Solo Women Travellers
Make new girlfriends
You’re not the only solo woman wanderer out there. Collect travel companions as you go and bond over tackling new adventures together. Staying in hostels is perhaps the a easiest way to do this, though you could also seek out female hosts on Couchsurfing or AirBnb. Some hostels even have female only dorms, and, if your lucky, your accomadation could end up feeling like a grown-up girlie sleepover party. This will require a little bravery on your part though. Making friends means there’s no time to be shy, so take a deep breath and strike up a conversation. Before you know it, you’ll be exploring the city together for the day before doing each other’s make-up for a crazy night out. Bonus: these girls are travellers too, so you’re likely to have a lot in common. The girlfriends you make on the road are often powerful, interesting, inspiring women, and we can never have too many of those in our lives.
Do as the women do
Now is not the time to make a feminist statement, at least not with your dress. When in a foreign country, dress as the women their dress. Find out what the standard is for modesty, and then follow it to the best of your ability. A good arsenal of scarves can be handy for covering shoulders, heads, whatever whenever necessary. Yes, it may seems oppressive to you, but dressing inappropriately for the culture does more to make you look inconsiderate then it does to point out patriarchy. If you’re willing to listen, you may even find that some of the local women are more empowered than you think.
Go where the women go
Many cultures include spaces that are traditionally only frequented by men. While it’s not usually a treehouse-style “no girl’s allowed” policy, it just so happens that these are places men gather without their female counterparts. So if you stumble into one of these establishments, you may feel a bit out of place. You’ll know if you find one- the all eyes on you sensation will be tangible. Look for places with tables full of women and children – in the case of restaurants, the food is usually higher quality at these establishments anyway. Extra points if you find an establishment owned or run by women – supporting female owned businesses is good for your sisterhood karma.
If you find yourself in a culture where you are suddenly inundated by male advances, block them out with a little armour. A fake wedding ring, casually twirled at the moment of loaded eye contact, can be a good deterrent. So can a set of headphones – even if you’ve got no music going, they’ll make it a little easier to play deaf. Trying bringing a book, sketchbook or journal to solo meals. Being busy makes you less approachable.
Trust your instincts, take care of yourself, and then let go and enjoy your travels. You are a capable, competent solo woman travel. You are smart enough to keep yourself safe. Don’t let anyone make you feel differently, sister. Go out and see the world!