In light of recent political events I feel like a lot of people’s thoughts are turning to travel. Whilst in some cases this may simply be a knee jerk reaction in a kind of ‘just get me outta here!’ way, I do feel that now is the time to recognise that solo female travel is more important than ever.
Whether you’ve travelled before or are new to the thoughts of adventure, solo female travel is – and always will be – incredibly important.
But first, let me touch on two things that solo travel is not.
Travel Is Not: Feeling The Fear
I’m going to start off with the old cliché: “feel the fear and do it anyway.”
Women are constantly being told that they need to be afraid. And we accept this more readily than we should.
Eyebrows and tones of voice are raised when we suggest solo travel goals. ‘Won’t you be scared?’ We are asked in the way that suggests if you’re not afraid then there’s something wrong with you.
Yes, there is an element of risk involved with travel. But, travel shouldn’t mean that you lose all common sense and put yourself in unnecessary danger. You should always be concerned about your safety and well being as you travel, regardless of your gender.
Whilst, in the fall out from recent events, it may feel as if the world – or even your own country – is a broiling mass of fear and intolerance, it’s imperative to remember that this is not so.
Just as fear and intolerance may hold some people back, choosing to travel throws off those shackles and allows a woman to step out into the world with her eyes and heart open.
Travel Is Not: Running Away
Travel is not done simply to turn your back on the perceived flaws and faults of your country. Why solo female travel is more important than ever is because it allows you to develop a fresh perspective; to view your own birth country with a newly critical eye, to bring back knowledge, respect and understanding of other cultures into your home life.
We shouldn’t judge our sisters who chose to travel in the coming months or years. We should be actively encouraging them. How can travel – both national and international – be a bad thing if it helps them to understand the world and their place in it?
With those two things in mind, here are five reasons why I think solo female travel is more important now than ever before.
Travel To Learn
Learn how to speak another language. Learn how to navigate a transport system in a foreign country. Learn about the history, the culture and the people of a place that’s far from your home town. Even the act of travel is enough to get your brain and wits firing on all cylinders; honing your negotiation skills, your judgement and decision making.
Travel To Appreciate
Appreciate that the sun rises and sets all across the globe, but that people’s view of it and circumstances differ greatly to your own. The way that you live your life isn’t necessarily the way that others do, and this will help to shape your perspective and your view of reality. As Kathi of Watch Me See beautifully sums up, “if only people would travel more consciously, they could let go of their fears.”
Travel To Grow
It’s human nature to be inquisitive and travel allows your curiosity to blossom. Travelling can also be confronting and unsettling at times, and may force you to question yourself in the face of different cultures and customs.
Travel To Love
Love the music, love the food, love the scenery, love the smiles of the children playing in the street. Fill your cup with love until it reaches the brim and spills out into the lives of the people you meet, both whilst travelling and abroad. Fall in love with yourself and allow yourself to be loved by the people you meet.
Travel To Meet New People
Enrich yourself with the knowledge and experience of other people. Allow yourself to learn from them.
Right now, as you are reading this, there are strong, fearless women across the globe who are benefiting from travel. Are you ready to join them?
Don’t let fear hold you back. Let love guide you home.
Over to you. In what ways do you think solo travel is beneficial for a woman? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.
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