As a kid, I was the very protected one who was never left alone. Either one of my parents were always with me, be it going somewhere for an exam, or going anywhere else. And if not my parents, they always assured that I do have a safe company when I travel somewhere. Since I had to come to Bangalore for the job, they had this security that I am with 3 of my college mates.
So, basically, the point is that I have never traveled alone where there is a kind of uncertainty or slightest hint of going something wrong. My parents never allowed me to do that and in the meantime, I also inculcated this in me.
So, I never thought of it, even the thought of going solo used to scare me a lot until I did this.
Well, I don’t know why this thought occurred to me and how my mind got stuck to this destination but it just happened and I can’t even recall the most of it.
For some of you, it may seem very trivial that what’s the big deal in going solo, we do it every other day but step into my shoes for a while and try to empathize, you might get an idea how difficult it would be for a person who has this thing deeply rooted in him that he cannot do this?
So, I’ll try to recall as far as I can, how I did it?
First, let me give you a brief of the place where I went:
Kodagu (Or Coorg)
Kodagu is a rural district of the Karnataka state and Madikeri is the district headquarter of Kodagu (popular by the name of Coorg.)
It’s a beautiful hill station and the prime constituent of its economy is Agriculture. The main crops are coffee and rice.
Without further adieu, let’s get started with my solo travelling document where I have documented the entire thing.
I think the seeds of the thoughts must have started here only because as far as I can go back I had this thought of traveling somewhere solo since the very beginning of the week. Not so sure about it, though.
It was like, I have to go to Coorg in the weekend but I wasn’t sure about it until I booked the bus tickets from redbus on 06/07/2018. The moment I booked it, now there was no looking back.
In the morning itself, I told my roommate and friends that I am going and it came out as a shock for them, I guess and I felt guilty because I didn’t tell them earlier.
I came half an hour early from the office and packed my stuff. The boarding time was 8:15 pm and I did not want to be late. So, at 6:30, I got out and packed myself some food.
At 8, I went to the boarding point. It was a rush hour and I was anxious. I called the point of contact a couple of times and after the second call, he sounded irritated.
The bus didn’t come as scheduled, I was scared and worried.
As soon as I got into the bus, I asked a passenger as if this bus is going to Madikeri, he shook his head in denial and said that this bus is going to some other place.
I got a mini heart attack and I just rushed to the driver and asked him, he said, keep calm, this is just a pickup bus and I was so much relieved after that.
We reached that place and I confirmed my seat and the bus was scheduled to leave at 9 which it eventually did.
I made myself comfortable and it was a sleeper bus. I texted for a while, called my parents (BTW, they didn’t know at this point in time, I was supposed to tell them about this but didn’t) and don’t know when I fall asleep.
The bus dropped me at the Madikeri bus station at 3:22 am and mind you that it was supposed to drop me there at 5:30. So, I was early there and had nothing planned.
In the first glance, it looked very similar to a typical north Indian hill station which I am very much used to because I have been born and brought up in one such hill station.
And to my surprise, It was raining cats and dogs there. The good thing was that I was carrying an umbrella. So, after standing there for a while I thought to look for hotels.
I roamed around and found that there are plenty of hotels but the sad part was that all of them were jam-packed. I was cursing myself for not booking prior to coming here but can’t help it.
I was all drenched by now. So, what I did was to search online and I decided to talk to OYO rooms customer center.
So, now something weird happened. I was talking on my phone and someone called me from behind. I looked back and saw that there are two guys standing there. Thought that they were some agents of hotels asking me for rooms and all. So, I ignored and kept talking on the phone but they kept calling me.
So, I hung up the call and went straight to them, and he straight away took a picture of me and with the flash coming to me, I placed the hand on my face. So, here is what happened after that:
He: Show me your face?
I let him click a picture of me then because I was scared.
He: What’s your name?
He: Where are you from?
He: What are you doing here at this hour? (In a harsh tone)
I: My bus just dropped me here and now I am looking for hotels. What happened?
He: Show me your bus ticket.
I: Can I see your identity card? (I don’t know how I managed to get the courage to ask that, but it was prompt).
His hand reluctantly went to his pocket and instead of ID card, he showed me a wireless handset and at that particular moment, I got convinced. (Now when I think about that, it wasn’t convincing).
After that, I showed him the bus ticket and he was now convinced.
I: If you wish I can show you my identity proof and I thought you were some hotel agents, that’s why I didn’t stop in the first go.
I handed him my identity proof and he also took a photo of that and let me go.
He: Hotels are not that way, go the opposite side and you will find some/
I: Thank you.
I was relieved and numb at the same time. It then took me a while to get my breath back to normal but I was extremely glad that I handled the situation well.
I began searching for hotels online and after a while, I spotted a hotel. I went there and asked for a room and he agreed to give me a room till 12 am. I paid extra but I was glad that I managed to get one.
I stayed there till 8 am and thought of going out but after going to some 500 meters, the rain and the wind was so strong that I had to come back to the hotel again.
Now, I stayed there till 10:40 am and booked another homestay where I was supposed to check in at 12.
I left the room, went to Raja’s seat and the local museum and then checked into the homestay.
The Raja’s seat was basically a selfie point. Though, the museum was quite a sight as I am quite fascinated by the old historic things.
Got to see daggers, swords, and guns of the 18th century and all I can say that was the ROI of my day.
After that, I got into the room and stayed there till 5. Called old friends, seniors, and had bru.
Got outside only to get some food and stayed there till my bus came at 11 pm.
The bus dropped me at my place at 5:30 in the morning.
The next part comprises my learnings, what I felt there, and everything else that isn’t mentioned in this part.
And if you have managed to reach this far, thank you for reading it out and do let me know your thoughts about it. That would be highly appreciated.
Till then you can see the pictures in a gallery format.