Every time there's an isolated violent mishap involving western women in the Muslim world, the internet erupts into inane comments more or less suggesting that they brought it on themselves as solo female travellers. It’s a topic that inflames both sides of the debate -- internet misogynists and people who live in reality.
So... Should YOU, as a woman, travel solo?
I’ve been a solo female traveller since I turned 18. And my answer is a stretch-from-my-tippy-toes-through-the-body-up-as-high-as-my-arms-can-go-and-shouting-so-loud-my-voice-breaks-free-and-travels-solo-into-the-universe YES! Here's why!
#1. You don’t have to deal with b***hy travel companions!
I don’t care. If you’re besties, good friends, or even just acquaintances at home, you WILL call your female travel companion a b***h (whether it’s to her face, or under your breath) when you travel together. It’s inevitable. You’re girls. You have hormones. You both have to deal with PMS. The b***h factor WILL HAPPEN!
#2. Locals will love YOU more if you’re solo. Just saying...
Yup. Totally true. Think about it. Are you more comfortable approaching a crowd of friends, or an individual? Okay, this is probably not the way locals think, BUT as a solo female traveller you’re generally more aware of your surroundings (instead of focused on friends), which means locals are more comfortable approaching you – and if you’re gut says it’s cool, chatting with locals can be an amazing experience.
#3. Dudes will do stuff for you! Even if you can do it yourself!
I know, this one could get me some hate mail from my fellow female travellers, but it’s totally true. In many countries having fiercely independent solo women walking around is kind of odd. They’re curious. Think of it this way… when you’re at home, do you do EVERYTHING yourself, or do you let your boyfriend/fiancé/husband do things for you that you know you can do yourself? Occasionally guys like to do stuff. It makes them feel all manly and stuff. Same thing happens on the road. If you’re safety radar is not going off, let them. Seriously.
#4. You don’t have to have LONG discussions about what you should see, or do!
Ugh. Travel is such a personal experience, and having to compromise can seriously suck – especially if YOU seem to be the only person making compromises throughout a trip (Been there, done that). As a solo traveller you have complete control. YOU make the decisions. If you want to stay in bed and watch Sex in the City on your laptop while eating that expensive roll of oreos you bought at the corner shop, you can! Yes, being solo means you can be a selfish b***h. Except you’re solo. So really you’re just being good to yourself!
#5. You can be ANYONE you want to be!
This is not meant to be creepy, I promise. As a solo female traveller it seems like you get asked the same lame questions, like all the time. Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have kids? Why are you not married? Why you travel alone? and so on and so forth. It can be a tad annoying to answers these all the time, unless you have fun with it. When travelling solo it’s important to have fun, so switch things up! Pretend you’re someone else and totally make up answers. Be creative. Tell someone you have like 12 kids and that’s why you have to travel alone. Have fun with it.
#6. You can take a TON of self portraits and NOT look vain!
If a girl is out with her friends, and the only photos she is taking is of herself, she’s shallow and vain. Come on, we ALL think she is being shallow and vain. She’s with friends! Now, if she were to travel solo and take photos of herself, we wouldn’t think anything about it. Why? Because she is rocking it solo style and merely documenting her travel life, and that is totally cool.
#7. YOU are living proof that ANYTHING is possible
There is some prejudice about solo women and travel, but as a solo female traveller YOU are living proof that ANYTHING is possible. The world is completely open to you. solo travel is NOT scary, it’s one of the best experiences you will ever have. Think, but don’t over-think. Be bold, but not brazen. Challenge fears, but not safety. Take the person you are at home, and multiply your awesomeness by a thousand when you’re travelling solo.
Your turn, ladies! Why do YOU think Solo Female Travel is AWESOME! Be serious, humorous, and open-minded.