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female travelers

Advice Solo Travel Travel Health & Wellness

5 Ways To Get Over Your Fear Of Solo Travel

Have you ever lusted over photos of people traveling around the world? Have you noticed the huge boom of people (not just millennials) transitioning their jobs and lifestyles to lead a more remote life? It may seem impossible to do, but it’s not as intimidating as you may think.

I’ve known for the last 15+ years of my life that I wanted to see the world. But, let’s be realistic… does anyone in their late teens/early 20’s think to themselves; I’m going to go by myself across the world and just see what happens. Actually, I’m sure that a ton of people do. But they’re much braver than most people are, myself included.  

Being a solo female traveler specifically can seem a little daunting, especially if you’ve read some of the horrific stories spiraling around the web these days. But on the flip side, there are also SO many wonderful stories of solo travel, for both men and women.

It’s all about having some basic street smarts, and a whole lot of open mindedness.

Personally, I never thought I would enjoy traveling solo. When I was younger, I never enjoyed doing things by myself. I was always the person who was surrounded by friends and entertainment.

In addition to that, I was always more quiet around new people. I always listened much more than I spoke (which is still true for the most part) and was talked over by many people in my life.

I hated being alone for the majority of my pre-teens until I was about 22 years old. That’s a really longtime to not be able to enjoy your own company, let alone to not even truly know yourself.

I remember actually having to force myself to do things alone, and it felt a little unfamiliar.Eventually, I grew to love it. More than love, I grew to crave it. I feel drained when I socialize too much and don’t have enough time for myself.

I think of myself as being an extroverted introvert. I am fully capable of being extroverted and communicating with people and socializing, but I also crave the days where you wander aimlessly just to explore on your own with no one else but yourself experiencing the moment.

I quickly learned that meeting people is no problem at all, in fact, I actually had to purposefully set time aside for myself because I had met so many fun, interesting people that I barely had any time otherwise!

These are a few sure fire ways to meet people traveling solo just like yourself…

Join A Walking Tour

Not only is this a great (and often free) way to get your bearings in a new city, but the nature of walking tours lends to easy conversation. Stopping for a group meal or drink also presents a great opportunity to socialize. 

Sign Up For An Organized Group Travel Tour

From day trips to multi-day adventures, small-group tours offer travel experiences that you aren’t able to access as an independent traveler, as well as an opportunity to form friendships — that can be lifelong — with the people you share the journey with. There are lots of highly affordable options, where you can choose your age group to travel with, well as your own custom tour of where you want to go.

Participate In A Few Touristy/Group Activities – Bar Crawls, Surfing, Yoga, Etc.

You may be able to find some fun group activities through social media, but also checkout what your hostel is hosting. A lot of times hostels will have sort of a community board or a big schedule where they arrange a day of surfing for everyone at the hostel, or a bar crawl throughout the town. It’s a really fun way to meet people and feel comfortable knowing that everyone will end up back at the same place.

Connect Online

There are now loads of apps designed to help travelers connect on the road. Tripr and Meetup help you meet people ahead of time who will be traveling to the same destinations. The Meetup community has almost 30 million members in 184 countries, so there’s a decent chance there will be an event of interest during your visit. EatWith allows you to attend a dinner party hosted by a local chef and can help you find and connect with other travelers willing to share advice, meet up or host you.

Stay In A Hostel

Look for hostels that have a cool shared space, as these can be great places to meet other travelers over a beer, while cooking meals or simply hanging out. Using apps and websites are great ways to find cheap hostels with photos and reviews!

Remember…magic happens outside of your comfort zone.

Advice Journal

How Men Can Be Better Allies To Solo Female Travelers

A few weeks ago, one of our favorite female travelers @lostwithpurpose received a message from one of her male followers asking how he and other men could be better allies to solo female travelers. We were so inspired reading her and her followers’ responses to this question! So much so that we asked our own Instagram followers to chime in on the subject.

