Meet Amy Rose, she’s Indian, loves writing about women in travel, and she released her first eBook “Solo Indian Women Traveler” last year. She is a key influencer in our community and we are happy to celebrate her with this interview. Check out her favorite places and travel tips for solo women travelers in India.
Amy – Amy Rose is my pen name. I am an Indian from a small town in the Northern Indian state Jammu and Kashmir. In my day job, I’m an IT professional working in a Fortune 500 company. I love traveling and writing and have been indulging in both for the past 15 years.
I started my blog Tipsy Tales of Life in May 2017, after I decided to close all my other online writing channels and focus on one forum for blogs and concentrate more on writing books. I had five different blogs, was an active participant in two writing communities and worked as an editor for an online magazine for a couple of years. This new blog was to consolidate and streamline all my work under one umbrella.
I have been writing books for the past ten years; I had some 25 drafts. In May 2017, I was attacked by two men in Paris and lost my precious passport (with over 200 stamps), my written work and travel photographs. I do have a back up of a few of them but lost some critical written work.
At that point, I decided not to postpone what I always wanted to do: publish my own book. I got back home, put all my travel experiences as a solo Indian woman traveler in an Ebook and released it in a month’s time.
To be honest, I don’t feel too comfortable traveling alone in India. You have to be too vigilant and cautious all the time. I won’t say you can’t venture out at all, but you have to be very particular about the places you visit, what you wear, whom to talk to and what time of the day you should be back in the safe area. You have to be careful about hotels you stay in as well. Meeting people while traveling is a part of the experience but in India, this can be a little dangerous.
It’s more difficult for foreigners, and you’ll often hear stories about them feeling uncomfortable by constant starring, groping and teasing. Sexual assaults and soliciting white women for sex (for money) is also not uncommon – more in the rural parts than in the cities. In general, South, East, and West of India are safer for women, but they should avoid Delhi.
I love the following places for various reasons:
Goa is a beach paradise with lots of tourists, it’s safer for women travelers in general, and an excellent opportunity to meet a different kind of people. I always recommend going to Gokarna for two days to experience less exploited beaches.
Leh /Ladakh is heaven for mountain lovers. I’ve never been a mountain person till I visited Leh in 2016. Pangong Lake, Tmosriri Lake, and Nubra Valley are few places around Leh that are accessible through road. There is also the famous Chadar trek for trekking enthusiasts who like to challenge their bodies by trekking over a frozen river at -30 degrees.
Amritsar is a holy city, and being a Punjabi, I can highly recommend it. Visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar is an experience like none other. The town also offers mouth-watering food at every corner for unbelievable prices. Amritsar is also famous for shopping and historical places.
Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world which is indeed a marvel and cannot miss while visiting the country – its splendor and beauty can only be felt and seen.
Rajasthan If you want to have a glimpse of the royal life of yesteryears, Rajasthan offer palaces and heritage hotels that make you feel like a royal. Spend at least a week in Rajasthan for fantastic food, culture, colorful life of locals, desert safaris and much more.
You will barely find solo women travelers exploring India, though some parts are more favorable for solo women travelers and young women are nowadays exploring solo travel. A few women-only travel groups are catering to this need.
I met an European traveling alone on a bike in Leh last year, and she had been on the road for three months already. Goa and South of India are comparatively more friendly for solo woman travelers. North Eastern states are also women-friendly though there are other political turmoils at the time that make it unsafe for travel in general.
I think if you want to explore India and be safe, you would have to choose luxury travel and book with a trusted chain of hotels, stay within the city and use cabs and drivers to go from one place to another. As an Indian woman, I have put many of my experiences in my book where I specifically mentioned about trying to stay safe by picking expensive means of transport and accommodation. Take flights over cabs as much as possible, especially in North India. Also, it helps if you have a local contact you can trust. A friend of a friend, a colleague, some distant relative, or anyone who is in the city with a local number you can reach out to in case of an emergency. Indians are mostly very helpful and will guide you around the city and advise you on transport, food and what to avoid.