Monday, November 08, 2010

Superwoman travellers, or thinking about women travelling solo

By clever coincidence this week, the topic this week for my ABC radio spot was woman who travel on their own. I've already been thinking quite a lot about this topic recently so was definitely ready to have a chat about it.

While most of my travel has been with a boyfriend/husband, and occasionally my mother, I have had the good fortune to do a few solo trips. Actually, I wish I'd done more! After you get over the initial discomfort, there are so many advantages of travelling on your own. And the most important one for me is that you get to be totally itinerary-selfish. You can go where you want, when you want, how you want, for however long you want. If you get my drift.

When I'm travelling on my own, I get a marvelous sense of freedom. This photo is the main train station at Hamburg in northern Germany, and I remember taking it just before I got on a relatively long train journey down south to where I was living - I adore having a long train trip like that all to myself! One of my favourite solo travel memories actually happened when my bus in Croatia missed a connection and I ended up alone in the Zagreb bus station at three o'clock in the morning. I looked at the timetable board and realised there were numerous places (all in different countries!) that I could go next, all still in the vague direction of where I was going, and I was free to choose whichever one I wanted! That's why I love travelling on my own sometimes.

However, I must admit to being a little bit afraid at times, and I have long admired women I know who do heaps of solo travel without blinking an eyelid. That's why I am starting my superwoman traveler series, where I'll bring you interviews with some incredible solo travellers I know. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, have you ever travelled solo? (And I don't mind if you're a man, even!). Let me know your thoughts on solo travel in the comments.

4 comments:

  1. I prefer traveling on my own, the freedom of it! I usually schedule trips on my own and then ask friends if they want to come along - great if someone wants to, but if not, just as well. I'm now targeting some countries that are supposedly not very solo woman-friendly (Morocco this month, Turkey next, possibly Lebanon in 2011), very excited!

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  2. I also love solo travel. I wonder sometimes if that is because I have no other option? I'd definitely take solo over no travel any day. I've been to Africa, PNG, Cuba, Italy and North America. You have to be a bit street smart to ensure you make it home safely, but I'd definitely recommend it to those considering a selfish little holiday!

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  3. @pavotrouge - I haven't been to Morocco but believe your experience there might be similar to mine in Tunisia - lots of men wanting to chat to you, to the point of being quite annoying! I never felt threatened though, just had enough! But what a beautiful country - enjoy your trip! Perhaps you'd like to be featured in my superwoman traveller series?

    @Anon - agreed, a bit street smart is important, but otherwise it's nowhere near as risky as people might imagine. Are you a superwoman or a superman? If the former then you might also like to feature in my series!

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  4. I love solo travel, and I'm a huge fan of your blog :)

    I'm currently plotting my solo adventure for 2011 and deciding where to go - do I go to Thailand or back to Vietnam? Or to New York? I'm really unsure at this stage, but it's definitely time that I got back out there on my own!

    I'd love to tell you more about it if you're looking for people to feature! :)

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