How is it to be a female solo traveler on the road?

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Whenever I tell I like to travel alone or meet people on the road while I am traveling by myself I often get some questions related to how it is to be a female solo traveler on the road. I thought it would be helpful to show the questions I get most of the time, and my answers to it.

Why would you even wánt to do that?

The most common question. Usually from friends and family back home and people I meet who don’t really travel themselves. Sometimes they tell me it is cool, but that they would never do it themselves, but more often I get a totally unintelligible response from people who really don’t understand why the heck I would go to see the world, ALONE.

To the people who think I am cool I try to explain why I do it. That it is a great experience, that you learn so much about yourself and that you can go see the world anytime you want. You don’t have to wait for a friend to come along or make compromises about the destination and activities. You can do entirely what yóu want and you meet tons of people on the road to hang out with.

To the people who don’t understand me at all and think I am weird (which I probably am, at least in their eyes), I try to avoid conversation. I tried to explain those people several times already why, but our views of life usually turn out to be too different and it just leads to frustration. Now I just go on about some other subject we do have in common and its all fine.

Don’t you have friends to come with you?

Some people tend to pity me. Don’t I have friends? Of course I do. And many want to join me as well. The thing is, I actually really like traveling alone once in a while. You don’t have to compromise that much and meet different kind of people when traveling together. Especially when my friends have different ideas of traveling and don’t always have as much time as I do (but more money), it can be difficult. But no worries, I really like travel with my friends as well if I get the chance.

How is that safe?

Also a really common question. I know we female solo travellers have to think more about our safety then our male counterparts, but still.. It can get a bit annoying. Lately, when I was traveling together with a friend people seemed to be very worried about me when we were going different directions soon, but not about him at all. And some of the friends I travel with can be really bad in lets say, finding directions or getting a proper place to sleep at night.. so it would definitely be a reason to be worried about them as well.

But to be honest, yes, safety can be an issue. I just don’t think that should keep a woman from traveling on her own. Things can happen anywhere and what is life without taking some risks? Should I just stay at home because that is supposed to be the safest place in the world? That we females don’t get the same treatment as men – still – is in my opinion more an issue of society instead of an issue of traveling alone. We are dealing with stereotypes everyday. Luckily, we have our female intuition as well. Intuition and common sense are my best friends when traveling alone. When going in a certain car doesn’t feel right, I don’t do it. I always let some of my friends know where I am while hitchhiking and I text my family regularly to keep them up to date as well. When being alone in a city I don’t know with new friends I make sure I don’t get drunk and always carry the address with me of the place I am staying at. Trusting on your intuition and using your common sense already can protect you a lot while on the road.

Don’t you get lonely?

Yes, sometimes it can get lonely. It’s the price you have to pay for getting yourself out of your comfort zone. But it’s okay, because the times I meet new interesting people and have a blast are usually happening way more often then the times I feel lonely. When traveling, you can feel like the loneliest person on earth as well as totally on top of the world. But isn’t life always like that?

I would like to travel as well, but I am too afraid/don’t know where to start/how to do this.

This is one of the questions I really like to get. I love it when people show genuine interest in my lifestyle and are up for trying it out themselves! Even if they (think they are) not ready for it yet. I usually give them all the information I have and what I can think of to help. If they are dreaming already, there are always the resources to make it able to pursue their dreams.

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