Find out why women should travel solo at least one in their lives...

4 reasons women should travel solo at least once in their lives

Travel solo: so many benefits

Confession time.

I have never travelled internationally with anyone. Ever.

I only ever travel solo. Alone. All by myself. Just me, myself and I.

Find out why women should travel solo at least one in their lives...Yes, I join tours and meet people, but I have never actually left for an overseas destination with a travelling companion. I can’t imagine what it would be like having the same person with me for the entire trip. I like my freedom and my own company too much and I don’t think I could do it now.

It got me thinking though, how awesome it is to travel solo. I find it enriching, empowering, centering and necessary. I learn about myself, and the more I learn, the more I think there is a lot to like. I love the thrill of trying to navigate an unfamiliar airport, of wondering if my transfer will turn up and what to do if they don’t, of arriving at my accommodation and acclimatising myself to my surroundings, of going off and exploring my surrounds on my own.

I have the best conversations with people too: if I had a companion, I probably wouldn’t make the same effort to chat to people I encounter on my journey. I certainly wouldn’t have met Made and had my infamous Balinese fling if I was travelling with another. He would have just been the driver who picked us up from the airport and dropped us at our hotel. I doubt whether I would have made much of an effort to talk to him.

I’ve always been independent and self-reliant… this is magnified when I travel. If there are problems to solve, I have to think on my feet. Stranded overnight in Shanghai and can’t get to Beijing because of Qantas? Stay in dodgy airport hotel for the night? Bumped from your flight in Delhi? Don’t argue… take the rupees and hang around the airport for another flight. Stranded by volcanic ash in Bali? Enjoy the extra time hanging out with your Indonesian lover.

But it seems I’m not alone. Other solo female travellers also regale the benefits of travelling alone if you are a woman, and here’s an overview of what others have to say about their experiences.

Travelling solo gives you confidence

Brooke Saward from World of Wanderlust realised after travelling with her boyfriend for six weeks (and breaking up with him when they returned home) that she really was a solo traveller by nature and travelled alone for a year. Among other things, she talks about the confidence you gain from travelling alone, and I love this:

Solo travel will not only help you gain self confidence ‘back in the real world’, it will leave you to feel more confident than you ever thought capable. You will walk to the beat of your own drum because you have seen the world, conquered challenges on your own, and learned to rely on yourself and yourself only.

Travelling solo gives you freedom

Bryn Wied wrote on the The Travel Hack says that  the most common queries she receives are from gals who want to travel solo, but are unsure. While she does have a partner, she writes about how freeing travelling alone is and I can completely relate:

When you travel solo, you aren’t responsible to anyone. Your schedule is what you want it to be; your vote is the only one that counts. You can decide what you do, when you do it, and where you want to be. You can wake as early or late as you please, and the rest of the day is just as free as the beginning. It’s one of the only times in life you’re not beholden to anyone or where you’ll run into anyone you know. It’s complete freedom, and one of the most exhilarating experiences in life!

Travelling solo makes you fall in love

Not with someone else,  although that could happen. When you travel alone, you fall in love with yourself. That’s right. Yourself. Hanani M A from These Travelling Feet is right when she says you are kinder to yourself when you travel alone.  You stop comparing yourself to others because as women, you realise we are all so very different and unique, and that we are all beautiful in our own way. Her gentle words are lovely reminder of this:

Traveling solo gives you confidence and independence, it will also teach you to love yourself. We tend to have the tendency to compare ourselves with other women, sometimes even competing with them. This is not healthy because it will leave you feeling depressed and inadequate. Solo traveling, in my opinion, has a way of helping to let go of all these tendencies to compare yourself to another.

Travelling solo gives you an education

Not only do you learn about yourself, and how to take care of yourself, you learn about others: particularly other cultures. What you take for granted at home, you often can’t in another culture. Leyla from Women on The Road loves that solo travel bursts the bubble on “normal”:

On my own out there, I was rarely part of a majority. Being white in Africa or black in Eastern Europe or a woman on her own in a patriarchal country will give you a different perspective on prejudice and minorities. It’s easy to forget these issues when you’re surrounded by people who share similar outlooks and standards but you might be surprised at how things look from other perspectives.

Your turn

Have you ever travelled solo? What did you like or dislike about it? Let me know in the comments.

Photo by Steven Lewis and Unsplash. Used with permission.


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2 Comments

  • Jen August 2, 2016 at 7:40 am

    I left Australia 25 years ago to backpack around the world – solo. Sure, I stayed with people I knew or was introduced to, I met people along the way that I travelled with for a bit and I’ve made lasting friendships. I’m so glad I did it. I think it made me grow up a bit. I left Australia a very naive ex-country girl and came back a lot more wordly-wise.

    Reply
    • Diane Lee August 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

      I wish I had started travelling when I was much younger, Jen. It’s probably my one regret in life. I can’t even begin to imagine how my life would have turned out if I did. But as they say: better later than not at all…!

      Reply

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