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Advice for a Solo Female Traveler?

Hello Matador Community!

I’m looking for advice for potential solo female travelers by solo female travelers. Your answers would be used an upcoming article that I am writing in order to encourage more women to travel and give any hesitant friends/family peace of mind.

To be included please answer all of the following questions. If you have a website/blog, include it as well and I will link back to your site 🙂

Name/ Age/ Nationality:
How long have you been traveling for?
What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)?
 What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler?

Feel free to ask me any follow up questions! Thank you 🙂

View Profile 2017-04-02 17:32:54 PDT

Hi Carolyn!

– Faith Roswell/29/English
– I’ve been travelling for nearly eleven years (!)
– Travelling solo wasn’t a conscious decision- I began travelling for my job in the creative arts when I often had to tour in order to get work and then a few years in, a colleague gave me some excellent advice: always keep a few days for yourself, otherwise all you’ve seen in the inside of your hotel room. It’s very true- so every time I travel (whether for work or not), I spend a few days sightseeing.
– Make an effort to learn the basics anywhere you are. Where’s the nearest place to buy food, what is the emergency services number, how safe is your area (ask someone), and what is your nearest public transport stop called. Eventually these things will become second nature and it works to make you feel more at home and instantly more streetwise. Knowing where the 24-hour supermarket is has saved my neck before!

Hope that helps,

F

View Profile 2017-04-03 08:31:19 PDT

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Paulette Perhach/34/USA<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />How long have you been traveling for? Two months<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? I had the opportunity when I lost my apartment. I didn’t know if I’d like it. I love it. <br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? It’s great to be nice, but, traveling in my 30’s, I finally know that I don’t have to people please. I don’t have to respond to guys I pass on the street saying, “Come here, come here!” If someone is being aggressive toward you, you are free to walk away from any situation. That being said, almost everyone I’ve met has been completely lovely.

View Profile 2017-04-03 17:25:14 PDT

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Emma Caldwell/30/Australian<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />How long have you been traveling for? On and off since 2009<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? I was sick of waiting around for other people to commit to travelling with me. So, I booked myself a ticket to see the world and loved it. I’ve never looked back and I LOVE travelling solo.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? There’s a difference between being a savvy traveller and being overly cautious. Get out there and enjoy your experiences – the more you travel, the savvier you get and the more you’ll learn about yourself and how you like to travel.

My blog is https://emmajaneexplores.com

View Profile 2017-04-03 20:50:28 PDT

Hi Carolyn,

My website for the link back is http://www.usabyrail.blog.

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Jill Dutton/53/American<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />How long have you been traveling for? By rail: 28 months<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? My children are grown;  my business is at a place where I have more free time. I traveled Europe for three months by Eurail when I was a teenager. I decided to explore–and write about–the U.S. by rail, as well.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? Take advantage of the opportunity to meet other people. When you’re solo it’s easier to connect.

View Profile 2017-04-04 08:33:06 PDT

Hi Carolyn!

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Raisa Haapala, 33, Finnish<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />How long have you been traveling for? 8 years, I have settled 6 times in that time<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? The destinations I was interested in didn’t interest many of my friends. Traveling free also gives more freedom to choose all of the locations yourself. Finding Couchsurfing accommodation is also easier alone. <br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? Build up your courage to say no if you feel uncomfortable. 

Thanks so much for the link! My site is http://dreamworkandtravel.com

View Profile 2017-04-04 11:46:27 PDT

Thank you for everyone’s responses so far! I apologize for the formatting, unfortunately, the bolded code doesn’t seem to transfer over to the forums page.

You can type your response and add a dash (-) or a marker for each question and I’ll format the answers after 🙂

View Profile 2017-04-04 13:37:45 PDT

How long have you been traveling for? I did my first solo travel in 2011. I don’t travel full time.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? TBH, hahaha. I was in a long distance relationship and it ended. I decided to use the plane ticket I had already bought, and it turned out to be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. Other times, I travelled solo because I needed to be alone with my thoughts and feelings. It also happened that I travelled solo because non of my friends could join me at the time. <br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? J. I can’t do “one piece”. Overpacking is your worse enemy, Safety is key… try to arrive to your destinations during day time. I had all good experiences using Uber and AirBNB. Don’t feel like you have to smile to everyone… sometimes you need to put on your serious face. For instance, under peer pressure in Ecuador “in this culture, you must accept my invitation and drink, or you are being rude”, I pretty much told the guy -a friend of a friend- to fuck off, he was being non-sensitive in the first place.  

