Rocking the solo travel world, one country at a time 😉

In the wake of the murder of Sarai Sierra (an American solo female traveller) and the subsequent inane comments suggesting that she brought it on herself as a solo female traveller, the solo female travelsphere exploded with tweets and fabulous blog posts about how travelling as a solo female is SAFE. It’s a topic that has enraged and irked. And rightly so.

Now, I could chime in and write a similar post, but there are plenty of those posts floating around (which you should totally read. Just pop onto Twitter and follow the #WeGoSolo hashtag to find them). Plus you guys should know by now that I tend to do things a little differently – even if it means I hear nothing but crickets after I click the publish button.

Should YOU, as a woman, travel solo?

Seriously? Do you really need ME to actually answer that question? I mean, come on! I’ve been a solo female traveller since I turned 18. OBVIOUSLY my answer is a stretch-from-my-tippy-toes-through-the-body-up-as-high-as-my-arms-can-go-and-shouting-so-loud-my-voice-breaks-free-and-travels-solo-into-the-universe YES!

1. You don’t have to deal with bitchy travel companions!

I don’t care. If you’re besties, good friends, or even just acquaintances at home, you WILL call your female travel companion a bitch (whether it’s to her face, or under your breath) when you travel together. It’s inevitable. You’re girls. You have hormones. You both have to deal with PMS. The bitch factor WILL HAPPEN!

2. Locals will love YOU more if you’re solo. Just saying…

Yup. Totally true. Think about it. Are you more comfortable approaching a crowd of friends, or an individual? Okay, this is probably not the way locals think, BUT as a solo female traveller you’re generally more aware of your surroundings (instead of focused on friends), which means locals are more comfortable approaching you – and if you’re gut says it’s cool, chatting with locals can be an amazing experience.

3. Dudes will do stuff for you! Even if you can do it yourself!

I know, this one could get me some hate mail from my fellow female travellers, but it’s totally true. In many countries having fiercely independent solo women walking around is kind of odd. They’re curious. Think of it this way… when you’re at home, do you do EVERYTHING yourself, or do you let your boyfriend/fiancé/husband do things for you that you know you can do yourself? Occasionally guys like to do stuff. It makes them feel all manly and stuff. Same thing happens on the road. If you’re safety radar is not going off, let them. Seriously.

4.You don’t have to have LONG discussions about what you should see, or do!

Ugh. Travel is such a personal experience, and having to compromise can seriously suck – especially if YOU seem to be the only person making compromises throughout a trip (Been there, done that). As a solo traveller you have complete control. YOU make the decisions. If you want to stay in bed and watch Sex in the City on your laptop while eating that expensive roll of oreos you bought at the corner shop, you can! Yes, being solo means you can be a selfish bitch. Except you’re solo. So really you’re just being good to yourself!

5.You can be ANYONE you want to be!

This is not meant to be creepy, I promise. As a solo female traveller it seems like you get asked the same lame questions, like all the time. Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have a boyfriend? Do you have kids? Why are you not married? Why you travel alone? and so on and so forth. It can be a tad annoying to answers these all the time, unless you have fun with it. When travelling solo it’s important to have fun, so switch things up! Pretend you’re someone else and totally make up answers. Be creative. Tell someone you have like 12 kids and that’s why you have to travel alone. Have fun with it.

6.You can take a TON of self portraits and NOT look vain!

If a girl is out with her friends, and the only photos she is taking is of herself, she’s shallow and vain. Come on, we ALL think she is being shallow and vain. She’s with friends! Now, if she were to travel solo and take photos of herself, we wouldn’t think anything about it. Why? Because she is rocking it solo style and merely documenting her travel life, and that is totally cool.

7.YOU are living proof that ANYTHING is possible

There is some prejudice about solo women and travel, but as a solo female traveller YOU are living proof that ANYTHING is possible. The world is completely open to you. Solo travel is NOT scary, it’s one of the best experiences you will ever have. Think, but don’t over-think. Be bold, but not brazen. Challenge fears, but not safety. Take the person you are at home, and multiply your awesomeness by a thousand when you’re travelling solo.

Your turn, ladies! Why do YOU think Solo Female Travel is AWESOME! Be serious, humorous, and open-minded.

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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20 Responses

  1. Rashod

    Thanks of your lovely article.
    Travelling is all so my favorite ever !! Try out travel in Sri Lanka.A place like no other.!!

