the epic solo rajasthan road trip: because travel heals pain

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[Updated on 30 November 2021]

My mother passed away on 19 July this year from old age. She was 84. It is now almost four months since she’s been gone, yet the pain is still raw. She went too fast. I knew she was going to go to the other side one day. One day. Just that one day was some distant occurrence which I naively believed was not going to happen in my lifetime. We all believe our parents will live forever.

If you are a follower of my blog, you would have noticed the change in the title. I have added ‘Toshi’ as my middle name. Toshi was my mother’s maiden pet name. By adding it to my online spaces it keeps her alive for me.

We were chalk and cheese. Fought and hugged. She was the most loving human being I had ever come across. And through all of life’s trials and tribulations, she was my constant best friend.

More than anyone else, she also knew my need to travel. To wander. To explore. She understood travel was my one source of inspiration, as well as escape. A source of pragmatic knowledge and elusive wisdom.

It is no surprise then that as I struggled, and still struggle, to cope with my loss, my sister, as if in serendipity, suggested I turn to travel.

Rajasthan seemed the most natural choice. Its Covid-19 numbers were minuscule. As a state focussed on tourism for its economy, its infrastructure, even in current times, was well-structured and reliable. Last, but not least, when it came to history, heritage, pristine nature, hospitality topped with an endless list of attractions … oh well, India’s desert state generously peppered with tales of royalty and valour stood head and shoulders above the rest.

I left for a 35-day solo road trip through Rajasthan’s vast expanse on Sunday, 17 October. The research and design of my itinerary helped me face life in the immediate weeks after Mummy left. The following five weeks helped me reconnect with life once again. To still remember and love her, but with slightly less tears in my eyes and a teeny meeny bit smaller lump in my throat.

Rajasthan Road Trip Map

The google map above is the route I took. From Rajasthan’s familiar iconic towns such as Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Udaipur to the remote, hidden gems of the Shekhawati and Jhalawar. From the call of the wild in Ranthambore and Sariska to the call of the spiritual in Pushkar and Ajmer. From the golden sands of Khuri in the Thar to the verdant Aravali hills of Alwar. From living inside the forts in Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh, to a palace in Bikaner and a simple homestay in Jodhpur. It was all there.

Now back home I will be embarking on my blog posts. I plan to write 24 all in all starting next week, including a couple of travel guides. Do join me as I share my journey right here. Till then, stay safe, stay healthy, and most importantly, treasure your loved ones. Life is fragile. Keep your loved ones super close to your heart. ❤

15 thoughts on “the epic solo rajasthan road trip: because travel heals pain

  1. Pingback: the epic solo rajasthan road trip: because travel heals pain | My Biz EmpowerKai

    • Thank you, Maggie. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I hope the journey helps me heal. On another note, am loving your Canada road trip series of posts. Inspiring to say the least. One thing about Covid 19 — it has forced us to explore our own backyards with fresh eyes.

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  2. I’m sorry for your loss, and I also share your grief. I lost my father in February this year, and all my travels since then have been exclusively dedicated to visiting my mom in my hometown. However, one of my closest friends told me that I need to travel for the sake of traveling, with no burdens whatsoever — the kind of traveling I used to do before the pandemic. Next week I’ll leave Jakarta for a small city in West Java to do exactly this. When I read this post of yours, it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in doing this. I hope your epic Rajasthan trip will heal your pain. All the best, Rama!

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    • My sincere condolences for your loss, Bama. Losing a parent is hard. Also when we lose one parent, we invariably start to center our attention around our remaining parent. It was the same with us after Daddy passed away in 2017. Our mother became the focus of our world. Which also contributed to her loss being more painful. Enjoy your travels with a clear conscience. It is what your mom would want you to do as well.

      Like you, it is comforting to know there are others like me in the same boat, taking the same route to heal. It makes me trust the process that much more. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Arvind. Your blog was an immense help in working out my Jaipur itinerary. I will be in your city for 5 days. Needless to say I scoured your blog for days on end for travel tips and info. Am even booked for a water heritage walk at Nahargarh all thanks to your blog’s inspirational posts. 🙂 Nice to know you feel my route is fine. I am skipping Bundi and Kota as I have already visited both a few years ago and written intensively on them.

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      • 5 days is pretty good time to spend in the city. If you have been to Kota and Bundi then it doesn’t make sense to revisit when you have other places to explore. I’m glad you found Jaipurthrumylens useful in planning your trip. Have a great trip, Rama.

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  3. So sorry to hear about your loss. Hope your travels bring you peace. Having had two losses last year (one of them being my dad – who used to be a travel buff himself in his time), I have done the same and tried my best to documented them.

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    • Apologies, Sangeeta for the late response. I was on the road. My sincere condolences for your loss. Losing a loved one is the hardest and deepest of all losses one incurs during life. The travels did help. A bit. I cried often. I spoke to her even more often. Next week I start documenting my travels. I very much would like to read your posts too and will do so soon. Thank you for stopping by and your kind words. Means a lot to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A heartfelt tribute Rama, and i feel very happy to see you included her name to this space. She will live now as long as time.

    Rajasthan has been a living entity like a mystic, tales travelling through the sands of time. With you here and waiting to read them all.

    Could not agree more than journeying on this occasion. An inspiration because cannot come to terms with as big a loss as one’s mothers.

    My care and strength
    Narayan x

    Liked by 1 person

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