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Women need to travel alone.
Seriously, at least once in your life, hop onto a train, plane, or bus, and visit a new place without someone else besides you.
Why am I making such a sweeping statement? Because I’m passionate about travel? Sort of.
I’m lucky most people are supportive of my travels, but whenever concerns are expressed, they rarely have to do with travel itself. Instead folks take issue with the fact I’m a women who dares to explore the world … alone. Erm, what year is it again?
Not to knock on the many awesome solo male travelers, but in my experience, while men are often praised for their bravery, women are met with hushed tones and whispers. “But aren’t you scared? Can’t your friends go with you? Why do you have to go alone? Haven’t you seen Taken? You’re a girl.”
If you’re passionate about travel, going solo is sometimes your only option. I’m not married. My friends can’t afford to go or they have no interest in going. Why should I put my life on hold? I’m not.
And Taken isn’t a documentary, the last time I checked.
Sorry to burst your bubble, naysayers, but I also have some news for you.
Home Isn’t Safe Either.
Women take a million micro-safety precautions at home. For example, on a normal night in New Jersey, I park underneath street lights and lock my car immediately upon sitting down. Furthermore, I live about twenty minutes away from one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. As a result, I feel like I need to act extra careful every time I step out my front door.
So why is travel seen as so dangerous again?
Don’t get me wrong. Women do have different concerns than men – such as how to handle sexual harassment – but again, how is this particular to travel? Travel doesn’t hurt women. Other people do. As Steph from Twenty Something Travel states: Sometimes the world IS a scary place. We do have a problem, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with travel.
Embrace Your Dreams.
You wanna see the world? Go for it.
I’m not delusional. Some countries are more challenging for women than others. You shouldn’t go in “blind.” Research, plan, research, plan. Then explore, explore, explore.
Scotland changed my life. I don’t say that lightly. This solo trip set me on my path. I’ve visited close to 20 countries, created this travel blog, and met incredible individuals worldwide.
If I waited for friends and shrank from solo travel, I wouldn’t have accomplished any of these awesome goals.
So, why should all women travel alone?
All women need to travel alone, because your sex and gender shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want. “But you’re a women” is not a phrase that belongs in my vocabulary.
The more women who embark on solo adventures, the more stereotypes and misconceptions are broken. Thankfully, the overwhelming amount of solo female travel blogs and facebook groups are chipping away at the archaic idea that only women ought to be questioned for their decisions.
Have you ever been discouraged from solo travel strictly because of your sex/gender? How about for other reasons such as race or sexual orientation? How do you dispel these ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments.