The idea of solo traveling seems unsafe and confusing to many. And the scenario doesn’t get any better especially for female solo travelers. Be it age 21 or 55; a solo female traveler is usually a term loaded with numerous assumptions.
“Travelling solo,” this term has quite often garnered mixed responses. With some furiously advocating it as an authentic form of self-discovery and soul-searching experiences, while people on the other side of the debate seem to consider it an utter waste of opportunity and time.
Travel solo all the way to Ladakh, only to have nobody to share the view with? Go to goa, all alone and do what? The idea of solo traveling seems unsafe and confusing to many. And the scenario doesn’t get any better especially for female solo travelers. Be it age 21 or 55; a solo female traveler is usually a term loaded with numerous assumptions.
Below is an attempt to debunk some of these common myths.
The world is unsafe
The most common concern attached to a woman traveling all by herself is her safety. While there is no denying of the plausible hardships waiting for the woman stepping out the door, traveling solo to some other city or country is only as much risk as traveling to one’s college/workspace in their own city. Not all destinations around the globe are unsafe or dangerous for a woman to visit alone.
She is single and miserable
Solo traveling has been linked with singlehood of lonely people, having nobody to be with but themselves. However, wanting to travel all by self does not necessarily translate into loneliness. Rather, the distance and journey help one to understand them self and others better. One achieves the ultimate peace of solitude in traveling solo, and there is definitely a remarkable difference between solitude and loneliness.
Travelling solo an act of rebellion
Many people sadly believe that everything a woman does, is for other people, either to please them or annoy them. However, most of the times the intention is not to diss on some societal expectation or break some norm, but simply travel for the love of it, for the sake of it.
It is an attempt to prove to the world
Continuing on the previous point, there is nothing to prove to the world if a woman plans to travel alone. By trekking alone, she is not trying to reach a benchmark set by men. The trip can be just one of her ways to enjoy her holidays and relax, and not essentially a goal to prove her worth.
It is a dangerous quest
“Travelling solo also invites various other dangers such as the risk of being looted, tugged, etc.” However, travelers often state how the journey help them be more vigilant and careful. To be left all by oneself doesn’t always translate to being more vulnerable. It, in fact, makes one more careful about their belongings.
It calls for unwarranted difficulty
With the hassle of booking everything alone and managing the luggage all by self, it is more of a task than enjoyment. It is important to understand the simple concept of “personal choice.” Some people do relish autonomy, and sometimes they happen to be women too!
It is monotonous
“How terribly boring is it to be all by yourself in your favorite city, during a relaxed vacation?” there is no point in relating solo trips to boredom. Actually, it is extremely important to be comfortable in one’s own company, and solo traveling offers that luxury. If looked at carefully, this is one of the rare times; a person gets to discover how they behave in the absence of their acquaintances.
It will cost you a lot more
Though the trip budget is a relatively subjective matter, the common myth that solo trips are more expensive is far from correct. Proper research and planning will lead one to find out cheap stay places and hotels that cost the same as a group trip would.
It is once in a lifetime moment
Another common fallacy is visualizing a female solo trip as a once in lifetime kind of an event. Though it can be a “bucket list item” for some, there are plenty of women who go for solo trips every weekend and are hard-core travel enthusiasts.
Navigating around would be trouble
“How would women understand directions and local transport routes in a foreign place?” Because god forbid if they know to use maps and their phones. A traveler is bound to be lost while navigating new places; that’s the part of learning. And that’s where local people and phone maps help everyone out…men, women alike.
Waste of time
“Trips are meant to be fun. And fun is meant to happen in a group” Wrong. Fun is anything that makes you happy; it is not contingent on the presence of others. While traveling with friends and family has its own charm; being all by oneself is a different kind of fulfillment. Far away from a waste of time.
All in all, solo traveling for a female is neither the most dangerous thing nor the most dramatic thing as usually portrayed. It is simply a person venturing into their hobbies and interests. In the process understanding themselves better and gaining more life experience. This is what traveling really is all about.