To Voyage: An act of travelling; a long journey or expedition; a course of passage to a distant place; travels as the subject of a written account.
Virgo: The sixth astrological sign in the Zodiac, Virgo is depicted as a woman or goddess. She is strong, capable and determined.
What is the Voyaging Virgo Travel Blog?
I started this blog as a passion project during the pandemic; a creative outlet to document my travels and to bring together my love of exploring new places, photography & writing.
Travelling to far, off-the-beaten path places has long been a dream of mine; South America being at the top of my travel ‘bucket list’ for as long as I can remember. However, various circumstances, from finances, health, work demands, a lack of like-minded travel companions and even cultural restrictions meant I wasn’t able to pursue that dream until quite recently.
As a female growing up in a traditional and conservative South Asian household, I was conditioned to believe that there were limitations to my aspirations and there were certain opportunities that just weren’t available to girls; travelling, especially solo, being just one of them.
Whilst watching my brother and male relatives enjoy the freedoms bestowed upon them by virtue of their gender, when wanting to do the same, I, like so many South Asian girls, was met with the familiar and frustrating response: “it’s different for him, he’s a boy” or “you can go/ do [enter any fun activity here] after you’re married”.
Although I understand this mindset is cultural and comes from a place of wanting to protect me in world which, let’s face it, isn’t always kind to women, it resulted in growing up very sheltered and feeling like I was often missing out on ‘normal’ things that my peers, took for granted. As I got older, I realised that I was lacking in confidence and the skills needed to navigate certain situations alone.
With a demanding career, the constant pressure of settling down and my twenties feeling like a distant memory, I’ve decided that it’s finally time to unpack those shelved dreams and to do the things I’ve always wanted to for so long but haven’t due to the various reasons I list above.
It has taken me 30 years to realise that if you keeping waiting for the right moment or the right person to come along or the approval of others to do something, your life will pass you by.
This blog is a reminder to myself and I hope will also serve as encouragement to anyone reading that you can and should pursue the things you’ve always wanted to do. Whether it’s learning a new skill, trying out classes, taking a trip or like me, travelling solo, life is short so just go out and do it. Don’t allow self-doubt, societal/cultural expectations, age, background or even the fear of trying things alone be a barrier. Just do it!
This website will predominantly be a travel blog with advice for anyone looking to do something similar but there may also be a sprinkling of food, culture, photography and general life ramblings.
A Little About Me…
I’m a Gujarati/ British Indian female from Essex in my thirties with a recently discovered love for solo adventure travel.
I work in a corporate job in the city during the week, but in my spare time I enjoy exploring the beautiful city of London, travelling off the beaten track, learning languages, hiking, nature and photography. I’m also a vegetarian with a very big sweet tooth, so eating out and cooking are also things I enjoy.
Since childhood, I have been fascinated by different cultures and languages (growing up trilingual and with both Eastern and Western values probably had something to do with it). Combine that with a love of wildlife and nature (thanks to years of watching David Attenborough documentaries with my dad), a natural curiosity for what the world had to offer beyond my little town blossomed within me at a pretty young age and I was eager to get out and experience it for myself.
However, there was a minor hitch in my plan to throw on a backpack and start exploring; two pretty conservative Indian parents who taught me that the big wide world was no place for a young girl to be exploring alone.
Determined to prove them wrong, I moved out to university aged 19 and headed off to Berlin, Germany as part of a study aboard programme aged 21. Studying German at degree level and living abroad was my first taste of a new and exciting culture, independent living and solo travel and I haven’t looked back since.
I’ve always been an introvert but living abroad and navigating life in a new country really gave me the much-needed confidence that I had lacked as a result of my insulated upbringing. Travel has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, to experience wonderful new cultures and to meet fascinating people from all walks of life whilst creating life long memories. I’ve found travelling solo to be incredibly liberating and empowering (and very addictive) and would urge anyone to try it at least once!
With this blog, I hope I can encourage more people to try something new, be it travel or anything else. Whether you just can’t find the right people to go with or there are other reasons holding you back, I hope I’m able to offer you the little nudge of encouragement you need to take the leap.
I hope you enjoy my blogs/photos/ general ramblings. Your comments and suggestions are welcome.
Peace & Happy Travels!
You can also follow me on Instagram @TheVoyagingVirgo
“I travel not to cross countries off a list, but to ignite passionate affairs with destinations”
– Nyassa P Chopra –