So, in honour of International Women’s Day, I wanted to write something short on being a solo female traveller. As I write, and rewrite, this piece I am acutely aware that my experience is MY experience. I am a loud, confident, white, reasonably privileged (in the sense that I am a) able to travel b) white middlish class. Not that I am ridiculously well off flouncing about the streets throwing money around or naive). My experience is so different to that of Women of Colour, those differently abled, or living with serious mental illness. I can’t – nor do I intend to try to – speak for these women.
I have been fortunate enough to travel quite broadly, the experiences I have had have by and large been positive. But there have been negative experiences – getting groped by a restaurateur in Venice while trying to pay, getting followed for blocks by a street vendor asking if he could ‘show me his favourite hotel’.
I have also experienced genuine, freely offered, and exceptional kindness from strangers in every country I have visited.
This is not an advisory piece about how to stay safe, or top tips for travelling ladies – there are lots out there (and I probably will write one at some point). This is merely a celebration of those kick ass ladies who decide that they want to see the world so damn it they will do so!
Travelling alone is a unique and and incredible experience and I urge any woman thinking about taking the plunge to go do it! It comes with unique experiences and opportunities you just don’t get travelling with another person – it was the best decision of my life!
Travel safe, good luck, and happy International Women’s Day!