There is a sense of pride within me whenever I mention to someone that I will be travelling alone on my next trip to Europe or wherever else in this world. However, it’s not the kind of pride I hold that makes me want to make those around me jealous or feel less brave than I do- man or woman. It’s the kind of pride I feel particularly lucky to feel precisely because I am a woman who is not afraid to do things alone.
I often get asked:
– Why would you bother to travel solo?
– Don’t you prefer to have a travel buddy instead?
– Aren’t you afraid to travel alone?
– Will you even be safe by yourself?
And as I understand where these questions are coming from, sometimes it would feel a bit more flattering to hear these instead (which doesn’t happen often):
– Where are you planning on going?
– How long will you be gone for?
– Are you excited?
As you can hopefully tell the difference between both sets of questions: the first set interrogates us as solo female travellers, as opposed to the second set, in which those are simply questions regarding our trips.
So then, what exactly does it mean to travel alone as a female? Well, it means that…
1. You’re not afraid
You’re not afraid to go off and venture out on your own. You’ll always hear people commenting that you shouldn’t go there or do that for one reason or another, but you know you will be okay no matter what you end up deciding to do.
2. You’re intelligent
You’re smart enough to make your own decisions/choices without the need of having to rely on anybody else. You can choose for yourself if you want to go to a particular country, join in on an activity, or become friends with people you meet along your journey. If you end up getting lost within the cobblestone streets of Rome, you know you’ll be perfectly fine because you’ll find your way out somehow.
3. You can defend yourself
It’s unfortunately normal to be called out on somethings simply because we are women, but having only yourself, you’ll learn to speak out for yourself in correct situations. You’ll be able to not let just anyone get away with insulting you, putting you down, or make you feel worth less than anybody else. You’ll be able to notice when someone is trying to rip you off and you’ll stand up for yourself.
4. You’re independent
Everything you do is all up to you and your conscious. No one else. You don’t need a second opinion from your friend because your friend is not with you. You don’t need to feel guilty about being too cheap or splurging a bit more on a fancy dinner for one. You’re travelling solo, so all you need is you. Just yourself.
5. You’re free
You’ll gain a sense of what it feels like to truly have your own freedom. You are free to do what you’d like to do, when to do it and where to do it. You don’t need to ask permission nor discuss your plans with anybody else. You can come back home whenever you choose to, or find a new home someplace else in the world. You can take a trip to Paris simply to overstuff yourself with macaroons, or head to New York City to party. It doesn’t matter because you’re as free as a bird!
Travelling solo is rewarding in so many ways and I truly believe it is something everyone should try at at least once- men and women.
Being a woman who wants to travel solo should not be deemed as a scary option, but instead feel proud that you are willing to do something for yourself and by yourself. It is a beautiful experience that you will always cherish because as soon as you come back from your trip, you’ll feel more confident to experience it all over again.
Have you ever travelled solo? If so, what was your favorite part of it?