“Are you traveling by yourself? Just You?” – “Just me” I reply and smile. I notice a puzzled reaction and look on the face of the females I am speaking with. “One?” – “Yes, One”, I start smiling even more. And I notice an even more confused look full of mixed emotions: admiration, disbelief, disapproval and even respect. I guess I made someone’s day )
After a brief conversation in Spanish, I grab my things, salute my new acquaintances and continue my traveling journey. This was not the first similar conversation I had, and it is kind of amusing. Did I have a similar reaction before myself? Did I have a similar look? I think mine was more of admiration, curiosity and respect, thinking how courageous solo female traveling actually was. It still is, at least to me.
To this day, one of the most inspiring chance encounters for me was meeting an American girl traveling solo in Europe as part of the Leadership program at her University. I was completely amazed by her courage and abilities, and I think this is what a true leader is: someone who inspires and leads by his/her own authentic example. At least I think so personally.
The more I think about it, the more I realize, Can it even be addressed in one article? However, it might be a great way to start a conversation.
I have been traveling ever since I can remember myself, since a very young age. And ironically enough, all this time I actually thought I knew what female traveling was. Not exactly. At least not solo female traveling. All of these years, I was either traveling as part of the group, my family, life partner, friends, acquaintances, etc. And my solo trips were more of a few days or even a couple of weeks. Even those more or less what can be considered “solo” travels in Rome many years ago were a walk in the park, or even a “catwalk”, where I heard more of “Bella” and “Stella” along the way lol
So what was different this time? I guess I would like to know myself…
This time I was actually traveling solo. And traveling solo long-term, especially as a female, can be an overwhelming experience. It is definitely much easier and more socially-acceptible in USA, Canada and Europe, at least from my personal experience. And there are definitely more solo female travelers here, from all over the world.
Traveling in Peru
I love traveling, experiencing new and favorite places, travel blogging, writing, and, probably, this whole web site is my testament to it. Also, the more I travel the more I realize how many more favorite and meaningful for me places I have in the world now. These places actually become important to me, it is so much better experiencing them in person, and many of these amazing places truly feel like Home.
However, I would like to be authentic and honest about the whole experience also. And this is My perspective and my truth.
There were days when my vocabulary consisted of “no”, “not interested”, “back off” and “privacy, please”, even though I was more “properly” dressed and looked than some other females passing me by. The only difference was: I was traveling solo. Caring less about my looks and appearance, and sometimes not caring at all, definitely helped, but is it the correct answer? Definitely not for me.
Balance, Temples of the Sun and the Moon, Teotihuacan, Mexico
When I read other females’ advice of staying safe during travels, some of them make me cringe. Sure, I cannot claim their accomplishments of returning from my travels intact. However, I stand for something. I actually stand for my Liberties and Rights. And it does make me wonder how many males out there have to consider the length, color, outfits, hair and their appearance and looks when they travel? Or even read similar articles and hear similar conversations and suggestions? How many males out there are traveling the world with pretend-to/imaginary girlfriends and rings? I am All in support of the real ones though ) How many males out there deal with the same issues during travels?
Does any of this actually make us, females, safer? Does any of this make any sense?
I have unfortunately fortunate combination of young looks and a rather friendly, polite and smiley appearance (for the most part lol), so I had my share of conversations with “overprotective”and “respectful” couples, females and even males who know how to live my life. From suggestions on how to travel, dress, look, behave, etc., even date… You name it, I heard it… When I was traveling with another person, no one EVER approached me with similar conversations and suggestions, so I actually do know the difference. And since I speak several languages, I hear and understand even more than most of the people, and sometimes write about the most amusing and interesting ones, in my travel notes on my Instagram (@Globetrotting_Girl). I guess we can all learn something from this, mostly about authenticity and respect.
And if only everyone cared so much about their own life…. Civil Liberties and Equal Rights, anyone?! lol
Machu Picchu, Peru
I guess I am definitely ahead of my time…. I actually do want my Liberties and Rights to be honored and respected, and I do live as if we already have them, regardless of our nationality, culture, race, color, age, gender, affection level, religion or lack of, etc.
So I will actually ask what you think of Equal Rights, Civil Liberties and how we can respect each other, other beings and the place we live in, our planet and our Universe. And I am All for prevention and protection, however, if you would like to address it, I think it should be addressed correctly.
How many of you actually addressed the issue properly? How many of you came up to a male who was near-by and told him to be respectful and considerate of me, other females, their looks and their property? Of their Civil Liberties and Rights? How many? Not that I heard of… Do you even think of it?
How many articles and people out there are talking about Equal Rights, Civil Liberties, self-respect and mutual respect? Are these kind of important for all of us topics discussed often, and given the same kind of attention and consideration as articles and topics about a “Pokemon” or other “trivia nonsense”? Do we see these important and meaningful articles and posts going mainstream and “viral”?
Do we, as females, actually have the same Liberties and Rights?
So how does it feel traveling as a female? It actually feels Amazing, for the most part….
Amaru Spirit and Pantheon of Gods, Sacred Cerro La Raya, Tucume, Peru
*Dedicated to Civil Liberties and Equal Rights.
All opinions and experiences are, as always, my own.
Liberty, Peace, Love, Bliss…