Daring the Solo Adventure as a Female
Last September, I stopped dreaming, left everything I had, and actually experienced what I had been craving for a long time. By the time my adventure came to an end in January 2018, I was happily fulfilled.
Over the course of 5 months, I traveled solo over 7000 km through South and Central America with 1 backpack, 1 journal, plenty of nights sleeping in hostels, dorms & hammocks, countless buses, boats & planes, a lot of energy & a spirit most free!
My experience far exceeded my expectations and was extremely enriching. I came back stronger, wiser, and even more confident and courageous than before. I felt enlightened and liberated, and it gave me the drive to continue exploring Central America, Mexico and certain countries of South America one day.
Traveling Solo as a Female
My wish is that my experience empowers other females to travel solo.
I got to meet plenty of other solo female travelers while wandering around. Despite the fear and warnings that we received back home, I was pleased to see that like me, other brave and independent girls had worked hard to conquer their fears, follow their hearts, and chase their own goals and dreams to explore. Mentalities are changing nowadays, and it's beautiful.
In my opinion, traveling alone is not as scary as one thinks. It might seem frightening because you are out of your comfort zone - but with caution, common sense, courage, and confidence (4 C´s), anyone´s journey should go smoothly.
Nevertheless, insecurity and harassment were frequent occurrences in my life on the road, and staying alert was essential. Luckily, I did not suffer any major issues of danger.
However, I was littered with unpleasant instances of catcalls and suggestive looks, and over time this really started to put a damper on my trip. It is essential to voice any concerns to locals and tell fellow backpackers for their own sake.
Going on adventures is what makes me happiest, and I would never let these incidents scare me away from it.
Common Traits of Solo Female Adventurers
I've found that females that dare the solo adventure seem to have the following traits in common:
Making the decision to head off on a solo adventure takes courage. Especially as women, there are more things to consider.
We evaluate, imagine, deduce, and analyze what the ‘reality’ of traveling alone will be; the mere process of doing so is already courageous. I think it is a healthy boost for our self esteem too. It's satisfying to take things in your own hands and make careful decisions.
Taking the plunge is already a confidence booster. Traveling solo means you have to make decisions and learn to trust yourself. The entire experience of doing things on your own is a fabulous opportunity for personal development. We are used to being faced with the unknown and dealing with problems on our own, but making decisions quickly or intuitively also develop confidence.
As a woman traveling solo, you will find that people are interested or intrigued by you. They are inspired and want to talk and hear about your experience. This creates ample opportunity for connection - not just between females, but all adventurers.
I would like to highlight that traveling alone forces you to figure out and trust who you are and how you want to live your life. My travels taught me to be comfortable with enjoying time on my own.
I live to be free and humble, and believe that being at peace with oneself makes you a better person. I also learned to laugh at myself and not take things too seriously. Every new perspective or event has shaped me as a person.
I do try to live my life to the fullest and always follow my dreams. Once I envision a project, challenge or destination, I will work hard to get there, and when I do, I will make every minute count. Matthew Karsten, an expert vagabond, said,
“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself.”
I could not agree more with this quote and will keep on exploring the world and be as spontaneous and free as I can.
To all you other solo female travelers, I encourage you to dare the solo adventure.