Preconceptions facing solo female travellers
One of the most exciting travel trends to emerge in the 21st Century has to be solo female travel. At Travel with Abeona, we’re singing with the rest of the choir, converted and just absolutely in love with journeying alone. Solo female travel is an absolute pleasure and one of the most rewarding experiences one can enjoy.
The sad truth is that women journeying alone and embarking on solo female travel adventures still meet with huge negative assumptions and preconceptions.
So many of which we must battle with before we even set off.
Females travelling alone must either be brave or mad
Often talk of solo travel provokes questions around our sanity. To travel alone we must be either brave or mad.
Yet, female wanderlust is nothing new – history boasts many great female explorers and global adventures – Isabella Bird, Amelia Earhart, Harriet Chalmers Adams. Iconic media giants, Conde Naste Traveller pulled together a poll of the world’s most influential women travellers.
So, when you see us packing our bags and heading for the airport, let me reassure you, we are quite sane. We are simply women seeking the freedom of adventure, the beauty of the world and serenity of solo travel.
Women travelling alone are off to partake in riotous acts of free passion
One of the biggest assumptions we have to face relates to our sexual desires. A solo female travelling alone must surely be in want of copious random coitus.
For most of us, very often the opposite is true. Part of the intense joy of solo travel is the solo part – being alone – not answering to anyone and being able to while away the days at our own pace and whimsy. True, some may choose to seek the rewards of the flesh whilst touring the globe, and that is absolutely their choice.
Assuming carte blanche our travels have been orchestrated simply to imbibe in a sexual heist however is very wrong.
We are driven by far greater promises, ones of liberation, solitude, personal achievement, and of sights so jaw dropping they can almost break your heart with their beauty.
Gender stereotypes, patriarchy & social norms
In many places gender stereotypes and patriarchal systems still rule strongly. Each place we visit has its own way of seeing the world and how a woman plays her part within it.
A woman travelling alone may in itself be a reason to invoke attention. We may encounter looks, words and actions which we are not used to in our everyday lives. Processing the emotions that arise from such experiences can be difficult to cope with, especially when they are unexpected.
Travelling alone as a woman is enhanced greatly by ensuring we not only understand local customs but acknowledge and respect their ways of doing things.
Solo travellers are often treated as less important than guests who have company
Sadly in many places, guests are still viewed with a price tag attached to their head. As a solo traveller, the truth is you will probably never eat and drink as much as a couple or a large group, you will never spend as much money as those accompanied by other humans (although, one may take this on as a personal challenge).
So the lone hotel guest will often be overlooked, or exposed to a poor experience – where do we put her in the dining room? Please lord no, not by the toilets, again. Are we really so awful? Does our solitude make us second class? Should we not enjoy the same outstanding food, drink and views as our counterparts with company? Frankly, we’re generally less trouble than a large group. Be nice to us, we’re actually rather lovely.
Inner concerns about travelling alone
Perhaps the biggest preconceptions are the ones we carry ourselves. Whilst travelling, we can be hugely self-conscious, feel out of place, worried about how others may view us and how to navigate the norms and etiquette (especially hard if you are used to travelling with another, or en masse with the extended family hoard).
Our inner voice is loud and powerful. She can really get to you at times. Our own self doubt is the biggest battle we will have. We will fight with ourselves at the airport, when we first enter our hotel room on our own, when we venture down to dinner, when we board the first jeep for an excursion. “Why did I do this?” Our “inner voice” is with us the entire time.
Luckily we have other voices too, the one that purrs with contentment after a day long spa, one that screams with adrenaline and endorphins after an out of this world trek, one that feels invincible after returning home, laden with memories, moments and brimming with confidence and ability.
Embarking upon your first solo adventure can be hugely daunting. We will never pretend otherwise. You will face many preconceptions, battle with yourself many times, but if you can weather the tough moments, you will emerge triumphant, victorious, liberated and absolutely hungry for more.
Get in contact with our team of luxury travel planners by email email@example.com and we’ll be in touch to hear all about your trip so you can stop dreaming and start planning.
Clare Westwood, Founder of Travel with Abeona, Luxury Travel Expert – empowering women to become fearless global explorers.
Travel with Abeona is a luxury travel planning service dedicated exclusively to supporting female travellers wishing to journey alone but without compromising on style.
More from the Abeona blog
Writing Off South America for Luxury Solo Female Travel? Not so Fast!
The Solo Revolution: How Solo Travellers are Shaping the Future of Luxury Travel
Adrenalin Fuelled Self Care: Adventure Travel
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