Traveling has always being my passion and since I was a child I always wanted to travel the world. Not necessarily alone, but yeah things can always change.Is it safe traveling the world as solo female? I’m sure many of you -girls and guys- asked this question and many more.
It is, I can tell you. I am the one of them. I got inspired to travel alone by my best friend Noelle. She would always travel alone and always said that it’s the best way to do that. She definitely was right! When five months ago I quit my job and decided to travel, many of my friends were asking who am I going with. The answer was alone. You should see their faces, but as well I heard many times “That’s amazing”, “I admire you” or “You are so brave Juli..” etc.
Here there are some questions I hear often:
“Are you alone? What are you running from?”
“Do you have a boyfriend?”. “Where are your friends?”. I have to say those are the most annoying of all questions. Why if you travel alone, you have to run away from something? I didn’t plan to travel alone, though. On my six-month trip around Asia, almost everyone assumed that I was running from a failed relationship, or some other disaster in my life. They were partially right. I was broken hearted… I was seeking release and needed to find myself out again. But as well after all, I decided to travel on my own because I thought it would be great to challenge myself and figure out how much I can achieve just be myself. But of course NOT every girl traveling alone has to be running away from something…Sometimes, even though they do have couples, they wanna travel alone. Sometimes it’s because not all our friends can or want to travel-especially for a long period. It is as well a great experience and you actually can meet a lot of people, make good friends, learn new things-not just about life, but mostly about yourself. Traveling alone doesn’t make me a spinster.
I do have friends back home and all over the world, believe me. 🙂
I traveled with those people for two months. We became great friends. Miss you guys!
“Aren’t you worried you’ll get attacked?”
As I mentioned before, any girl/woman can be attacked even in her hometown, if she’s not careful enough. That’s why you never should trust anyone “too much”, at least at the beginning. I have always been careful with those things. Usually I trust my intuition more than anyone else. I know from the beginning if I will like “that” person, if we’ll be good friends, travel buddies or just have a short talk about stuff and that’s all. Whenever I’m traveling somewhere and meeting people on the way, depending on “how I feel” with them..sometimes I’m saying that I’m traveling with friends, or I will meet my friends in couple of days here or there. It’s just safer to say those things than say that you actually travel alone. I always stay in budget backpackers hostels, where there is a lot of different people, and it’s much easier to make new friends. Many of them travel in groups, couples, friends or alone- but those last ones usually are guys. It’s different of course, there is no danger for them. Anyways you always find people that you can hang around with, go to eat, visit and especially go to party. Party places, are the most dangerous ones. Drinking alcohol, sometimes too much, sex, many people, drunk people… I am not saying that during your solo travel you have to become a nun. What I’m trying to say is, that always is better to meet people from hostel that you can hang out with, trust and go partying all together. It’s just not only nicer to be surrounded by people you already know and feel good with, but it’s definitely safe! Going back late at night, is much better in group than alone. Even taxi sharing is cheaper.
“Are you eating alone?”
Yes, I do.
Other important fact when you travel, is to where and what to eat. You may not think about it before, but it’s harder to decide it while you are in big group than being alone. Now you will say that it’s awkward or weird to eat alone, what people will think etc. No it is not, believe me. Have you ever ate alone at home or somewhere in your hometown? It’s almost the same thing and if you didn’t, just try it. It’s actually good way to meet other travelers or even local people. Many times while eating alone, some other travelers talked, or joined me. Once in Hanoi I went to eat alone(yes even though I have friends here) and this one guy sitting next to me, started a chat. He even tried to help me with renting a room, as I was planning to live here. We never changed our Facebook etc. However backpackers world is so small and I met him same night at the party. We continued talking and had fun. Or when I went to Malaysia to meet there with my sister, first week I was alone. One day eating in an Indian restaurant, a whole family joined me. Then Couchsurfing I met so many nice people. As you see it is not so bad. I never felt weird or awkward eating alone, but of course that depends, not everyone is the same. Of course I didn’t eat alone every time during those six months. I like the company of my friends and people I meet on the way. It’s fun 🙂
Couchsurfing in Johor Bahru – Malaysia
“Do you ever get lonely?”
It would actually be hard to count how many hours I spent alone. There was always someone to talk to, to travel with. So I did not feel lonely, sometimes I even needed to go and do something on my own to enjoy the solitude and nature, to think and reflect. I like to have my own space from time to time, so I think there’s not such a thing like being lonely. Of course I miss my friends and family so badly. The worse time was after the first month. I was alone, but not lonely. I just missed my all friends and family so so much that for a moment I thought to go back. However, I decided to give myself a bit more time and to see how things will go. Six months later I still miss them but it’s much easier. Nowadays we have so many ways to contact our loved ones, facebook, skype, whatsaap phonecalls etc. etc. Now if you think that it is not possible for you to not feel lonely, I gotta tell you that traveling alone is the best way to learn how to be alone but not lonely!! So do not worry, grab a coffee and your favorite book, or write a journey. Don’t be scared to spend some time with yourself….
I think, now after six months on the way, I can say that the only bad thing of traveling solo, is saying good bye…
So as you can see there is definitely no reason to be afraid of traveling alone even if you are a girl. I would say be cautious but not scared. Act confident even if you are not.
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