On being an Indian girl and traveling solo

When I first took the decision to go ahead with my travel plans to Cambodia, even when I couldn’t find suitable travel companions, I spent hours and hours reading about solo traveling. I found great advice from various stellar travelers but almost all of them were westerners. There are just so many blogs narrating the stories of girls from the west traveling the world solo! But I could hardly find any Indian women among them. And rightfully so! A girl in the prime of her youth traveling alone to unknown places is unheard of in the society where I come from. “It’s a big bad world out there for girls, so never go out alone” was a mantra which was constantly chanted while growing up. With the heavily publicized recent Indian happenings, it does look like a sound advice to give young Indian girls. Or does it?

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Cambodia Vs India, is it similar or not?

When I was in Cambodia and ever since I got back, a number of curious souls have asked me whether Cambodia is the same as India. The question isn’t flawed since many ancient Cambodian kings were of Indian origin and you can see Indian influence spread across Cambodian architecture and traditions. Plus, you don’t have a lot of Indians around here for people to really “know” about India, so naturally I become a scapegoat and had to answer this question atleast 15 times 😛 But it was a good food for thought for me as well, and it led me to ponder more about the similarities and differences. Travelling solo pushed me to interact with the local Khmers from whom I tried to understand the life style and culture to my best, so that I could make a fair comparison of the two countries.

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