Updated: May 25, 2021
Travel Vlogger, Tedx Speaker, Blogger
As E. Cummings quotes, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you are.”, Heena Raheja found herself in travel. “One must travel to spend time with yourself,” says the Vagabond.
Belonging to a humble background, Heena was headed to a corporate job, after completing her MBA and the age-old story of not being at peace with herself at her job, landed her on a Facebook post about a trip to Jaisalmer. “I did not know if I wanted to travel,” says Heena, “but I knew I wanted to try something new and somewhere give myself a chance to step out of my comfort zone.” And she did. Taking that trip gave her the experience that she could be one with herself. “It was magical,” Heena recalls, “sitting under the stars, being able to explore nature was enlightening, to say the least.
Heena found herself travelling more often to newer places and exploring her boundaries with solo travel. I was curious to know how Heena, a shy girl from Haryana was able to convince her parents for her solo travels. “It wasn’t easy, but I knew travel made me feel good and being able to have the option to choose something that brings one peace, should be communicated to those who matter.” Heena decided to share her trips with her family via social media, “often to hear from my mother about something she did not entirely agree with, but this was better than hiding myself from them.” Heena shares. “They understood me with this, their confidence enabled me to push my boundaries.”
Was travel something Heena always wanted to do? How did she know this was her calling?
“I was sure what I did not want to do, this is easier than knowing what we want in life. With the process of elimination, I learned to narrow down to what added value to my experiences. Travel was it. Every trip was about exploring the world and exploring who I was.” Heena beams.
Heena started taking solo trips once in a while, to which lies a question in anyone’s mind, how safe is it, for a woman?
“While travelling for women isn’t new, women can find ways to do so smartly. It goes for anyone. Making your mind about something enables you to think ahead and plan properly.” Heena says, who at one point, was a novice to the world of travelling alone now knows that there exist, social groups, hostel facilities, that make it easy for travellers. “You also set out on a journey by yourself and you end up meeting people, socializing, connecting with others that help. You learn along the way; you learn to read people and situations and act responsibly.”
There is a certain passion in Heena when she talks about travel, I notice. “It’s the courage to try something new.” Heena beams, “We search for ourselves all our lives and are scared to take that step that might help us understand ourselves better. I encourage people to try something that they might like or even dislike, but you wouldn’t know how you feel about it until you’ve tried something. Courage towards taking that step is important, especially for women. To know that there is a world beyond is to enable her to expand her horizons. The difference lies in discovering ourselves in each step. It could be anything for anyone, art, a job, speaking up, a simple conquest towards achievement and the journey begins as soon as we take that first step towards ourselves.” Heena concludes.
All roads that take you on a journey, indeed lead inward.
Interview conducted and transcripted by