Featured Female Traveler: Samita Sarkar – Canada

At a roadside stop in northern Ontario, Canada - by Samita Sarkar - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler

I’m proud to introduce you to this week’s Featured Female Traveler, published author Samita Sarkar of Canada. Samita has travel running through her soul, and has shared her experience by writing and publishing her own travelogue entitled I Am the Ocean. 

Her first trip out of Canada was a road trip to Buffalo, New York, and she’s itching for another similar experience. Says Samita, “I want to do another road trip. It doesn’t really matter where. I could go to eastern Canada, see western Canada again, go to a new part of the United States, or even go back to the Deep South. I love road trips because you really get to see the landscape and I love that rugged style of travelling. When it comes to road trips, the journey is more important than the destination.”

Samita has offered up some words of wisdom for fellow female travelers, and has plenty more to share on her blog and in her travelogue I Am the Ocean.

A lily pond in Mayapur, India - by Samita Sarkar - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler
A lily pond in Mayapur, India – by Samita Sarkar – Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler

Mayapur: A Must-Visit

I recommend others visit a city In India by the Ganges called Mayapur. Even within India, Mayapur in particular is an extremely spiritual place. It was in Mayapur’s grand temple, while I was taking darshan and lots of women were dancing around me in their colourful saris, that I had the revelation that we often take what we have for granted. I never felt so good in my own skin.

Mayapur is also good because it isn’t too built up yet so the air there is still fresh. I had difficulty travelling in India’s major metropolitan centres because there were so many people, so much pollution, and I am just a simple suburban girl and a compulsive germophobe! Mayapur isn’t that big but they get a lot of foreign tourists so you’re easily able to get by with English. Also a great place to be a vegetarian.

There’s something special about India. There’s no place like it. There’s something surreal in the air, and you know you’re in a place where anything could happen. Like the laws of the universe are suspended and you could just float away. If you haven’t been there you probably think I sound crazy, but if you go, you’ll know what I mean.

Samita in front of Martin Luther King Jr.'s memorial in Washington, DC. This was taken during my US bus trip, documented in her travelogue I Am the Ocean - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler
Samita in front of Martin Luther King Jr.’s memorial in Washington, DC. This was taken during my US bus trip, documented in her travelogue I Am the Ocean – Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler

 

Solo-Tripping to the States

I have travelled alone! My first solo trip, which I took in my early twenties, was one of the most memorable times of my life. It was an important time of spiritual growth and self-development for me. I travelled solo down the east coast of the United States by bus. It was my first time being truly on my own in my life, without anyone to answer to or anything that I had to do. I learned to enjoy just being in the moment with no company except my own. Because I had so much time to myself and no set schedule, I had an opportunity to reflect on life decisions and spirituality, and to read The Bhagavad Gita. I actually wrote about the experience in my travelogue, I Am the Ocean, which is my first book.

Samita At a small-town car dump in Melville, Ontario, when she took VIA rail's train route "The Canadian" across the country - by Samita Sarkar - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler
Samita At a small-town car dump in Melville, Ontario, when she took VIA rail’s train route “The Canadian” across the country – by Samita Sarkar – Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler

 

Authentic Adventures

I’m a budget traveller for a couple of reasons. I am a very frugal person so I feel uncomfortable spending large amounts of money. I also feel uneasy in high-end resorts or hotels, where there is a clear class difference between the guests and the staff, plus the awkward expectation of leaving lots of tips where it might not seem intuitive to do so. I’m so much more at home in an environment where I can live humbly and blend in more with the locals. I think that’s how you get a more authentic experience.

At a roadside stop in northern Ontario, Canada - by Samita Sarkar - Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler
At a roadside stop in northern Ontario, Canada – by Samita Sarkar – Miss Maps Featured Female Traveler

 

Ready to learn more? You can follow Samita’s blog at www.samitasarkar.com or find her on Twitter at @samitasarkar. Make sure to set aside time to read her travelogue I Am the Ocean as well.

Thank you Samita for engaging with our audience and for sharing your stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your travelogue, and am honored to introduce it to Miss Maps Readers!

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