When I told my boyfriend Austin I was going to branch off my Paris trip and take the train to Amsterdam and Brussels by myself to explore, he was not surprised. He was a little wary, but mostly happy that I would get to see parts of the world I’ve never seen before. In past relationships this wouldn’t have flown, but I’m lucky to have someone who admires my independence and trusts me to make smart decisions. He also knows there’s no stopping me; this was probably the third or fourth time I’ve traveled by myself since we’ve been together and he knows I enjoy it.
I can’t say the same for my parents and friends. One of my girlfriends was so worried that she kept looking at me like she’d never see me again. A mutual guy friend turned to my boyfriend and goes “Are you going to allow her to do this!?” and I can’t really tell you who’s reaction was funnier, mine or Austin’s. Seriously though, too many people have seen the movie taken and it’s really clouding their judgement.
There is so much fear around women traveling by themselves; more in America than in other countries, I think. This fear is prohibiting so many women from going places they want, because society tells them it’s not safe. While it’s important to be vigilant and smart about where you go, you shouldn’t be afraid to travel by yourself.
Traveling alone is one of the most invigorating things a young woman can do. You will learn so much about yourself, you will strengthen your independence and instincts while becoming more aware of your abilities. You will make friends with people you’d never get the chance to speak to if you weren’t alone, and you will overcome challenges with the help of no one but yourself. I can’t say it’s always easy and sometimes it gets lonely, but part of the greatness of overcoming those things is doing it by yourself.
So I suggest -no- I strongly urge all women to try traveling by themselves at least once in your lives. It doesn’t have to be international; even a new city you’ve never seen before but have been dying to go to. Stop waiting to see the world until your friends or significant other give you the ok to do so, because life is too short to be waiting on other people for your own experiences. You don’t have to be rich to do it, you just have to be smart and compare your options. So go- do your research, pack your bags, and get out there to see the world!
Stay tuned for more tips on traveling alone without breaking the bank, coming soon.
Questions on where to go? Had a great solo travel experience? Feel free to share in the comments below!