After all, we need more male allies in our community. Having more men understand our dreams, needs and plights creates a more compassionate world. Today, we wanted to spotlight some of the reocurring points that were discussed!

To the men who are reading this post – before we begin – we want to thank you. Just by opening the link to this shows that your interest in supporting women who travel is real. We need more male allies like you!

 

Don’t Second Guess Our Desire To Do It Alone

It’s a thought many people (not just men) have – but we want to travel alone for our own reasons. We’re not weak. We don’t need a hand to hold to maneuver through the world. Our desire to go alone has nothing to do with our inability to find someone to go with. We may be traveling for mindfulness, for inner awareness and growth, for a personal challenge. Whatever our reason is, if we tell you we’re traveling by ourselves… instead of second guessing our intentions, support them!

We Might Be Afraid Of You – Please Don’t Take It Personally 

With the sad amount of horror stories we hear, understand that we might be fearful of the men we encounter in public. Our fight-or-flight senses may be on high alert when we see you on a street. Please, please do not take this personally. Maneuvering through the world independently as a woman can instill a serious sense of fear in us.

Be The Guy Who Steps In

Harassment (and the fear of harassment) is a real thing. If you see something, say something. We need more men who are able vocal enough to step in and stop unsafe behaviors that men often display towards women.

We’re Good, We Promise

On the other hand, when we say that we’ve got things under control, trust us! It can be difficult to express our need to be left alone, whether its for our own safety or for some quiet time. So, if we’re telling you that we’d like to go home or we have other plans – give us some space.

 

Understand The Crap We Put Up With

Put yourself in our shoes. Living our lives alone in unfamiliar places is intimidating enough! Now imagine the unfortunate “crap” we face – the catcalling, the harassment, the amount of time we worry if our outfits will draw negative attention. To understand our plight is to be our ally. We need more compassionate men to support us.

We’re Not Being Rude, We’re Being Private

When you ask us where we’re from, where we’re staying, how long we’ll be in town – understand that we might not be comfortable telling you our private information. Our guard may be up. We may have faced men who have invaded our privacy before. There’s nothing wrong in asking about our experiences, our favorite moments, what we look forward to… just know that when it comes to very private information, we may not be comfortable to share.

Be The Guy Who Amplifies Our Stories

Please, be the guy who is proud to share the stories of the many women traveling alone in this world! We need more of the beautiful, encouraging stories of solo female travelers on the headlines. We need more women to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to go it alone. You can help us. Be proud of the women adventurers out there… help us tell our stories!


Did we miss any ideas you have on how men can be better allies to solo female travelers? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Journal Stories

5 Female Travelers Your History Books Never Taught You About

It’s funny. Open up any history book from high school and you’ll probably see names of navigators, adventurers and explorers… all of which are men. In a world where more and more women are choosing travel and adventure as a means to celebrate life, dig deep into self-actualization and learn about cultures around the world, shouldn’t we be celebrate our fore-mothers? Who exactly are the women who began traveling the world before it was accepted as an equal domain? Today, we want to spotlight five female travelers your history books never taught you about. It’s our hope that showcasing these early badass travel babes that you’ll feel inspired and encouraged to see the world even more.

Jeanne Baré (1740-1807)

The First Woman To Circumnavigate The World

Born in the Loire Valley, this French explorer began as a lover of nature. In her early years, she gathered herbs for medicine and began training to be a herbal medicine doctor. She fell in love with another botanist and plant-lover, who took her under his wing as a teacher and aide… eventually inviting her on an expedition to discover new worlds as the crew’s “naturalist.”

Being a woman, Jeanne took on the name Jean, wrapped her chest in linen every day and hid her gender from the crew. However, she was outed while on the ship while in Tahiti, but was given allowance to continue on their journey until Mauritius. Sadly, Jeanne’s lover (and then husband) died while on the island and she returned to France with his body… completing her trip around the globe.

Jeanne is a prime example of a strong, fiercely curious and brave lover of nature. Her love for studying plants and the world did stay in the confines of her homeland.

