We are said so many things before we leave our bubbles and move on to the next destination. We are said it’s dangerous because we are female creatures with a pair of bubs walking our hips through the streets of the Unknown.
We are said men are promiscuous and we won’t believe what came on the news about a girl in Southeast Asia last year. Some of us repress and deny the major dream of setting off alone and others swallow the dinner with that fear and wake up the next morning with zero appetite for breakfast. The others are the female solo travelers who are so used to take the goodness out of the challenges, they end up seeing and experiencing for themselves how impermeable they can be to all the hazard out there.
This article is for all of you, but specially for those who profoundly know the difference between the biased information and the reality of being a female solo traveler and it is to the afraid hearts who just need to peel off the layers of that fear someone made them wear.
Please, stick to the Female Solo Travelers 10 commandments:
1- Be very worried with what you wear, how you behave and what is your body language
If you want to be the traveler who conquer the battle alone this is a top must. You should know that one of the reasons why we might be so highly advised not to travel India and neighbor countries alone is because to them we are seen as sex symbols, where marriage is a personal choice and divorce comes almost as a direct consequence. To break these biases, we need to follow the 10 commandments of a female solo traveler.
2- Don’t pick late hours in the night and very hush places. Play safe and be well rounded for the sake of your security and harmony
You have a tour waiting for you with a group you met before and you really don’t wanna miss it? Well, if the only choice you have is the general class local train late in the night, I personally would reconsider that option. Maybe readjusting the plan will end up being the best choice of your Life.
3- When you feel in danger, instead of activate panic mode, try to be the calmest version of yourself and play the inverted game
Making conversation and raising questions about the other like ‘is this the place you were born in’ or ‘is it expensive to reach the next village in a rickshaw’ can help to deviate the energy to other fields in a way that will benefit you.
4- Meditate on the manifestation of that fear you think you have – is it a tool for protection and a primitive instinct or is it just a cheap commentary taken for granted?
Fear has actually been helping all kinds of species since it is a defense mechanism, a protection instinct, so be right in the middle of the two extremes: delicate princess vs daring beast.
5- Be open to other travelers and accept their company specially when moving from one place to another
When we are the only foreigner in the middle of a crowd and we see someone with a backpack (an alien, basically) most likely sweating and blowing the air of frustration, isn’t it funny that we are probably looking for the exact same thing? – Finding the right bus/train and making it safely to our final destination – Why not sharing it together?
6- Get to know the difference between Cultural open-mindedness and Self-determination to say no and to step aside when necessary
My very first times as a solo traveler, I found myself acting out of a collective willingness and sometimes I would be mad at myself due to not doing what I truly wanted to do for myself. Not to mention that it can put you in big danger, as you are not feeling it but following it. See the difference?
7- Know that your attitude towards your travels will obviously be a natural trace of your personality, but you can sharpen it with the experience along the way
If your choice is travelling alone, you were probably bitten by the travel bug before and your tendency is to be an explorer, an independent person, with that disquiet instinct. But if you’re not and you just felt the call right now, these 10 points will be a must starting point.
8- Know that everything is about this main state: Vulnerability
Be connected to the source and know that everything is about being in peace with that.
9- For at least once in your life, rescue the Male (and yang) side of yourself and use it as your main tool
If you grew up with the reference of only one of your parents, or even none, you might have an imbalance of this yin and yang energies. But know that we all have the capacity for applying the strongest, bravest, more empowered version of ourselves, which also means leaving tight jeans and very fancy jewelry aside. So, humbly smiling and bravely approaching the World and it’s people are really what works for me the best.
10- Before you travel, spend one hour exploring the basics of the language of the country you are about to fly into
It will help you be on the control of the situation, as the other will feel some familiarization for your attitude of interest towards the language/ culture. For me ‘Good Morning/ Evening’ , ‘How are you’ , ‘How much is that’ and ‘I come from Portugal’ are on the top of my priorities.
I have been coming across so many brave women that also chose to take that airplane alone. Rachel, from the US, on the road for 2 years, allowing herself to reach different destinations and to dig deeper into the discovery of ‘What Do I Want?’; Daisy, a British young nurse that shared a lot about her improvements at all levels after travelling solo; Liz, a solo traveler in her fourties travelling alone for 30 years, Belgian social worker with who I had the opportunity to exchange a lot of beautiful stories and that was by my side when I got sick; Giada, an Italian pure heart resembling a butterfly on a quest for self-improvement and trauma healing and many others that I had the opportunity to meet and that, against all biased minds, are contributing for the extension of the list of Female Solo Travelers – cheers to us!
By Margarida Pimenta