Solo Female Travellers- The Myths painted about us
Thanks to the process of building Solocal, I have met many amazing female travellers, and I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me to listen to their stories. During the time I have spent with them, I noticed that we talked a lot about the misconceptions a lot of people seem to be having about us. It seems there’s some unrealistic painted pictures of and here are just a few:
We are single, lonely and desperate
Many people have the belief that we travel alone simply because we have no other choices. They feel we are either lonely or heart-broken. Yes, traveling may be a cure for broken hearts but most of us travel solo out of a positive angle: mostly to see how far we can go for ourselves and how much we can achieve. About half of the solo female travelers I know are actually married or in a relationship. It's not like we do not have loving and beautiful friends to travel with -which we do from time to time- but the thing is, sometimes, taking the road by ourselves serves as a treat to our body, mind, and soul.
So for anyone having this misconception about solo female travelers, do not expect to find us in bars waiting for someone to come and "comfort" us, and you'll probably find us much more difficult to ‘pick up’ as we do know when and how to say no. We are comfortable in our own skin and with our own company.
We keep to ourselves
Growing up with the motto "do not talk to strangers" embedded in our brains, many people would assume that the safest way to travel is by listening to "trusted sources" and staying away from random people on the street. While this might be true for a kid, we solo female travellers do not travel with this notion.
We have learnt that most people are kind, friendly, and willing to help whenever the need arises. We are of the belief that the best way to enjoy a trip while staying away from trouble is to open our mouth -to converse, make new friends, discover interesting things, or ask for a favor.
Now, don't get me wrong; making new friends and every other characteristics I mentioned above does not mean we'll get into a stranger's car alone, accept an invite to someone's house, or just take a dark route that was pointed to us. We are "travel smart", and we are equipped with our experience and senses that act as radars and guides to keep us safe.
We always look fabulous
If you are an Instagram user, you probably have seen the shots of a beautiful girl in a fabulous dress, looking all relaxed and happy at an exotic place. Yes we adore those photos as well. However, we do not really know how those girls manage to always look fabulous and we really do not envy them.
This is because we need to be dressed for any circumstances, you often find us in our normal gear: hair-band, t-shirt, hiking pants and shoes. It is not like we cannot look fabulous, as a matter of fact, we can look pretty for a night out, but the truth is, our back pack does not really have the space for high heels, the hair straightener or make-ups. Oh, and many of us actually would choose to ‘dress down’ to avoid unwanted attentions when we travel to some cultures.
We are braver
Some people would say that we are braver than the others, but that’s not true. We are just like every other girl around you. Only we have learnt that the world is not a dangerous place like the media has made it look like. I have been to Vietnam when they were having a riot against the Chinese. I have been to Turkey when there was a terrorist attack, I have been to Thailand when there was a military coup; they are all fine as long as you follow the rules and you use your common sense like you would do when you are at home! You would get robbed on the street of London, just as you may get robbed on the street of Chiang Mai if you do not choose or behave wisely.
So if you have a place you always wanted to go but no one to go with you, please just book it and go. Or if you hear a woman who’s decided to travel on her own, have some faith in her and the world.
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