  3. Go! Sulekha! This is great news! Solo travel rocks and I absolutely love it. Having a supportive family helps a great deal! I am impressed with your level of prep and I am pretty sure you will have a memorable and enjoyable trip. Safe travels! <3

  4. wow, good going. I have never really traveled alone. It might sound silly, but my first thought is: how will I stay ‘alone’ in the hotel.
    Loved your list, and my weight also doesnt see eye to eye 🙁

    1. Corinne, I was warned by many people about the high altitude and motion sickness while traveling to Leh-Ladakh but surprisingly I wasn’t afraid. Thank God I didn’t fall sick there, I knew I wouldn’t 🙂 I am getting my story together, it is an interesting one. Thanks…

  5. Woaa a solo trip to Ladakh sounds amazing… Love all the preparations you are doing. Specially the efforts to gain stamina and stay physically fit. I wish load of best wishes… And hope this trip is relaxing as well as adventurous

    1. Rajlakshmi, my exercise regime helped me in staying healthy and fit while on my trip. I managed to enjoy my trip without taking any medicines, though I had carried a bagful 🙂 It was the best trip I’ve ever been on, thanks.

  6. Wow! Now this is something I would love to do myself someday! Let’s see…
    You have fun, Sulekha! Make the most of it and come back and blog about it, so we can get tips for our solo trips!
    Wish you a wonderful time!

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