Travelling alone as a single female is not ‘brave’ it’s great! Follow my blog with Bloglovin
‘You’re brave coming alone’ said the octogenarian lady in the permanent looking caravan behind René, who looked suspiciously alone herself! ” Oh , I love travelling alone and I do it often” was my reply. On this occasion (September 2015) I was with René in East Wittering at an organised campsite surrounded by other people…I can’t understand why this would be considered brave? But, the encounter got me thinking of the number of times I’ve been called brave (or stupid) for travelling on my own, or asked “where is your husband” (this one is always from men).
Travelling alone – It’s not big, it’s not clever, it’s not funny. It’s all three
I was 25 the first time I truly travelled alone, which doesn’t include the french exchange at 14 or the trip to Corfu when I was 22 with some friends but staying in a different apartment and flying back on my own. I’d always wanted to go to Venice, which had more to do with “What Katy did Next” than art or history, but none of my friends wanted to go and I was single. I booked flights, researched buses and arranged a room for 4 nights just off St Mark’s Square, it’s worth saying at this point even when travelling with others I was “team leader” responsible for booking, times, directions etc…mainly as I’m a control freak! I loved Venice and I discovered that travelling alone gave me the freedom of choice I wouldn’t have had if I’d gone with someone else, it would have been a very different experience and may have included all the galleries and key tourists sites. As it was I did see some art, but spent most of the time eating ice-cream and wandering the back canals, viewing life in Venice for the people who lived or worked there. Anyway I was hooked!
Yes, I feel proud that I don’t have to rely on anyone else. I’m organised and generally plan as much as I can or need to. On some trips I join groups, for example ‘Tigers in Focus’ India 2013, I only had 11 days for the trip so it made sense to have someone else do the organising. I joined a small group of 3 other single ladies and a couple. Sometimes I book everything independently before I travel including accommodation and in country travel, for example Australia 2015, again I had limited time (just over 2 weeks) and had to plan carefully to fit in everywhere I wanted to visit. Other times I will book flights and go with the flow, or of the case with René and the UK I just get on the road when I can!
What’s the problem?
I’ve lost count of the number of posts I’ve read about the dangers of travelling alone as a women, some in favour and some against. I may be wrong but I doubt men travelling alone are subject to this level of scrutiny? There are “issues” of course, usually in the shape of unwanted attention from men (mostly young enough to be my son!). I also think that my awareness is heightened when I’m somewhere new; I “listen” to my intuition and don’t take risks like wandering around an unknown place in the dark, just as i wouldn’t in the UK. I keep a copy of my insurance details on me at all times and a copy of my passport is saved to my email account so that I can access it anywhere. I also keep my family updated on my whereabouts most of the time.
Just do it!
So if there’s somewhere you want to go and can’t persuade a friend or partner to come with you, what are you waiting for? Just go! If you’re nervous then consider joining an organised tour, you can be certain that some or all of the other travellers will be of a like mind to you, since they booked the same trip. If you fancy going it completely alone and want to “dip your toe” in, why not book a short break in well established hotels. If you want to jump right in, book a flight and use Airbnb! (Sign up to get free credit for your first booking ).