Hey lady, is this stopping you from travelling solo?
Do you want to have a travel experience all your own? When we travel in pairs or groups, compromise is the name of the game. After all, your fellow traveller(s) might not want to eat in the same places or do the same activities as you.
Maybe your travel companion wants you to be around all the time, and you kind of want to have your own experience, or their budget is WAY different than yours, which means you end up striking things off the list or trying to decide what extras you can afford.
When you’re roped in with someone else, you might end up cutting your trip short or even going somewhere you’re not very excited about.
Travelling solo is an amazing, freeing, confidence-building experience. But there are so many reasons to put it off, and we return to them every time an opportunity to travel arises out of fear. Which one of these resonate the most with you?
Is it flat out unsafe to travel alone, especially as a woman?
Safety is very important, don't get me wrong. There are a few places in the world where it’s absolutely not advised to travel alone as a woman (although some brave souls still do it with style). If putting your safety at risk doesn't sound like the holiday you're looking for, don't let it stop you from travelling altogether!! Promise me!!
Most places in the world are safe to travel to, if you’re conscientious. I dream of a time when I don’t have to say this anymore, but as women we have to take precautions. Instead of deciding never to travel alone, do some research and take advice from seasoned travellers (and take anonymous internet advice and stories with a heaping spoonful of salt).
Fear over safety inflates our sense of danger and makes our lives smaller and smaller. Personally, I’ve found that the more I travel alone, the more comfortable I feel in my own skin and in the world. Once upon a time, my world was shrinking. Once I started exploring and meeting people on my own, it began to grow again!
What safety concerns are keeping you in stay-cation mode? Who can you reach out to as a resource to get clarity and grow your confidence?
Travelling solo might feel frivolous and unnecessary to you. If you’re travelling with your family, a partner, or group of friends, it’s easier to justify because it’s an investment in shared experience and deepening relationships.
Financial Frances is concerned with priorities. She has bills to pay, people to support, and if she’s going to travel, she needs to be able to justify it… maybe her sister also wants to go, or it can be an anniversary celebration with her husband, or she was going to go with a work opportunity anyways.
Solo travel is one of those expenses that is purely for you. For you to spend time doing what YOU want, how YOU want to, and where YOU want to. Women compromise a lot, and we have a complicated relationship with money.
So think of it this way: If there was an opportunity you COULDN'T, WOULD NEVER pass up, or you were doing it for someone else out of pure love (coming up with money to send your child to summer camp, or going on a once-in-a-lifetime excursion to a destination of your dreams with a beloved), you would find a way to make it happen. You've already done it before, I'm sure of it. When all the odds were against you, you found a creative solution and determination to make it happen.
What do you end up prioritizing over and over again, above your travel dreams? What financial burden keeps forcing you to put off your plans? What can you do to make travelling truly important to you again?
I can't tell you how many people (especially women) tell me something like, "Oh, I would do that, but then I would be running away from all my responsibilities. Who would make sure the kids are fed and their homework done? Who would shop for groceries? Who would hold down the fort and do the multitude of small tasks I do every day?"
This is usually meant as a tongue-in-cheek joke, but not really. After all, it’s what stops Responsible Ritas from travelling– others and their needs always come first.
Ladies, we do a lot, and it's almost always in service to someone else. What have you done for YOU lately, that wasn't just to benefit someone else, or benefit both of you as a package deal?
Travelling is not running away from your responsibilities. Something I've learned is that it's good to realize that you can leave and the world DOESN'T come crashing down around you. Maybe it's good for other people to understand what you do in your absence.
No, all your problems won't be solved by travelling, but travelling creates beautiful space to find clarity, joy, discovery, curiosity, and a weightlessness that will help you give to yourself and the others around you. Shake up that routine!
What responsibilities are you afraid of leaving behind? Do you have trouble asking others for help, to step in? Who could step up to the plate while you’re taking care of yourself?
Of course you’re going to travel solo! You have some dream destinations mapped out, and whether someone comes with you or not, you’re going. I mean, just not now. You’re Waiting Winnifred, putting travel just out of reach like an apple on a stick.
"I'll travel when I'm finished my education."
"I'll travel when my youngest son moves out."
"I'll travel when I get a promotion."
"I'll travel when I get 3 weeks of holiday at work (in five years)."
"I'll travel when I've put $10k in savings."
"I'll travel once I've lost 20lbs."
"I'll travel when I finally find that perfect someone."
“I’ll travel once I buy a house and settle in.”
“I’ll travel once I feel more secure.”
Do any of these sound familiar? In case you’re looking for permission, here it is: You deserve to travel just as you are, right now. You don't need to wait until all the stars line up and you're sent a message from the heavens that it's finally time– it's time now, if you want it to be.
Of course, you need to give yourself permission, or this is never going to work. Food for thought: In a list of 5 things people regret on their deathbed, the FIRST item was: "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
Oof. Why do we make this so hard for ourselves, putting something as glorious as travel just out of arm's reach, forever? Just to receive validation from others that you are living a good or reasonable life? Have self-compassion and courage: you have everything you need to do what you want to do, travel or otherwise.
What are you currently waiting for before you can enjoy a solo trip? Does this goal have a definitive end date, or will you likely be waiting forever?
To quote one half of a Swedish proverb, "Shared joy is double joy." The thought of travelling alone can be really overwhelming– I don't know which is worse, the thought of having to experience the challenges of travelling by myself with no support, or of watching the most beautiful sunset over the ocean, all alone.
Because travelling with someone else is so much more attractive, Lonely Lucys wait and wait for someone else to jump on board with them... and they can wait forever for that to happen. Waiting for schedules and finances to line up, waiting for flaky friends to commit, hoping that nothing will come up to ruin the plan.
My two tips as a solo traveller who loves people and sharing experiences:
1. Embrace the experience of making new friends. Sure, you might not know anyone on your future trip right NOW, but you will once you go! If you've ever travelled alone before, you'll know what I mean when I say... It's so much easier to make friends when you're by yourself!! If you're with a friend or a group, other solo travellers often leave you alone because you don't need them the way they need you. Travelling alone means creating amazing relationships that wouldn't have otherwise happened. And... no more loneliness!
2. If the idea of making friends abroad as you go gives you a lot of anxiety, then join a group like Discover Your Bali! A small group (not a giant bus tour), where you get to meet everyone and have freedom and flexibility when it comes to how and where you spend your time.
I hope these tips have helped you. If you need any support or are interested in taking the dive and visiting Bali with Discover Your Bali, the travel experience for women who want to travel solo but not alone, DM me on Facebook or Instagram, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.