Solo women traveling has been a topic for me too few times in my few years of traveling around the world to make it a topic for the blog. But as I read around so many questions, I said, let’s share some of my secrets in an interview with myself:
If will be to make a top three, in which places around the world you faced problems traveling alone?
CUBA. The country with the most harassing people I ever met in my entire travel life: 4 years, +65 countries. I could never imagine there can be something like this: to follow you on the streets, restaurants, life music concerts, you barely can talk to somebody who doesn’t see as a passport with legs or a dollar with legs. Of course don’t everybody is like this, but there are so many that you get very exhausted.
India and Egypt, I don’t know which one comes first. In Egypt I found men more aggressive and the women to have a low status in the society, but in India, the woman is respected, and she’s in the core of the family. But on the other hand in India they look at you, sometimes they touch you, they take pictures with you, and who knows what else that you don’t even know.
The advantage of Cuba is that if you’re with at least one more person(even she’s female), they don’t bother you, but in India they take pictures to both of you. Also in Cuba the harassment is towards tourist in general, for the money in special, and maybe a bit more annoying with the women, but the men traveling alone are also very harassed.
How would you describe yourself as a solo woman traveling?
I’m an independent woman, who knows what she wants, where to look for it and especially how to get it. I never thought I need a men to get to a certain place.
How do you manage yourself as a solo woman traveling?
As a solo women traveling, I change it with: What are your strong-points as solo woman traveler?
- I’m outgoing. A woman alone will make friends easier. A solo woman traveling will open a discussion or will make you a discussion easier than a group.
I try to be with people always so in this way I have more chances of making friends and I avoid being harassed. This is quite easy as I’m a human person, I need to be with people to charge my batteries, I love to discover inspiring stories.
- I’m smart and pretty and I use it. One has to use the best she has in order to make the best of it. I’m not the nicest person in the world, but traveling has thought me to smile, be nice and courteous, even I’m angry, if it is needed.
Read the last paragraph in the decent, moral and ethical way.
- I’m free or determined however you want to call it. If I want to do a certain hike I do it, if I want to just enjoy a coffee and chat with the interesting guy from the bar I do it. If I want to know that girl’s story I’m going to figure it out. If I want to learn to dance salsa, you can bet I did.
- I won a collection of aftershocks for improper questions people ask me as a woman and which I know they’ll never ask a men:
Do you have children?: No, I’m too young for that, the world is such a beautiful place, that one has to live.
Are you married?: No, thank God! We in Europe get married late, we don’t have so many children any more. Yes, it’s a problem in the society, but what to do with these young people who have such a great life and they take advantage of it.
Maybe you’ll find your love here and you will marry a Cuban/Peruvian/Colombian, etc?: I’m sorry. It’s too late for them. I like Europeans. As they say in my home country: gusturile nu se discuta – the personal taste is not a subject for discussion.
Why are you traveling alone as a woman, don’t you have a friends?: Yes I do, they are all around the world. We’re going to meet in 4 months in New Zealand. That’s gonna be a party!
What is your family saying about you being away alone?: They sent me to travel. They told me there is no better school in life than traveling. So I listen to my parents.
and the list goes on. If you have a particular question or you want more examples, just write me.
What are the downsides of a solo woman traveler?
Downside is a cliche. Is like saying what are the downsides of being born told or white or brown-hair as an adult. None. Being a woman is not a handicap, is just a person who has a different set of weapons to fight with that the ones our ancestors used. There are no downsides as a woman traveling alone. Is just your mind that has to break the society cliche and learn to take advantage of it. Is basically moving out of your comfort zone.
If you ask me if I ever felt I need I need somebody (man or woman, doesn’t matter) to travel to a certain place. No, but I’ll never travel alone to Cuba again.
What would you say to the women who are afraid to travel alone?
I will not treat women as a different species. And nobody has to treat them different.
This is why I named this post Solo women traveling? A topic for men – men in the sense as persons.
Women are humans as the men, and they can book their own plane ticket, accommodation, couchsurfing, tour, talk to the guy from the bar, introduce herself to the group who is waiting for the same bus, they can order in the same restaurant and even get a better service. Of course there are times where as a woman traveling alone you’ll be more exposed, but just be conscious of your strong-points and use them.
I would love to hear stories of women who broke their fair of traveling alone and start exploring the world.
Traveling is not easy in general: it takes courage, determination, strong will, perseverance to break stereotypes, myths, cliches. Don’t lie to yourself and believe it’s just not easy because you are woman, that’s a trap of your mind to sabotage you and don’t go travel. It’s as difficult for men as it’s for women.
So Ladies, set your mindset right, travel more and feel free to write me and share your inspiring story with the others. This world is for all of you!