Women travel for a variety of reasons, from recreation to business to study. For any woman travelling solo, personal safety must be paramount -- regardless of the purpose. Whether you are travelling to a major city on business, taking the road less travelled, or doing the all-inclusive resort get-away, the same principle applies: Put your safety first.
I've realized that fear is a completely acceptable emotion to feel while traveling. And instead of trying to eliminate my fears, I embrace them and use them to make each travel experience a fulfilling one. The following are three recurring fears that bump up my blood pressure before every flight or road trip, and how I cope with them on every journey.
While living solo in Bali, I was able to throw in a five day trip to Thailand or take off on a mapless scooter adventure in search of natural infinity pools overlooking postcard landscapes, when I wanted to. Traveling alone allows you to change your circumstances on a whim, where the only thing that matters is making yourself happy, and growing a pair to do something bold on your own.
Whether you're joining an organized trip or setting out with nothing but a backpack and a guidebook, your first solo trip can be daunting. Yet, you'll soon find it's one of the most rewarding ways to travel. If you're teetering on the edge of going solo, or already planning where to visit, we have ten suggestions to kick-start your wanderlust.
You'll be surprised how much you can learn about yourself.
Summer is one of few times of year when last-minute vacations are possible. The kids don't have to miss school, three-day weekends are abundant and unpleasant weather is far less likely to hold you back. However, you don't have to be a savvy last-minute traveller or expert planner to create a getaway that's unforgettable and budget-friendly.
Trust yourself. If something does not seem right to you -- leave. Don't worry about being polite. Don't worry about looking foolish. Women who have found themselves in harrowing situations often say later that they wish they had listened to that queasy feeling.
Take a chance. If you travel for work or must take a trip for other reasons, go ahead and go alone. Yes, it can be a hassle to arrange childcare, pre-make dinners and all the rest of the stuff your family thinks just magically happens. Still, it's worth it. Traveling alone lets you remember who you were before you were the key cog in a family. You don't have to go to Australia to achieve this. They have wine in Pittsburgh, Toronto and Phoenix.
As women, we're taught that the world is dangerous and we should have a man by our side to protect us. Obviously, there are places which are genuinely unsafe for both genders, but the majority of the world should not leave you cowering in fear just because you're female.
Travelling solo is my preferred way to go. I don't have to adjust myself to anyone else's sleep/wake schedule; I can eat wherever I want, whatever I want; I can go to any sites or shops I choose without worrying my companion might be bored; and I can make deeper connections with the locals. Travelling solo can be a lot of fun, and with technology's help, it's never been safer to do so.