The celebrity hair stylist, Sapna Bhavnani had earlier shared her experiences of being a survivor of sexual assault and domestic violence on the social media page ‘Humans of Bombay’. She described how she was gang raped in Chicago, and how that incident has changed her entire life. Her post got mixed reactions from the audience, she ended the post saying "a woman keeping it all within her because she has no other choice isn't a sign of weakness – it’s a mark of strength and something we need to start respecting.”
People may agree or disagree but there is no denying her valour in coming out with her story and inspiring legions of impressionable women to garner strength from the words of a popular personality.
Being bold and outspoken comes naturally to Bhavnani, recently this tattooed badass babe has grabbed our attention with her instagram posts on why Indian women fear travelling solo in their own country. She said people often get alarmed at such statements, women travelling alone can have numerous consequences, safety being the foremost, the Solo Female Indian Traveler has become a fairly ubiquitous species but now when she has converted into a solo traveler herself, she says that it’s not the case within India.
She shared the story of her first solo trip to Leh; “Interestingly, I took my first solo trip to Leh last year (on a one way ticket, no less), and it was the most enriching, soul soothing experience I've had so far. However, I would be lying if I didn't concede that my choice was based largely, if not entirely, on where I might be 'safer.' What could be safer than Ladakh? But even within the cozy, sleepy precinct of the most commercial part of Leh - I would find myself quickening my steps if I was walking back to the guest room in the dark. I avoided telling strangers where I was living, and I pretty much avoided smiling at anyone that looked remotely menacing. I'd scramble out of dinner well before 9pm and be tucked in my room by 9:30. It wasn't so much about being scared, nor is Leh unsafe in that manner, but it was about being completely and solely reliant on myself for my safety and, therefore, feeling a greater burden of responsibility. Would I have felt the same way if I were in, say, Barcelona? Perhaps, not! Growing up as a woman in India forces you to keep your guards up all times; like a threatened porcupine, you walk with your chest drawn in and your senses on high gear, ready to lash out at anyone or anything that so much as brushes past you.”
She feels that this initiative would definitely encourage women to travel alone and discover this beautiful country. Her trip to Leh-Ladakh not only provided her fresh perspective but also instilled unshakable confidence in travelling alone. She further said that one must be willing to get surprised by destinations they didn’t previously deem suitable.
There is a lot more to some places, beyond the bloody murders that our headlines scream.
Go out and explore the world, see what it feels like to ‘see things through your own eyes!’
Her instagram picture clearly shows how satisfying it is to travel alone and Explore the Unexplored!