Why do you travel? Do you travel to see places you have never seen before? Or to experience a culture different from your own? Are you maybe just filled with wanderlust and can't stay in one place for too long? No matter the reason you choose to travel, the result remains the same; growth.
Seeing and experiencing different countries and places expands the way you view the world. It changes you. Doing it alone, the growth is compounded, because now that you are doing it solo you only have yourself to rely on and you are not only learning about the county you are visiting but also about yourself.
In celebration of International Women's Day on the 8th of March, we look to and celebrate all the women in the world. And if you have always wanted to explore the world, we are here to offer a few tips we have found that might be useful. That way you will be free to eat, pray, love like Julia Roberts or be wild like Reese Witherspoon or just go solo wherever your journey leads you.
Maybe you already know where you want to go and no one is going to change your mind. Your plans are made and your flight is booked. End of story. If that is the case (insert applause here)! If not, we get it. There are a lot of places to visit and factors to consider before booking your trip.
One of those factors is safety. It's unfortunate, but it's something every solo traveller should keep in mind - especially women. Every woman today has a story of a time she felt unsafe, but you don't let fear stand in the way of epic adventures. You take precautions and enjoy your time travelling.
If you are still wondering where to travel to, the following countries are some of the safest for solo female travel; Finland, Japan, Chile, Uruguay, Iceland and New Zealand. It might be a place to start if you wish to see a country on your own but don't know where to begin.
A big part of solo travel is confidence. And let's admit a solo trip to another country is extremely daunting if you haven't done it before. If you are a fierce go-getter and your first solo trip is overseas, that's amazing. But if you want to prepare for a trip mentally and get used to doing things on your own, we recommend starting small and working your way up.
You can start with a solo weekend trip near your home and work your way to a week trip further away until you find yourself on a holiday overseas. If you have never eaten alone at a restaurant, we recommend giving it a try before your trip to build your confidence and prove to yourself that you can do it, and enjoy it on your own.
When you have decided on a country to visit and made arrangements do as much research as you can regarding the culture and customs. Because you are travelling alone, it is wiser to blend in and this will require some research in advance. A handy tip we came across is to head into a shop or pharmacy as soon as you arrive and to purchase something small - it's not about what you purchase, but the bag you get from the store. It marks you as a local just going about your day.
KEEP A JOURNAL
As much as we wish we could remember everything during our travels, the details slip away with time. You can write in a journal throughout the day or keep it on your phone digitally. Be sure to take photos and don't be shy about asking someone to take your picture or gently guide them to the shot you want. Keep in mind to also check in with family and loved ones once a day. You can send photos of the previous day and let them know what you are planning for the day ahead. That way they feel assured you are okay and know where you are going to be until you check-in with them again.
A few rapid-fire tips to help you get the most enjoyment from your trip;
Arrive during the day - everything seems scarier and more overwhelming at night. Have a backup hotel or hostel lined up - if you get there and something feels off, it's better to have a backup. Pack light - you have to be able to handle your luggage on your own. Trust your gut. If you ever feel unsafe or have a weird feeling you can't place. Trust it. And act accordingly.
Last, but certainly not least - have fun! Enjoy your own company, follow your own schedule and meet new people. With the amount of solo female travellers at a high, you are likely to connect with like-minded women with whom you can share a part of your journey.