My Experience Traveling Solo
“Traveling alone as a woman is dangerous and unsafe.”, “You aren’t going to have any fun by yourself.”, “It’s scary to travel alone!”, “You’ll be bored.” These are just a few of the many stereotypes that hold women back from exploring the world. But I’m here to debunk these stereotypes based on my own personal experiences as a solo female traveler.
My first overseas trip was to Lagos, Nigeria. Although I did not travel alone that first trip sparked an interest in solo traveling. Just two short years after my life-changing trip to Nigeria I moved to Shanghai, China; the ultimate solo trip! While living in China I went on to explore more parts of Asia like Chengdu, and Myanmar all by myself; and yes, I was scared in the beginning. I’m a female, I don’t speak the language and I have no sense of direction. To be completely honest I did try to find other friends to travel with me but either they didn’t have the time or the funds. I was tired of waiting; tired of depending on others to accomplish my dreams. I realized that waiting on others was hindering me from reaching my goals. For years, I had let the stereotypes placed on solo female traveling along with the worries of other people dictate the places I went. And although I was still scared my biggest fear was “what if.” What if I don’t go? What if I don’t see? What will I miss? The fear of what if and the annoyance of waiting on others finally pushed me to live the life God planned for me and since that day I’ve never looked back or questioned being a solo traveler. Here are my thoughts on some stereotypes that I hope encourage you to stop wondering “what if” and start packing your bags.
- “Traveling alone as a woman is dangerous, unsafe and scary!”: Yes, traveling alone anywhere whether it be overseas or just around your own neighborhood can be dangerous and unsafe; especially today. There are car accidents, shootings, robberies, assaults, and more taking place every day in America and we continue to travel within the States by ourselves; but why are we so scared to travel alone overseas? Why? Because many times the media over exaggerates and gives women a false depiction of other countries which leads us to believe that we need a companion to travel. Yes, you are also less likely to be attacked or assaulted if you travel with a group or a male because there is strength in numbers. But, that shouldn’t hinder you from seeing the world, just be smart. If you have common sense and are being aware of your surroundings, knowledgeable and respectful of other countries policies, there is nothing to be scared about.
- “You aren’t going to have fun by yourself. You’ll be bored”: This stereotype is far from the truth. After traveling by myself I prefer it more than with a group.
- When you travel by yourself you’re never truly alone. There is an entire solo traveler society out there that’s waiting for you to join in on the fun! Around every corner, you will find someone to talk to, people who are also solo travelers looking for people who share their same interests.
- When you travel by yourself you have an entire 24 hours to do whatever YOU want to do. No more worrying about trying to accommodate others while sometimes putting off what you really want to do.
- When you travel alone you get to spend more time finding out about you. How can you grow as a person when you have never set aside time to be alone? Do yourself a favor and take a day trip by yourself; invest in yourself and you’ll be surprised what you learn.
- Develop your picture taking skills. Learn how to get the perfect angles and lighting all by yourself. No need of relying on others for that perfect shot when you’ve had plenty trials and errors.
There you have it, ladies! I hope these answers and my experiences resolve all those unanswered myths you might have had about solo female traveling. And I hope one day these positive views points encourages you to take a solo trip of your own.
Written by: @VentureWithV