The pandemic and subsequent lockdown had been a time of reflection for many people across the globe. As people, young and old, took a step back to pause and re-align on life, 25-year old Shreya Bhasin made up her mind about something that she had been putting on the backburner for the longest time.

Shreya wanted to travel the country and the world, meet new people and collect novel experiences and stories from her adventures. When restrictions eased post-lockdown, she knew that she must jump at the opportunity and fulfill her travel goals.

While a major part of traveling seems ‘glamorous’ to say the least, there are a ton of practical aspects that need to be chalked out, taken care of and faced on a real-time basis when you’re actually on the journey. Shreya shares an anecdote from her first solo travel, the ease of traveling in India for a young woman today, and a slight situation that reaffirmed her faith in RBL Bank.

“All the traveling that I had done so far was with family or friends. As I started exploring options for my first solo trip, I soon realised how many things were handled by others or taken for granted by me. I had to put extra thought into planning my itinerary, opting for places that at the very least appeared to be safe and hassle-free for a woman traveler, and particularly had access to all essential services in case of any problems. I realised that most places with good connectivity typically work well.”

“For my first solo trip, I wanted it to be a mixture of both – a pure solo traveling experience followed by group traveling. I decided to go on an easy trek – nothing like escaping into the mountains, right? I signed up for the Dayara Bugyal trek, which kicked off from Dehradun.”

“I planned my itinerary in a way that I had a couple of days to explore Dehradun and around before I joined my trekking group. The two things that I was really excited about were one, the bit of solo traveling that I would be doing up till Dehradun and two, being out of network for almost a week during the actual trek – it was the perfect excuse to briefly keep away from my incessant scrolling on social media!”

“While planning your own travel can certainly be a task, it actually turned out to be much easier than I expected it to be.

“With digital payments being a standard practice now, all my bookings were done in advance. I decided to carry my RBL Bank debit card and some nominal cash, just in case. I could always withdraw some more from a nearby ATM.”

“I reached Dehradun via Chandigarh with three entire days for me to explore the beautiful place on my own. I also managed a quick trip to Mussoorie, awestruck by the quaint views, the weather, the food and the most amazing feeling of having acted upon my traveling goal while I explored all of this.”

“I was packing my bag on my last day in Dehradun before I had to leave for the trek. I usually make small checklists to make sure that I have everything that I need. It was then that I noticed that my RBL Bank debit card wasn’t in my wallet.. I thought that I must have put it in another compartment or in my pant pockets, but I soon realised that it was nowhere to be found! I started mildly panicking, since I was hardly carrying any cash and I still had a few days of travel left before I got back home.”

“I immediately contacted RBL Bank’s helpline number. A warm voice greeted me from the other end as I started narrating the incident. I wasn’t sure when or where I had managed to lose the card, and the first thing that the executive did was help me block my card in case it fell into the wrong hands.”

“The RBL Bank executive further went on to assure me that I can still make any remaining payments online through the MoBank app, and that they had already raised a request for a new card to replace my old, lost card. It was reassuring to know that I had a reliable backup option for payments and that my lost card won’t be misused.”

“I left for the Dayara Bugyal trek the next morning. I definitely forgot my worries and panic from the previous day once I was in the middle of my new little adventure in the mountains! While the breathtaking views definitely helped, I knew at the back of my mind that I was so much at ease because I could act upon the unfortunate incident promptly with the help of my trusted RBL Bank. I was also proud of the way in which I had handled the incident, reiterating my faith and strengthening my urge to do this more often.”

“I returned from a glorious time in the mountains a week later. I reached home, bursting to share stories of my wonderful travel experiences, my fellow traveler friends and the beautiful snowy expanse that will always have a special place in my heart. As I was putting my bags in my room, I noticed an RBL Bank envelope on my table. My new card was here already, in time to welcome me back home. I had the widest smile on my face as I whipped out my journal to write about my most special travel experience till date. And in no time, I was already planning my next. To the beaches this time, maybe?”