“When you have the will power, trust me! You can do wonders.”
The words of Shweta Dubey – Director, Fusion Business Solutions, sounds iconic when you have achieved that is one of a kind no one has done yet. Being the first ever female not only from Udaipur but entire India, she accomplished her path of 500 miles in 30 days of Camino De Santiago.
By dignifying power of a woman, Shweta herself has become a message for Indian females by breaking stereotypes of travelling alone to a foreign place and for men to support your lady, girl, or any other female in the best possible way they can and encourage her to get something for herself.
Shweta is a lovely mum of two sweethearts, and for her entire journey, she shares credits with her husband Mr. Madhukar Dubey and her in-laws for supporting her to accomplish a spiritual yet hard walk of Camino De Santiago.
What kind of person are you? Describe yourself in few words?
“I am very enthusiastic and take life optimistically. And, yeah! No doubt, I am fond of luxuries and love to travel as well. But on the other side, I am very non-adventurous kind of person. If you will tell me to take a boat ride or some sort of adventurous sports like climbing, or river rafting, I would be scared and won’t prefer to do it. In my 11 years of marriage also I haven’t done any adventurous activities before Camino De Santiago.”
Any person behind to inspire you for travelling alone on an immensely exciting trip!
“Behind this journey, I express gratitude to my husband as he had already done this trip in 2013. And, when we always used to talk about his adventures, he always gives a throwback of his experience in an exciting way that Camino walk is something that teaches you life. Of course, you make a lot of friends, you change words with people, and most of all it gives a different direction to your mental and physical check.
And it always seems to be very exciting. Then there was also a movie, which came along ‘The Way’. So, while watching it, one fine day he challenged me to take a trip to Camino De Santiago and told me to achieve something for myself that I could remember for the rest of my life. Even if any other person would see whether they are my children, my parents, or in-laws, they should be proud to know that yes! What a man can do, a woman can also do.
What were the biggest fears that you had in an entire trip?
“Well, I am quite of a courageous person. Other than non-adventurous I don’t get scared with anything. But, yeah although I am a director of an IT company, I am less of a techie person.
I can’t usually handle all these Google maps, and other things although I take care and look into the activities of entire HR department and CSR of the company but I don’t understand much of technological stuff.
It’s quite effortless, but it gets me tickle of not ready to handle it properly. And, there was also uneasiness of food as being a vegetarian, then feeding yourself just on ice cream and fries, it’s probably not an option.
Also, on the other side, when you are all alone from your zone, and some people are helpful, but they do have different mindset and barriers of language too. There was a sort of anxiousness running all the time and before a trip as well.”
What were the challenges in the entire walking journey of yours from France to North-west of Spain?
“There were a lot of problems, as every single day was a new struggle for me. The beginning of the voyage was quite brutal and insane as with a bag pack of 6kgs when you have to climb concrete roads going through mountains, it is no less than a disaster for feet and entire body. And, when you don’t have enough food to intake as per your diet, no private rooms to sleep or get into a comfort zone, waiting like other people to get accommodation in big cathedrals, sharing the washroom, fluctuating weather, unaware of the roads, places, and much more. It all goes like a never-ending struggle on that spiritual path.
I was missing everyone, my family, my kids, and my husband, who used to motivate me all the time with regular calls and messages. But, it was all going confronted with my irony. And, the entire physical ability was challenged but more of it my mind was facing a question that why am I doing this? Just to fulfil what my husband has said me although he inspired that this will bring positivity after an absolute hatred of every single day but will make me a different person from who I am.
So, what I love luxuries and privacy but who desires for a change that appears inside after such an emotional, physical, and mental pressure!!
Any of the time, because of challenges, did you got any second thought to give up on your walking trip or lay back with your nervousness.
“Yes, definitely, since my first day when I started the journey and reached to St.-Jean-Pied-De-Fort, which is on the border of Paris, France. By seeing the scenario of villages, few hostels, and facilities for pilgrims to take rest, all things made me think twice to walk further or not.
It was tough to come up every single day in all such stressful situations. I was pretending to be normal though I was not as walking on the long narrow roads when your foot screams with so much of pain while climbing, nails get hurt inside the shoes. It’s not at all easy to deal with.
When I reached Pamplona on the 4th day, I was unable to walk. So, I was advised to take rest. But, I didn’t give up and continued my walk by wearing the kneecaps.
When I reached ‘Burgos’, the third stage of the path, I was completely shattered from inside and wanted to get back to India. By reaching there, I went to see the doctor and called my husband crying literally on the phone to book my ticket from Amsterdam and let me come back to home.”
Your walk of nearly 500 miles was more of a spiritual or adventurous? What kept you moving and never give-up on this journey?
“It was more of an adventure that took me to spirituality. In the entire 500 miles, I got brutally hurt, injured at long paths, and it was not that easy to deal with climatic conditions. And, on the day, when I was in Burgos, other pilgrim friends invited me for dinner. But, I refused to go and told them that I need to be here alone and can’t walk tomorrow as I am not at all enjoying all this. So, they were cooperative enough and told that it’s okay; you take rest and don’t get stressed.
There I was sitting on the stairs of a grand cathedral for like 2 hours and having tears in my eyes thinking what’s happening, why I just accepted to be here. At that point of time, something strange happened, and it turned everything around. I don’t know what came up suddenly into my mind, soul, or heart that I was energized again to continue my walk on the next day.
Then, immediately I called my husband not to book tickets, as I was willing to complete this journey. Even other pilgrim friends over there were also amazed that how come suddenly I changed my mind. That turning point led me to wake up first in the next morning and proceed the remaining 658Km.”
What positive changes did you notice in yourself by this trip?
“AHH!! Lot many, as through this spiritual walk I saw a different aspect. There were many people with me on this journey from various countries. Dedicated to fulfilling this path, being comfortable with whatever they were having. Either they were in their early 50’s or their 20’s.
But, most importantly, what I learned was nothing would go with you or remain forever no money, no cars, not even your family. Only your memories, achievements, or your innovations are going to stay alive are on several points of life. I can never forget this experience from beginning to end when I reached the final destination, a massive cathedral and I was standing outside of that church having tears of happiness in my eyes. That feeling of being there was out of the world. And, it made me realized a new me, which is beyond comfort into the remarkable place.”
So, do you have any plans to take such a different trip again?
“Yes! But after some time, as after this long journey of mine I prefer to take rest and then maybe in the next year will plan for Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa. And, till then let’s see what happens.”
This achievement of yours is remarkable for many women not only Udaipur but in India. So, any message that you want should reach our readers?
“For women, all I want to say is do something of your own! Think out of the box. Don’t just rely on or be dependent, do what you love and achieve something that you can say is your own. If you have the support of anyone, keep up with that and never give-up. And, for men support females, as they are no lesser than anyone. Challenge your abilities, as you never know how destiny can surprise you or bring something admirable into your bucket of life.”
Shweta! We believe that every woman should learn from you to get out of their comfort zone once in a life to grab opportunities that can remark commendable tag to their life. And, also men should learn to support and encourage just as your husband did.
If you want to get inspired and know more about the achievers, entrepreneurs, and many other people like her from Lake City, you can check out the People section at UdaipurBlog.com.