Last September 2017, I got to stop dreaming, I left everything I had acquired and actually experienced MY SOLO ADVENTURE.
5 months, over 7000 km solo through South and Central America, 1 backpack, 1 journal, a vast range of hostels‘ dorms & hammocks to make a bed, countless buses, boats & planes, and a lot of energy & space to let my spirit run free!
I am a female solo traveler and I want to encourage other women to do the same. Travelling solo can be a daunting experience but this trip went beyond my expectations and was more enriching that I could have ever imagined. I came back stronger, wiser, and even more confident and courageous than before.
If you have a yearning for adventure but are worried at the prospect of traveling alone here are my 5 top reasons to encourage women to pursue this life enhancing experience and thrive as an independent woman.
1. You will not be alone (even though you are alone…)
I got to meet plenty of us solo female travelers wandering. Despite the fear and warnings that we had received back home, I was pleased to see that, like me, other brave and independent girls had worked hard to conquer their fears, saved up money, follow their hearts, chase their own goals and dreams to explore. Also I found as a woman travelling solo, you will find that people are interested or intrigued by you. They are inspired, want to talk and hear your experience.
2. Traveling alone is not as scary as you may think
In my opinion, traveling alone is not as scary as one thinks. It might seem frightening because you are away from what is known to you and your comfort zone, but with caution, common sense, courage and confidence (known in the traveling world as the 4 C´s), anyones journey should go smoothly.
Even with the 4 C’s firmly ingrained, staying alert is essential.Luckily, I personally did not suffer any major issues of danger.However I did experience verbal harassment, catcalls, suggested looks that made me feel very uncomfortable and angry. Unfortunately this can be hard to avoid in some countries but taking time to understand the local area, talking to people in the hostels and knowing how to avoid any high risk areas can keep this to a minimum.
Going on adventures is what makes me happiest, and I would never let these incidents scare me away from it.
3. Traveling solo builds courage
The fact of taking the decision to head off on a solo adventure takes courage. Especially as women, there are more things to consider I believe. We evaluate, imagine, deduce and analyze what the ‘reality’ of travelling alone will be; the mere process of doing so is already courageous. I think it is a healthy boost for our self-esteem too. In a way, it is satisfying to take things in your own hands and make careful decisions.
4. You will return home a more confident person than you were before
Taking the plunge is already a confidence booster. Traveling solo means you have to make decisions and learn to trust yourself. The entire experience of doing things on your own is a fabulous opportunity for personal development. Moreover, we are used to being faced with the unknown and dealing with problems on our own; taking decisions quickly or intuitively also develop confidence.
5. Traveling alone forces you to figure out and trust who you are and how you want to live your life
My travels have taught me to be comfortable with enjoying time on my own. I live to be free and humble, and believe that being at peace with oneself makes you a better person. I also learnt to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. Every new perspective or events have shaped me as the person that I want to be.
Matthew Karsten, an expert vagabond, said:
“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.”
I could not agree more with this quote and will keep on exploring the world and be as spontaneous and free as I can – be daring, be free!
Author: Chloe is a young Australian & French woman who loves sports and nature. She has been working in Madrid, Spain for the past 3 years, and has backpacked extensively on her own through Europe, Oceania, Africa, North America and lately Latin America. She is a fierce advocate of gender equality and helps spread the UN message of Empower Women on a voluntary basis (#HeforShe). She is also an animal lover and has volunteered in rescue centers in Costa Rica and Australia. Chloe would love to make a bigger impact on wildlife protection in the future. Feel free to get in touch! (LinkedIn + FB)