When I told my family I was going to take a solo woman travel trip, their reactions surprised me. They hugged me and told me they were extremely proud of my adventurous spirit.
The reaction I received from everyone else was more along the lines of what I expected.
Everyone was quick to tell me how dangerous the world was. That traveling alone as a female was insane. That I should make other arrangements and find someone to go with me.
The truth is that the world is just as beautiful, fun, and safe when traveling alone as a solo woman traveler. Just like with any trip, if you do your research, listen to your instincts, and make smart choices—there is nothing to fear.
I often hear from other solo woman travelers that once they took their first trip alone, it was hard to go back to group travel.
Something that has always been so alluring to me about travel is the idea of being free:
- Free from people who know you.
- Free from expectations.
- Free to meet new friends.
- Free to come and go as you please.
This is especially true with solo woman travel.
Listening To Your Gut Instincts
In my experience, the most valuable advice has always come from my gut. Whenever I am meeting new people or exploring a new place, my instincts tend to guide me in the right direction. If I have a bad feeling about someone or something, I don’t even risk it.
When traveling solo, be aware of your surroundings.
Are you in a place that is safe during the day but maybe not at night? These are the kinds of questions you want to be able to answer right away. As a solo travel woman, I try to always check into hostels. Where you stay is a great (and usually safer) way to meet other solo travelers.
Recommendations and Camaraderie at Hostels
Chatting with the people who run your place of lodging is also a great way to get insider information about the area you’re visiting. In my experiences, the workers are usually travelers just like myself. I ask about the neighborhood, restaurants, activities, and recommended safety precautions.
Traveling solo means you get to choose when you want to be around other people or spend some one-on-one time with yourself. Take advantage of this luxury and enjoy the freedom of coming and going as you please.
When making new friends, you’ll also want to pay close attention to your gut instincts. Just because someone else is a traveler, doesn’t mean they have no ill intentions. As sad as it is to say, being a solo travel woman can put a target on your back.
The way I travel with friends is different from when I am alone.
I try to be more reserved and cautious as a solo female traveler. Saying yes to jumping in cars and driving to secret beach parties is something I would do with a group, but not alone. Following locals to a hidden diving hole is another perfect example of something I have done with friends but wouldn’t do alone.
It is good to know the difference and act accordingly.
Be Flexible: The Less Plans The Better
While we all have certain plans we’d like to make or things we’d like to see when traveling, you never know what amazing things may happen if you let yourself go along for the ride.
Depending on the type of traveler you are, this may be a given—or a real challenge. Either way, I can’t stress enough how rewarding travel can be when you’re least expecting it. Some of the coolest places I have visited were from unplanned moments.
When starting a new trip, I always book lodging for my first night or two. The rest is a loose plan or idea of where I want to go or what I hope to see. You’ll find that the fewer plans you have mapped out, the more you can say “yes” to spur-of-the-moment things.
This Is A Judgment Free Travel Zone
Try to go into every new situation with an open mind. Judgment is the best way to close yourself off from a new experience, place, or person. I can guarantee you will encounter situations that are completely foreign to you when abroad—the best thing to do is embrace them.
Just because someone or something is different from what you are accustomed to, doesn’t mean it is wrong or bad. Take the time to get to know your surroundings before making a judgment.
Partaking in the culture you are immersing yourself in is a gift both for yourself and for those who are hosting you.
Appreciate The Little Things
I have been to my fair share of developing countries, some without access to clean water, electricity, healthy food, or even basic freedoms.
Because of these experiences, I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life; things we often take for granted on a daily basis, like wifi, fully stocked fridges, access to education, and comfortable beds of our own.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the never-ending, fast-paced societies we live in, but there’s nothing more powerful than taking a step back and realizing how good we really do have it.
Be Happy & Positive: They Are Contagious Emotions
There is something about strapping on my backpack and setting off on a new adventure that brings a full smile to my face. This feeling of pure bliss is contagious.
When you are happy and positive, other people are drawn to you. Have you noticed how quickly you can get to know a stranger while abroad?
Back home, we can become so closed off to the daily grind of our lives. We can forget to smile, be kind, and appreciate all the little things.
One of the coolest things about traveling is the community of people who are sharing this same love with you. So remember that when you are out there in this wide, crazy, funky, world to just allow yourself to be happy.
Shit happens. Maybe you missed your train or flight or whatever mini-disaster that is trying to wreck your time. I’m telling you—don’t let it steal your vibe.
Laughing off chaos or disappointment always opens up the door for a new opportunity.
Navigating Solo Woman Travel Around the World: Anything Is Possible If You Set Your Mind To It
Many people have this idea that traveling to the other side of the world, writing a book, landing a dream job or even meeting new friends are things that are difficult to make happen.
People get stuck in their routines, jobs, relationships, and lifestyles. It’s easy to forget that we can and should make changes to help better ourselves. For me, this means sharing my solo woman travel passion with others.
This past year, I started a blog for travelers to share experiences and stories.
The blog is open to all types of travelers out there. If you would like to share your experience and write a solo woman travel blog, get in touch! I’m always looking for inspiring woman (and men) to tell their worldly stories—taking away lessons for my own global adventures.
All Images Photo Credit: Joanna Rose Flug
A writer, traveler, and outdoor enthusiast looking to inspire travel for all those who love to explore the world. Joanna Flug-entin is a blogger at Off The Beaten Path Travels (OTBP Travels), a place for travelers to come together and share stories, experiences, and secrets from around the world.