    And I would like to invite you to add your blog posts at http://www.myshouter.com , The smartest way to shear your social bookmarks.
    Thank You,

    Reply
  2. Sally

    Totally agree that people tend to be more open to talking to you when you’re solo. This was especially true in Japan, where people tend to be pretty shy to begin with. And are even MORE shy if there’s a language barrier involved. But when I was on my own, I would often find myself approached by random strangers who just wanted to chat & find out where I was from/what I was doing in Japan. This hardly ever happened to me when I was traveling with a friend.

    Reply
  3. brandica13

    When you get an icky stomach from travelling, you don’t have to worry about offending anyone else in the room with your problem. LOL

    Reply
  4. Alouise

    Great reasons. I especially love #4. Usually when traveling with my friends we end up having a conversation that goes like this…
    “Where should we go for dinner?”
    “How about here”
    “I don’t know about that place. What about this place?”
    “I’m not sure…”
    “Well we could try that Italian place the taxi driver recommended.”
    “No I don’t want Italian…”

    Ad naseum, etc. It’s nice when I travel alone I can just do what I want, within reason of course (I’m not going to do some illegal, unsafe, or irresponsible).

    Reply
  5. 'Xander

    Thanks for the insight, solo female travelers like yourself help to give piece of mind to fathers who are learning to let go of their daughters. Mine is only two. It’s empowering to teach our children that self discovery needs to be done. Also married couples that choose solo travel makes for great conversation when the spouse returns. Husbands get bitchy too.

    Reply
    • Pamela

      ‘Xander!!!! Long time, no speak! You’re little girl is adorable (I cyber stalk you on Instagram). Looks like life is treating you well. 🙂

      Reply
  6. Stacey M

    I get hassled alllllllll the time about why i travel alone. What i tell people – If i sat around waiting for everyone else to want to join me on epic adventures i’d never get anywhere.

    So – When i want something i go get it and the fact i have to do it on my own? OH WELL. I won’t let anything get in my way. Not lack of travel companions and not fear of what could happen to me because i’m a female.

    I hope you enjoyed Winnipeg and the epic meal on the river! I’m a friend of Gillians – she mentioned your blog to me. I love it!

    Reply
  7. Londoner Kate

    Haha the most awesome and entertaining post from the #WeGoSolo thread so far.

    These are exactly the reasons I want to go travelling solo. Point 5. I will say I work as a Lion tamer, in-between playing drums professionally and climbing mountains.

    Reply
  8. Amy

    Love this! I’m a tiny bit late to the #WeGoSolo game but I’m definitely on board! All your reasons are right on. And it’s so funny because I didn’t realize until the recent controversy that there were so many of us women solo travelers. I’m just now getting looped in with you and everyone else I’m discovering. Nice to meet you! Looking forward to reading more.

    Reply
    • Pamela

      I hope you’ll join the Twitter chat tomorrow at 11am EST! Just follow the #WeGoSolo hashtag. I’ll be hosting. 🙂

      Reply
  9. Steph | A Nerd At Large

    Amen to #4! The vortex of frittering away time and energy on conversations like this:

    “What do you want to?”
    “I dunno what do you want do to?”
    “I’m easygoing, what do you want to do?”

    makes me want to poke my eye out half the time. When I go solo I can make decisions on the fly and indulge my quirky tastes and not worry about disappointing anyone. If I want to go to the Museum of Soil Science or spend half a day tracking down a gnome sanctuary there’s no one standing in my way.

    Reply
  10. Vicki - Way Out Far

    I *love* travelling with my husband. We have the best time and also make the effort to interact with locals and other travellers. You can have fun with two – it’s not all awkward decisions and compromise!

    To all those solo travellers out there – you carry on doing what you’re doing and don’t take any notice when people judge your decisions. You’re having the time of your lives!

    Reply
  11. Solomate Travel

    It’s refreshing to hear someone being so positive about something many people are so scared of – we need more advocates like you on the side of solo travel.

    Reply
  12. The Ups and Downs of Solo Travel | Savoir Faire Abroad

    […] Travelling alone definitely has its benefits. I’m usually more open, which makes it easier to interact with locals. I can get up at the crack of dawn and wander the quiet streets of a new city/village without having to drag someone along with me. I can be utterly lazy and stay inside all day long if I need a rest day. It’s complete freedom. Empowering even. […]

    Reply

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