Reliving travel: exploring India as a solo traveller
When it comes to solo travel, my motto is if you always wait for someone to come with you, you might never go. So I’m a huge advocate of travelling solo. I’ve been there, done it and bought the t shirt – and guess what? I absolutely love it. I love the independence and knowing I can do what I want, when I want to. So when Titan introduced its collection of solo tours, I couldn’t wait to try one for myself.
I was a very lucky girl and travelled on our very first solo departure of India’s Golden Triangle and it is by far one of the best holidays I’ve ever had. India is an incredible country, which helps, but it was also the solo aspect of the group. Knowing I could socialise if I wanted to or I could retreat back to my room for some downtime if I wanted to. I made some really great friends on that holiday. We laughed together at dinner at the end of each amazing day. We shed an emotional tear together at the Taj Mahal. We gasped in amazement at the tigers in Ranthambore. We hugged goodbye at Heathrow airport. I still keep in touch with them now.
It was exactly what I wanted and it was brilliant.
Why did you want to visit India?
I’ve been selling this tour – the non-solo version – to Titan travellers for over 11 years now and it always gets rave reviews. I just thought all those people can’t be wrong – and they weren’t! I’ve always wanted to see the Taj Mahal and when I did, it actually made me cry. It’s a very emotional thing. The surroundings are just perfect and the story of romance behind it. It’s just a very special place.
Then there were the tigers. Wow. It’s never guaranteed that you’ll see them, but that really was the icing on the cake. Incredible. Those were two very special moments for me. We saw a tiger with her cubs just walking along the road. We said we were so lucky but actually it was thanks to our guide. He was amazing.
What is the social aspect like on a solo tour?
It is scary joining a tour with a group of people you don’t know. It’s easy to feel nervous, but the lovely thing about this tour was it was specifically for solo travellers, so everyone was in the same boat. No one knew anyone and when that happens, you all have that one thing in common. Before we knew it, we were all getting on incredibly well. Everyone absolutely loved it.
In the evenings we always had our own table – fantastic idea – and as we were going round, I began to notice we were always the most buzzling table wherever we went. Everyone was having a giggle and getting on really well – and everyone else was looking over at our table thinking “who are these people?” It was brilliant.
What advice would you give someone who is considering a solo tour?
Do it. Don’t even hesitate. Everyone is entitled to a good holiday and there’s no reason that being by yourself means you shouldn’t enjoy yourself. It’s an amazing experience. It’s definitely a big step to finally take the plunge but I’m so glad I did because it’s what I wanted to do and I loved it. I made some really good friends and had some amazing experiences.
And the great thing about the Titan solo tours is that you get the VIP door-to-door transfer, too, which just gives that extra peace of mind and ease when you’re travelling alone.
Some people say India can be overwhelming. What was your first impression VS your leaving impression?
I was a little bit apprehensive, I’ll be honest. I was excited, of course, but I did think “my goodness am I going to cope with that?” But on leaving India, I thought: I love the people. I love the madness – everywhere you go there’s such a charmingly chaotic atmosphere. I absolutely loved it. I hope everyone can go.
What would be your top tips for first-time visitors?
Definitely take a hat because the sun can affect you. Rehydration tablets – the people on the tour with me know why I needed those – loose and comfortable clothing. But most of all just have an open mind and enjoy it.
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Our superstar travel advisor, Michaela, has been part of the Titan family for over 10 years. She's also our solo traveller extraordinaire and when it comes to solo travel, she's been there, done it and bought the t shirt. Her motto is "if you always wait for someone to come with you on your travels, you might never get to go".
Why choose a Titan Travel tour or cruise?
Our award-winning collection of holidays covers all seven continents, with carefully planned itineraries ranging from rail journeys and river cruises, to small-group adventures and trips exclusively for solo travellers.