In one week, I’ll be in Bali and at the start of my SE Asia adventure. In 10 days, I’d have been travelling for two months. What better way to mark these two occasions, with a reflection on what it means to be a solo female traveller.
Prior to leaving for Australia, I had so many people tell me that I was brave for travelling solo, especially going solo as a female. Others marvel at how I was able to do this, because they would never be able to.
My question then is: why not?
Im no different from other solo travellers. The one decision that we, as solo travellers, made was to go. To purchase that ticket and to leave comfort, familiarity, and everything we knew behind.
It’s really that simple.
What is it about travelling alone that frightens so many women? Sure, there’s the obvious- safety- but if you exercise common sense and take the necessary precautions, you’ll be fine. Is it the knowledge that you’ll be completely alone, to some degree? Or is it the fact that in addition to that knowledge, we’re scared of being alone and of the change that that brings?
I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea on what it meant to be truly alone. Being born and raised in Vancouver, meant that I not only got to know a lot of people..but I seriously became acquainted with the phrase: two degrees of separation.
Everywhere I went, familiarity was all around. Whether it be the place I was in, or the people I knew. I was never truly alone. Temporarily, yes…but nothing more. It never occurred to me that I didn’t know how to be alone- that is until I landed in Australia.
Travelling solo forces you to be alone. Sure, you’ll meet other travellers, but for the most part…you’ll find that you do have time to yourself. For me, it was a massive shock to the system-I was too used to knowing the places and people I saw and hung out with. In hindsight, I needed it.
Learning to go solo has been an extremely liberating experience. You realize so much more about yourself, what you’re capable of and where you may struggle a bit. You learn to be independent- truly independent.
I used to think that I knew what being independent meant….in some ways, I did. In many other ways, it was an eye opening experience. When you’re in a different country, you can’t call family if you’re in a pinch, or contact friends for a random hang out. They’re simply not in the same country as you. You learn to deal with things on your own, and to be okay doing things alone…from something as simple as sitting in a café alone to exploring the city you’re in alone.
Travelling solo is one thing that I believe everyone has to experience. It was hard initially, but I have no regrets and believe that it’s the best thing that I could have done for myself. Im only in month two and look forward to the coming months and to the continuing journey that Im on.
Cheers to being a solo traveller. Try travelling alone and you might just amaze yourself. Who knows, our paths might cross one day and if that’s the case…come by and say hi to another fellow traveller. I don’t bite 😉