Travelling solo can be a transformative and enriching experience, offering opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth. However, solo women travellers often encounter a range of comments, questions, and concerns from well-meaning friends, family members, and even strangers. While most of these remarks come from a place of genuine concern, they can sometimes be frustrating or even patronising. Here's a look at some common things solo women travellers often hear and discuss how to respond to them.
This question is perhaps one of the most frequently asked by concerned friends and family members. While it's natural for loved ones to worry about your safety, it's essential to remember that fear should not dictate your travel choices. Solo women travellers are well aware of the risks associated with travel, just as anyone else would be. Preparing and planning accordingly, such as researching destinations and practising situational awareness, can help address these concerns.
Response: "I take safety seriously and make informed choices when I travel. There's a lot to gain from exploring the world independently, and I wouldn't let fear hold me back."
The safety concern is valid, but it's not exclusive to solo female travellers. Everyone should exercise caution, whether they're travelling alone or with others. While being mindful of your surroundings is essential, this advice can sometimes be overly restrictive.
Response: "Thank you for your concern. I always stay vigilant and avoid risky situations when I travel, just like I would at home."
Being called brave for travelling alone can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's nice to receive acknowledgment for your independence and adventurous spirit. On the other hand, it can inadvertently imply that it's unusual or extraordinary for women to travel solo.
Response: "Thank you for the compliment! Solo travel has empowered me to embrace new experiences and cultures, and it's not as intimidating as it may seem."
Loneliness can be a part of any travel experience, whether travelling alone or with others. It's a natural emotion that solo travellers may encounter occasionally, but it can also lead to valuable moments of self-reflection and personal growth.
Response: "Loneliness is something I've learned to embrace and overcome. It's an opportunity to connect with new people and discover my inner strength."
"Do you have a backup plan?"
Having a backup plan is undoubtedly a wise travel strategy, but it's not unique to solo women travellers. Travelling independently often means being resourceful and adaptable, which can be an enriching experience in itself.
Response: "Absolutely, I always have a contingency plan in case things don't go as expected. It's part of being a responsible traveller."