Unexpected Realities: My Solo Trip to India

Which country didn’t match your expectations based on its depiction?

India. My journey there was prompted by an invitation to a friend’s wedding, and declining wasn’t an option. Travelling solo, however, turned out to be a significant miscalculation.

India, for a single female traveler, felt like navigating through a sea of unwarranted attention. The experience bordered on being stalked, a phenomenon I hadn’t encountered in any other country I’d visited. Random men in public spaces would persistently trail me, despite my modest attire. It was an unexpected and unsettling revelation.

Being persistently followed in public is an unnerving experience. The men I encountered wouldn’t accept a simple “no.” Catcalls became a regular occurrence, and the incessant stares in buses or trains added to the discomfort. I even faced the proximity of a potential sexual harassment incident. My strategy for dissuading unwanted attention evolved to seeking out the most grandmotherly figure on the street and approaching her. The transformation in her demeanor, from surprise to understanding, was my lifeline. Pointing out the persistent follower to her resulted in a swift, no-nonsense lecture, prompting the unwelcome presence to retreat.

While I acknowledge that this experience doesn’t define India as a whole, it was undeniably unsettling and departed significantly from my expectations based on its portrayal. This unique encounter highlighted cultural differences that, while not representative of the entire nation, left an indelible impression on my travels.”


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