View Profile 2017-04-04 17:18:04 PDT

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<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>Hello Carolyn,</p>
<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>Name/ Age/ Nationality: LaToya McGee-Willis/34/American</p>
<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>How long have you been traveling for?: I have been traveling solo for 16 years.</p>
<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)?: As a child, I had the desire to travel. It all started when I was 18 years old and went away to college. New to the area, I wanted to start exploring various locations in driving distance. I got frustrated waiting on others to plan my adventures. One day, I bit the bullet and went solo. It was love at first travel. I loved planning my adventures without compromising.</p>
<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler?: Don’t be afraid to blend in and embrace the local culture of the destination. Follow your instincts along the way. </p>
<p style=”box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px;”>Thank you much for the opportunity. My site is http://www.unfranchisegirl.com.</p>

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View Profile 2017-04-04 17:49:05 PDT

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Mary/66/American
How long have you been traveling for?  66 years
What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)?  My mom. We traveled together from the time I was born. She gave me the map and I chose the destination and route.
 What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler?  Listen to your gut and follow its lead.

Website – https://wheremarygos.com

View Profile 2017-04-04 20:20:30 PDT

Hi Carolyn!

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Nicole Meekins / 32 / American
How long have you been traveling for? Traveling solo for 7 years
What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? Most of my friends and family prefer a lazy beach vacation to immersing themselves in a new culture. While I certainly enjoy lounging on the beach with a mojito in hand, I like to explore new cultures as well. More importantly, if I had to wait for my schedule to line up with a friend’s schedule, I’d never go anywhere. I like to travel on my own terms too.
 What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? Be safe. Always do your research and always trust your gut. Women’s intuition is a real thing and has saved me from uncomfortable situations more than once. If you do your research before you travel, and you respect cultural norms, traveling abroad is no more dangerous than exploring a city at home. For extra piece of mind I travel with a rubber door stopper that I bought on Amazon. Wedge it under the door from inside your hotel room to make it extremely difficult for an intruder to open. They also make motion sensor alarms you can hang on the doorknob for even further security.

Website – http://www.glamtrekker.com

View Profile 2017-04-05 12:04:38 PDT

Hey Carolyn!

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Toby Israel / 25 / American<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />How long have you been traveling for? 3 years nonstop, much longer than that not nonstop. Started traveling solo at age 17.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? A strong stubborn streak. Since I was very, very young I was always insistent that I could “do it by myself,” regardless of what “it” was. So, when I hit 17/18 and wanted to travel, of course I could do it alone. And, as it turns out, few things have filled me with so much joy as adventuring solo.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? Don’t listen to advice. Any of it. You’ll figure it out.

View Profile 2017-04-06 09:26:56 PDT

<p style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 14px;”>Hi Corollyn!</p>
<p style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 14px;”>My name is Juana</p>
<p style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 14px;”>Name/ Age/ Nationality: Juana, 30, Argentina<br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />How long have you been traveling for? I traveled for the first time alone in 2010, Now i live in México and i still travelling. <br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)? When i travel alone i know that i can do what i want, to change plans anytime. And is good to think. <br style=”box-sizing: border-box;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler? Use your time for met people of diferent cultures, take time to think, do everything, live, eat, enjoy! </p>
<p style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; margin: 0px 0px 10px; font-size: 14px;”>I hope you find it useful!</p>

View Profile 2017-04-06 09:36:18 PDT

Name/ Age/ Nationality: Jackie Arruda 24 years old Brazilian<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;” />How long have you been traveling for?

My first trip abroad and alone was in 2011.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;” />What made you decide to travel by yourself (independently)?

When I travel with friends or family I always have to deal about everything that we are going to do. So the whole trip is about pleasing others and not about enjoying it myself.<br style=”font-family: ‘Droid Sans’, sans-serif; box-sizing: border-box; font-size: 14px; line-height: 20px;” /> What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler?

Be confident. Don’t be afraid. The risks are the same for everyone. Show respect to be respected. And value yourself.

View Profile 2017-04-06 13:34:25 PDT

Liz Slipko, 38, US

traveled solo continuously for around a year, then have done more recent solo adventures

What made me chose to travel alone? Solo travel is, for me, a form of walking meditation. I observe and reflect on a deeper level, and with the freedom that comes from having no hard set agenda or expectations- other than the hope to connect with someone whose life experiences may differ from mine, for a shared moment, meal, or conversation.

Advice?: Talk to everyone. On buses, in cafes, sidewalks…When we travel with others, we sometimes stay too insulated. Our world is so populated, and yet somehow so many feel lonely…take the time to share in the knowledge and life experiences of the new faces around you. My favorite part of travel- engaging a stranger in conversation and watching their face light up when they tell me about their favorite restaurant, music venue, or tree lined street.

 

View Profile 2017-04-06 19:04:19 PDT