Solo female travel. Some women would never dream of taking a trip alone. Other women fantasize about it. And some of us do it – and revel in it!
How many of you women have traveled alone – as in gone somewhere, overnight, not to visit family or friends, and had a true vacation by yourself? If you haven’t, you might want to try it, at least once. It may not be for you. That’s fine. For those of us who have traveled alone, and who LOVE it, the thought of traveling with someone is daunting. Confining. Restrictive. But, I get it. It’s not for everyone.
But, I’m not here to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. I guess I just want you to know that you can do it. If you’ve thought about it, but maybe been intimidated by solo travel, I’m here to tell you that it’s safe – and it’s incredibly freeing.
Sure, you have to take certain precautions. Common sense should always be the rule of the day in all aspects of your life. More so as you travel alone. Don’t stay out too late at night or have too much to drink. Stay away from shady parts of town. Be wary of people who give you a bad vibe. Trust your gut. Women’s intuition is very real!
Aside from that, traveling solo as a woman can be very empowering. For me, it wasn’t just about where I was and what I was seeing. Sure you learn about this incredible, exciting place you are visiting – its history and culture. But, often it’s more about the overall experience and, ultimately, you end up learning a helluva lot about yourself. That’s the power of solo female travel – self discovery.
And, you don’t have to go far from home. My first true solo trips came when I moved from Cincinnati to the Denver area of Colorado. I wanted to explore and photograph more of my new home state. But, it wasn’t always possible for a friend to go with me. So, I began venturing out on my own, driving to places like Lake City, Crested Butte and Ouray, for a weekend. I loved it! I could wake up at the crack of dawn to go photograph sunrise without disturbing anyone and I could simply wander my way, letting my instincts lead me to the best places to capture those special images. I have so many wonderful memories of these times on my own. And, I became more confident in myself – in all aspects of my life.
After several years of such trips, I was ready to take a longer excursion alone. I ended up choosing the Andalusia region of Spain. I researched where I wanted to go, but had no set plans. I spoke a little of the language. Why I chose this destination is still a mystery to me, but I think I wanted to go somewhere that would feel different. So, off I went for a 17 day trip. Was I scared? Hell yes! But, I was also very excited!! And, I loved it. It was incredibly empowering. It was fun. I met interesting people. And I even met a lovely Irish woman whom I am still friends with to this day. Did I have times that I was lonely? Never. If I wanted to meet someone and have a conversation, I simply talked to someone who I knew spoke English. Did I ever have a time when I didn’t feel safe? Nope. I came back to Colorado a changed woman – a woman who I loved even more than the one I was before that fateful trip.
I have since taken many excursions alone – both international and right here in the US. Solo travel really isn’t for everyone. Some women will just never feel comfortable. But, if you have thought about it – wanted to do it – try it. Just once. Go somewhere nearby to start with. See how it feels. It may be baby steps for some. For others, well, you might be ready to simply dive in.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my personal stories as well as stories of other women who have traveled solo. I’m a firm believer that it is one of the best things you, as a woman, can do for yourself.