Bessie Coleman

The First African-American Woman To Earn A Pilot’s License

Bessie Coleman’s career began as a manicurist in a Chicago barber shop. While working there, she would hear the amazing stories shared by the pilots who had returned home from World War I. These stories ignited her passion in flight, and she quickly began applying for American flight schools to begin her dream of becoming a pilot herself.

When no American flight schools would admit Bessie because of the color of her skin, she learned French, moved to Paris and began studying with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. There, she graduated and became the first African-American woman to earn an aviation pilot’s license.

Bessie’s tireless pursuit of her dreams, despite the racism and oppression forced upon her, is incredibly inspiring.

Junko Tabei

The First Woman To Scale Mount Everest

Junko Tabei, a five foot tall, 92 pound Japanese woman conquered Mount Everest. During her ascent, an avalanche burned her team’s camp and left her briefly unconscious. After coming to, she finished the climb. But Junko’s amazing mountainous adventures don’t just stop there. She is also the first woman to complete all Seven Summits – the highest peaks on every continent, and reach the highest peaks in 70+ countries (including Antarctica).

What’s most staggering about Junko’s successes is her own story. After graduating college, Junko created a women’s only climbing club and was told she should be “raising children instead.” But no negative words stopped Junko’s drive. A mother of a young daughter, editor of a science magazine and English and piano teacher, Junko hustled hard to fund her travels. She also created one of the first all-women expeditions. After learning she had cancer, she showed no signs of stopping her mountainous hikes. All the way up to her death, at age 77, she managed to hike halfway up Mount Fuji, just as she had done for years each summer.

Junko’s physical strength is mind blowing, but her tenacity and mental strength might be even more so.

Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir (980 – ?)

First European Mother & Explorer In The New World

Born approximately around 980, Gudrid lived in Norway until her early adulthood. During which time, she became one of the first Norse visitors to Vinland, a colony we know now as North America. While there, Gudrid gave birth to the first European child born in the New World.

However, Gudrid and her Norse adventurers struggled to maintain friendly relationships with the natives of North America, leading eventually to a large fight. Despite the Vikings winning, they feared a larger attack would be unavoidable and decided to retreat back to Greenland. Gudrid’s legacy carries on from there. She converted to Christianity, eventually met the Pope and told him of her amazing adventures in the New World.

As the first European mother in the New World, Gudrid beat out Christopher Columbus’s grand discovery by centuries, and her stories have been immortalized in Norse sagas and iron sculptures.

Nellie Bly (1864-1922)

First Woman To Travel The World In 72 Days

Born Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, Nellie Bly was an American investigative journalist who became famous for going undercover to expose the abuse at Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island. This stunning article made her a nationally known name. But Nellie wasn’t pleased to stay a celebrity figure, she had other goals in mind.

Inspired by the novel “Around the World in Eighty Days,” Nellie imagined turning the story into her own reality. That year, she began her journey of almost 25,000 miles. She traveling alone by steamship and train for a majority of her trip and finished even earlier than she predicted – clocking in at 72 days since her departure.

Speed may have been on Nellie’s side, but making her daydreams come to life is strong proof of a hardworking motivation that many of us fail to tap into ourselves.

In Her Footsteps

Uncover the history, the lives and the locations of the women who trail blazed the course of the world. In Her Footsteps is a deep dive into the heart and the history of women’s activism, history and creativity through the places female pioneers lived and discovered. You’ll find familiar names right next to unfamiliar places! It’s like an adventure through historical women’s lives through the lens of the places that most inspired them. Jane Goodall’s explorations in Gombe, Tanzania to the Empress Dowager Cixi’s summer palace in Beijing, the creative workrooms of Frida Kahlo… we know Dame Travelers love this one!

Travel Books We're Loving In 2020


We hope you enjoyed learning about these female travelers forgotten by your history books. Take their grit, determination and passionate pursuit of adventure into your own life, and know that there have been some absolutely fierce fore-mothers to look up to along your way.

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