Travelling the world shouldn’t depend on your gender, and no matter what flavour you are, boy or girl, travel experiences should be the same, right?
Well, I would love to say that yes, whether you’re male or female, you can travel the world in the same way, experiencing the same walls and barriers, but this isn’t really the case. The fact of the matter is that if you’re a lone female travelling the world, you have to take a few other aspects into account, compared to the barriers a man would face in the same situation.
Should this stop you? No way! Is it harder? Not really!
I travel a lot on my own, and although it can be a little awkward at times, and not as easy as I believe a man would find it, it doesn’t stop me, and I still end up experiencing the same things.
If you’re wondering whether lone female travel really is as scary as those naysayers claim it to be, check out these few pointers and see if you feel the same at the end of it – I don’t think you will!
Just listen to your intuition
There is a lot to be said for female intuition, and that famous gut feeling should always be listened to. If you feel nervous or uneasy then you have reason to feel that way, so adjust your approach or move from the situation.
Listen to your common sense too
Sometimes when we go off on our travels it’s easy to get carried away, and common sense goes out of the window. Keep your common sense at the forefront of your mind, don’t take any unnecessary risks that you wouldn’t at home, and there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the experience.
Don’t be too trusting
I’ve fallen foul of this in the past, and that was simply me being naive, so take my advice and learn from my experience! Don’t trust everyone who speaks to you and smiles, because a lot of the time they’re not as genuine as they seem. This doesn’t mean you should tar everyone with the same brush, because that would be unfair, but in my experience it’s best to let someone earn your trust, rather than giving it freely.
Check in regularly
I find Facebook a great way to let my friends and family know that I’m safe on my travels, and using WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and Tango to keep in touch is great when you hit a Wi-Fi area, which you’ll find all over the world nowadays. Make this a daily occurrence and you won’t have worried family, and I always find it helps me feel more connected at the same time.
Heading to certain areas in the world can be a little more risky for females than males, but it’s really a case of checking advice, usually on government websites, and listening to it. This advice is there to help you, so don’t ignore it. If a part of the world you had your heart set on visiting has just experienced a political uprising, then it might be worthwhile avoiding it until things have settled down. This is common sense regardless of gender.
Especially in Middle Eastern countries, don’t dress as though you’re heading off to the beach. I found that carrying a pashmina in my bag was a good idea, because if I needed to cover my head I could just throw it on. It’s basically about not drawing attention to yourself with low cut tops or short skirts – be respectful and research this kind of thing before you go.
So, is lone female travel scary? No! Be mindful, listen to your gut, and you’ll find it to be an enriching experience.
Photo Credit: Let Ideas Compete