These days women empowerment is a very hot topic, as has been shown by the Women’s Marches that have taken in the US and all over the world on the first day of the new US President’s mandate. Strong, confident women with public profiles are continuously reminding us of the fight at hand: for employment, health, and rights in general.
And what about for traveling?
As a woman solo traveler, one of the first questions you’ll be answering when meeting people is: “Are you traveling alone?”. The answer might leave your audience perplexed, perhaps concerned for you, or in admiration.
“Do you feel safe?”
A not-so-friendly answer to that is (especially when it is a man asking): “Would you feel safe, if you were a woman traveling alone?”
A less aggressive answer: “Well, yes, most of the time, but of course I need to take precautions and be careful not to be alone in isolated places”.
In principle, nothing wrong with that.
But what about when the places you are visiting are dotted with beautiful, peaceful, wondrous isolated places?
And what about when you’re traveling alone through countries with a particularly chauvinistic culture?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with approaching other travelers, especially other women traveling alone, and asking to join you, or join them, in some sightseeing. There is also nothing wrong about expressing your concerns with security. Most men might struggle to grasp the nature of your concerns, but generally they will not diminish them.
You might want to forget about meditating alone in isolated places, like the beautiful Hampi ruins, and think twice about wandering after sunset to find a local spot to eat, unless you remain on main, crowded roads.
I’m afraid I don’t have many more recommendations for this often overlooked issues, except for: don’t overlook it.
As you’re reading the Lonely Planet guide, and start daydreaming about this fantastic waterfall, slightly off the beaten tourist track, make a mental note that if you really want to visit it, you should find temporary travel companions.
At the cost of ending this post on too much of a heavy note, remember that it’s better to be safe, than be sorry…but also remember to have a great time, you may be solo traveling, but you’ll never be alone!