In honour of South Africa’s women’s month, I decided to write a list of reasons why female solo travel is phenomenal. At first, I was a bit nervous but, now solo travel is something I love doing and I miss it now that I’m back home. I’m very blessed to be living in Cape Town so I get to explore my city now when I’m on my own and with others. If you need some encouragement when it comes to solo travel read this list.
Being a solo traveller means that no one knows you. No one knows that you hate getting wet or that you are deathly afraid of heights. Solo travel allows you to do adventuress things like water rafting or bungee jumping. And even if these more thrilling activities don’t appeal to you going alone on a trip is an adventure in itself.
The food choices
If you love spicy food you can eat spicy food. If you hate Italian food but, love Chinese food then you can grab that. When you are travelling with friends, travel buddies, family or a significant other you have to consider the tastes of your companions. Travelling alone cuts out this issue.
It’s great to have someone who can take photos of you but, on the other hand, you will take brilliant photos of the destinations you travel to. And later on, you will learn how to take stunning selfies. You might even invest in a tripod and learn how to time your camera to take the perfect self-portrait. When you are alone you get to check your photos and correct the angles etc. if you got it wrong the first time. The photo below was taken from different angles until I got the right one.
The sleeping arrangements
You get to lay in the middle of a King sized bed and sleep like a starfish. You can roll around without worrying about bumping into someone.
Being spontaneous is difficult when you are travelling in a group or even with one other person. Want to take a last minute tour bus trip? If you are solo it’s easier to squeeze one more person onto the bus. Two or more people not so much. Being alone means you can get a table for one at a restaurant easier at the drop of a hat.
You get to meet other female fearless solo travellers. I now know people from China, India, Nepal Malaysia….. I even met fellow South Africans whilst travelling to Italy. You also get to meet locals and other travellers who are travelling in a group. People find it less intimidating at times to talk to one person as opposed to a bigger group.
Your schedule is your own. You don’t have to run around if you want to lay in do. If you want to get up early to catch the sunrise whilst hiking go ahead. There’s no set schedule your time is totally your own.
When you travel alone you tend to notice the details of your destination so much more. The architectural lines and the clothes the people are wearing. The smell of the food. When I’m with others I tend to talk to them and I don’t notice as much.
I found out that I don’t mind walking very long distances. I can find joy in any place. I’m willing to sit for ages in a bus to get to explore a place I’ve never been to. I used to think I’m impatient I was wrong.
The skill building
Have you ever missed a flight and had to figure out what to do afterwards? In comes the quick thing and negotiation skills. If you are a budget traveller like me budgeting, saving and commitment to responsible spending is honed. If you want to meet new people then you going to have to whip out your communication skills. Being punctual is vital. There’s a number of skills that you have to build or that you get to improve when you are travelling alone.
The confidence building
Once you have overcome the travelling hurdles there is a sense of achievement that no one can take away from you. Travelling alone especially as a woman is still not seen as the norm. Trends are changing and more and more females are choosing to travel alone.
The independent women
You don’t have anyone to rely on when you are a solo traveller. And traditionally in many cultures, women are seen as reliant on men or their families. Being a solo female traveller smashes those dated notions. You are a strong independent woman and travelling solo just builds on that foundation.
The fact that you are proving naysayers wrong
As I said before solo female travel is still criticized by some people. You will find other women who straight out tell you that travelling alone isn’t safe. People will look at you with pity because you couldn’t find someone to go with you. You might encounter people who are jealous and people who have never travelled alone who will try to dissuade you. But, then you just push ahead and that is brilliant. You have the time of your life and you smash the negative perceptions of female solo travel.
You inspire others to do the same and you will get comments on your travel photos from women you haven’t spoken to in ages. You will feel the support and positivity of those you inspire. And you will show other women that they can love solo travel to.
The people you love will love to hear the stories of your travel adventures. You can also connect easier to other people who have travelled. You can share your photos and videos. You can send postcards and gifts back home. In an age where people mostly get bills in the post getting a postcard, letter or gift brings joy
The me time
You get to spend time alone. You can think, self-reflect and relax. You don’t have to meet deadlines or answer to people. It’s just all about you. And that is a brilliant experience.
You don’t have to be fashionable if you don’t want to. You can let go of the typical beauty standards if you want. If you are travelling you can’t bring your entire wardrobe with you so there’s less stressing about your outfit. Alternatively, if you want to look trendy you can do that too. The pressure that most women feel to look perfect is something that doesn’t matter when you hiking to see castles in Europe or swimming with penguins in Cape Town.
The time to read
For me, this was an added bonus to travelling. I’ve always loved reading. On buses, trains and planes a book is a fantastic way to pass time. I got to read digital and hardcopy books. I also got to read my study texts and notes making studying easier.
The wonder of getting lost
Getting lost alone in a foreign place can be stressful. And then you have to exude confidence, stay calm and once you do you will feel braver. Not only that you will probably find incredible hidden gems.
Solo travel is lots of fun all the factors above mingle into one to make lifelong memories that a filled with powerful emotions.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to comment. I love reading comments and I also would like to improve my blog and your valuable input is needed for that.
Wishing you many happy travels through the journey of life!
xxx Nikki xxx