Recently, I was having a conversation with one of close female friends. I am always asked this question: how can you travel alone as a female for so long? Aren’t you scared or bored? Etc. My friend voiced how she cannot even travel alone for 3 days, and I felt the need to share the reality of solo travel as a female. I see so many women or young girls with this fear including family and friends. Females are raised with certain preconceived notions that men do not always get fed into their brains growing up. As a result, grown women limit themselves. Now, solo travel may not be for everyone, but one does not know unless they experience it. The experience is priceless and one may love it, or take away life lessons. Win win situation. Here are some stereotypes or fears about solo female travel I need to shed light on:
1. Is it dangerous? My answer: not any more than your own city. In fact, I always feel safer traveling than my own neighborhood or city. Use your common sense, do not get drunk with strangers (not saying do not party if that is your thing, but be mindful where and around whom). I personaly avoid alcohol with exception of with female friends, and drink rarely. Trust your instricts and gut feeling. It never lies, especially for women. I felt 100% safe at 1am in Cusco outside than at 6pm in my old job’s building. Crime rates change in different places.
2. Is it boring? No way. You can make or break any trip based on your outlook. You can choose to be enjoy new places, people, oceans, mountains, etc, or choose to hate it. I let myself be intrigued. Keep an open mind, and it will seldom ever be boring.
3. Don’t you get tired? Of course! We are humans. The above pic is after hiking up a hill, but do I look tired? No, because it is so worth the view and adventure despite the fact I was so short of breath and drank 2 bottles of water in 1 hour. Then, you have lazy days and nap. All running around and no rest can lead to illness and fatigue id the mind and body does not get rest. You learn to really trust your body.
4. How do you keep track of everything alone when it is hard enough traveling as a group to plan even a few day vacation? I agree, it can be hard to plan a family vacation. Solo trips are easier because there is no negotiation or multiple rooms or tickets. My family trips are lovely but take more planning than my 2 mo backpacking trip! When you are solo traveling, you can book on the go, live off of salads or pasta, you choose. Greater flexibility means easier journey. It really is not that difficult once you get a hang of booking accommodations, transportation, be it last minute or pre-planned. Itineraries change sometimes, and that is fun of it.
5. Are you alone? I laugh at this one, because 99% of the time during my travels, if I want to be alone, I have to turn down invitations to hang with new friends or choose to seclude myself. As an introvert, I did value alone time a lot, but I always had people to socialize with if I wanted to cater to my outgoing self. Made some amazing friends and families that took me in like their own! Never a dull moment. No matter where I went, always ended up making new friends or meeting interesting people!
6. It can be daunting at first, and I understand that. It is not that big of a deal or challenging in my opinion. People make a big deal out of how I travel a lot or alone, but I see it as normal. I travel with friends and family too, and sometimes, solo travel allows you to climb mountains that your family would not do, or meet new people from 20 different countries that being with your friends you do not branch out. I may be biased, but even my Eurotrip 5 yrs ago did not scare me. When you travel solo, you adapt really fast! Your fears go out the window. Just keep your intuition with you, and use caution like you would in your own hometown.
7. Girl, go do it! Do not let anyone else tell you how to live your life.