It was crazy to face all of them one by one but good thing is that I have seen them before in all size and forms and have learned more about them gradually. And once you know more about them they are less frightening as you understand that killing is in their nature and you got to be very careful around them.
Item Number #36 – Visit Twin Falls at Kakadu National Park – (Little variation with this as I only toured the park)
Here I was in the cage with one of the biggest crocodiles in the world and he did look hungry. I was more fascinated to see them and feel their closeness to the cage then being afraid really. Looking into their eyes and make them swim towards you thinking that you are food in a safe setting was the best way to encounter crocodiles in Australia as at least 1 person a year die in the rivers because of them at the moment. There are more crocodiles in Darwin than anywhere else in Australia at the moment and when we toured around the rivers there were almost 200 crocodiles in the river as compared to 20 tourists in the boat. And that’s when I was hoping to make it safe when there were so many predators looking at us as food.
I met two girls studying in Melbourne – Sanny from Netherlands and Margaux from Belgium, in the hostel I was staying. I had a wonderful time with them as we went to the bar located next to the pool in the hostel. Also co-incidentally we were booked to the same tour to Kakadu National park. Which made it even more adventurous and fun when we were the only three girls from our age group and we were able to have lots of fun including an innocent 15 min delay that caused us to apologize to people in the bus as the tour guide didn’t specify what time we have to be back and we got sucked into the beautiful views and aboriginal art in the area.
It made me think after I had an interview with BBC last night about how I feel as an Indian woman travelling around India by myself. It was around 12:30 AM Sydney time (24th August 2013) when I got a call from Chris, one of the producers of BBC news shows after my twitter update about my travel to India in few hours. Initially I thought it might be just a joke as at this hour I am getting a call to participate in an interview that too live. But soon I realized that it was actually happening and I had two choices – one go to bed as there were only 5-6 hours left to get some sleep before I catch my flight in the morning or stay awake for this interview discussion as not everyday you are given this opportunity. Guess what I chose the second option. Although before actually realizing what we are going to discuss I was all excited but soon enough the smile was replaced by the sadness and the excitement was replaced by the sheer anger and frustation.
The discussion was about the various issues that solo woman travellers face when they travel around India. It was inspired after a overnight hit article written by Michaela Cross, an Americal student who went to India to persue her studies in Abroad culture and civilization. It threw me into the same ocean of emotions that I have lived for almost 4-6 years when I was living back in India. All those memories dashed my mind in few minutes and some known emotions (anger, frustation, hatred, pain) made me feel overwhelmed.
I read the article published in CNN as adviced by Chris and instantly I felt a connection to this woman and her story.
I am a responsible person so I can not leave everything and go travelling
I am not crazy to go travelling myself people will think I am mad
Not now but someday I might get a chance to travel
It’s not safe to travel alone
How can I travel alone as my partner and friends are not interested in travelling
I am vegetarian so I can not travel as I might not find good food
My family might not like it
I do not know many languages, how will I survive in foreign land
I do not have to run away from anything so why travel
Break in my career would not look good so I can not travel
I have a mortgage for house/car/education so its not possible for me to travel
I watch all the places in TV and travel show so why travel
I am not sure where to go as world is so big
Its not a good time to travel in this economy
I am too young to travel alone
I am too old to travel alone
No one travels alone from my culture, what would other people say
I am not retired yet as then I can go travel when I would have more time
We have so many excuses/myths not to travel even when we dream to go to beautiful places to experience wonderful new cultures, food and interaction with different people. So what can you do? Open a notepad and start writing why would you want to travel and I am damn sure that the reason to travel will outnumber the reason why you are not able to travel. Life is short and if you like travelling then nothing should stop you other than procrastination. So stop making excuses and book your next destination as even when you can’t leave your job and go away for long time, but you can always plan short trips with family, friends or your own wonderful company.
I had never travelled alone in my country as my parents would not let me go even to the next town alone. And my brother would always tag along wherever I went. Not that I didn’t like his company but I never really got the confidence that I can make it alone. But here I am after many years, travelling solo almost everywhere for last 2.5 years after my first solo adventure to Fiji. So if I, a single Indian girl, can do it then so can you. Just need to take a step at a time and then you will see that a whole new world of opportunities is waiting for you.