Right now, at this moment, we are in the age of travel. The world is becoming easier and easier to explore, for everybody.
What I have experienced, along with many other women, is the annoyance of not being able to find anybody to explore the world with. Making so many people put off travel plans, just waiting for a travel companion to pass by.
The thing is, women can and have traveled alone. The idea that women can’t travel the world alone is a big myth, the biggest one out there.
Here is a few more myths that need to be stamped out too:
Myth: All men will kidnap you, kill you or at the very least hurt you.
Truth: There are 7 billion people in this world, all the bad news and horror stories you hear are from a small population of bad people, probably 1% of the entire worlds population. The rest are kind, helpful and overall good people.
Just because you are female does not mean that you are less likely to defend yourself or look after yourself.
It’s all about common sense and just being on the ball. You will find that most people are good, and even if they are not, they are probably not bad enough to hurt you, just bad enough too snore all night in the hostel or sleep and drool all over you on an flight.
Myth: You will get lonely.
Truth: There is some truth behind this, because yes, you will get lonely at some point but yet again, you will get lonely staying at home. Everybody gets lonely, It’s all about being comfortable spending time with yourself, being sat on long train journeys. with just yourself for company.
It’s a rewarding experience to find out about yourself, sometimes things you never would of expected.
Travelling solo though is not always a lonely experience, you will only be lonely if you choose to be. There are people everywhere. In restaurants, shops, on tours, public transport, hostels and bars, It’s your decision if you want to travel alone or not, a new friend is only a hello or tequila shot away.
Myth: You need to be bilingual.
Truth: Knowing another language is always helpful but it’s not compulsory to have when travelling. English is the most well known language and somebody, wherever you may be, will speak it, or at least understand what you are trying to say.
Getting to know people from different cultures is one of the most beautiful things. Sat in a bar, spending all night ‘talking’ to somebody, when you don’t speak a word of each others languages is great fun, teaching each other words by acting them out, or even busting out some of those phrases you learnt in school.
Myth: I don’t have the right personality to travel on my own.
Truth: This is the most bizarre of them all. The great thing about us human beings is we possess unique personalities, whether or not you know it yet, we are all more than capable of being on our own. If you have the idea that you don’t have the right personality to travel alone, then the best thing to do, right now, is to head out in to the world on your own.
Learn about yourself and understand that, (without trying to sound like a destiny’s child song) you are a strong and independent women. You will surprise yourself and come home with a great sense of achievement and understanding of your personality.
Myth: If I’m a women, I will need more money to keep myself safe.
Truth: Very wrong, you don’t need to spend any more money to keep yourself ‘safe’. Sometimes it’s nice to sleep in a female only dorm or travel on a female only train but these don’t cost any more money.
Food is the same price for men and women, so are flights, taxis and drinks (smile and you might get a nice discount or a free glass of wine).
Myth: Going out to socialize on your own is daunting.
Truth: Only if you make it that way. If it bothers you that much, try and eat or drink somewhere where people aren’t just sat with their companions.
By this I mean, try a bar or cafe, where there are people socializing with other people rather than just the people they are with.
Talk to the staff, or try sitting at the bar, this way you are in the prime spot for people to talk to you, if somebody orders a drink just try and say ‘nice choice’ or ‘have you tried….’. It’s really not hard to spark up a conversation.
Myth: I will have more fun if I travel with a friend.
Truth: Yes you might do but solo or with friends, travel is always going to be fun, full stop. Of course there are perks for solo travel, when with friends you may find friction, they want to go to the museum and you want to try out the food at that restaurant you passed yesterday. They hate heights but you want to jump out of a plane, they like nice chilled evenings and you like to party hard. You catching my drift yet?
Solo travelers, travel for themselves, doing what they enjoy. It’s also a much better way to meet new people, you are a lot less likely to speak to new people when you are with a friend. If you are alone you will make much more of an effort to meet new people.
So if you have been wanting to pack your bags and head off in to the sunset for way to long now, don’t wait around for people to be able to come with you. Just go, you are the best company you could have.