Have you always dreamed of going on a solo trip? Our ambassador Késia, shares five tips to reassure and reconcile you (or your family and friends) to the idea of solo travelling!
Our blue planet, is beautiful. So beautiful that most people on this earth dream of leaving on a whim to travel a few hundred kilometers, for a trip to another continent, or simply for a moment of immersion in another country. For women, going overseas on a solo adventure can sometimes be synonymous with anxiety. For their loved ones, it also means that it is more dangerous than for a man. True or false? In some countries, it is true that the risks of travelling alone as a woman are higher than for a man. However, does this mean that we must abandon our dreams and our desire for adventure? I think we need to put this into perspective and that no matter what kind of person we are, solo travel is possible. All you need to do is to be aware of a few principles and apply some basic rules, the ones I call the five keys to the solo journey ...
Being logic and being cautious are two ways to adopt a safe behaviour. For example, if you go out to a nightclub at one o'clock in the morning and come back alone walking down small dark alleys (in a neighborhood you don't know), this decision will increase security risks. A safe behaviour could be to get into the habit of asking the staff at your accommodation about neighbourhoods or areas to avoid in the city. It could also be to focus on group activities (businesses known to offer services in the field of tourism), rather than going alone with people who improvises themselves as a local guide. I think we must remember that most people are not malicious, but that some people are for several reasons (e.g. economic poverty, social poverty, conflicts and political issues, etc.). It could also be not to be too much of a tourist. For example, it is clear that if you walk around a poor neighbourhood with your two thousand dollar camera around your neck, a tourist card in your hand and you wear expensive clothes, you will probably attract attention. So, when you adopt a safe behaviour, you limit the risk of being a potential victim.
Fear is an interesting concept. On the one hand, it can stimulate us to push our limits and on the other hand, it can literally paralyze us. If we listen too much to our fears, they end up controlling our rational side and keeping us inactive. If we do not listen to them, it can put us at risk and cause us to neglect to maintain a certain level of vigilance. Fear can therefore prevent us from booking a trip, that's well known. How can we not let ourselves be paralyzed by this fear, which can become too easily established? Trust yourself! Obviously, It not everything always goes as planned when travelling. Let's just say that our ability to adapt is very often welcome. I think that recalling a situation where we were actually able to manage what was happening can be mentally positive. Fear pushes us to create our own limits. Just because you don't speak the language of the country doesn't mean you can't manage to order in a restaurant. And just because you seem lost in a specific place doesn't mean you won't be able to ask someone for directions. Once again, trust yourself!
It is important to understand that women's social realities, rights and roles can be very different depending on: nationality, culture, religion, patriarchal or matriarchal system, etc. It is therefore possible that on the way, we may end up meeting people who do not understand the meaning of this quest for freedom that a woman can feel when travelling alone, that it may even seem inconceivable! Don't panic. Purpose is not to prove anything here. Obviously, I think that as a woman, it is important not to forget yourself, but it must also be understood that depending on where we are in the world, it would not be appropriate to push cultural and/or religious boundaries too far. For example, entering a sacred temple without covering your shoulders or knees and ignoring the rules can be disrespectful to the community. Respecting and understanding cultural and religious differences maintains a climate of peace.
I met women who could not imagine travelling alone because they told me that there was too much danger elsewhere in the world. That it was not safe. When we watch the news or scroll down our social media feeds, it can convince us not to leave. It is easy to fall into generalization. I think we have to be careful with some of the available information. To give just one example, it seems true that it is dangerous to venture into certain parts of Mexico. On the other hand, it is completely false to say that we are exposed to high risks across the country. Take the time to do your research before travelling to a country (crime rates, security risks, political authorities and political crises, etc.). Then, do as I do ... Reassure your loved ones and try not to panic.
Based on my personal experience, I would be lying to say that I had no fear before I dive into the unknown. When it is our first solo trip, we tend to have a little less self-confidence because we have very few points of reference. I want to tell you: "Go ahead, don't hesitate and go for it girl"! Life is so short and the world is so big. Life is also so unpredictable and who knows what can happen to us overnight? For me, this decision was one of the best of my life. I met people with a golden heart, I saw landscapes that left me speechless, I personally grew and I understood a little more about who I am. I tried new experiences and faced my fears. I felt proud, I shed tears, I tasted euphoria, adrenaline, compassion, empathy, strength. I understood that feeling at a dead end was sometimes the beginning of renewal. I understood that to be happy, that's what I was missing: taking the step towards new adventures, towards new horizons. The journey is all about that ... So, what are you waiting for?
I hope that my five keys can help you to live your own adventures and one day, who knows, to conquer some intimidating countries. If you want to know more about me, get more travel tips, read suggestions for places to visit or things to do in a specific destination, don't hesitate to check my travel blog (kesiavoyageboheme.com). You can also follow me on my social networks if you feel like it. Have a good trip!