Overcoming fears of solo travel as a female

Being female comes with its own blessings and curses.We love our male folk but sometimes the feeling of surviving without them around paralyses many a female folk that some have decided to embrace the paralysis and not pursue their dreams.

Without really targeting any culture, it is a well known fact that in some cultures, what women are capable of doing freely, they can’t really do in others. In the African culture, a woman is seen as one who is a helper at home and don’t get me wrong, in many cultures, I should think that is the case. With that being said, the issue of traveling should not be much of a problem until they hear the word ‘solo’. I mean, where are you going on your own?

In my opinion, this question could be coming from the fact that even males do am sure get fearful when traveling on their own. But can this fear be overcome? Can it magically just disappear after sessions with a therapist? There is no one good answer but my observation travelling in Southern African counties as one who belongs in this region, I noticed there are some fears that grip that one female ( especially from Africa) from just stepping outside one’s comfortable place

After travelling to a few countries here in Southern Africa, it’s safe to say these are some of the reasons other females have not stepped out of their comfort zones.

1)How do I even fit in?

It’s no doubt that some people fuss over food, friendships and to some extent, why not?I am used to having my English breakfast, why should I have chapati, omelette, lemon tea and fruit for breakfast ( which by the way was the kind of breakfast I had in Kenya)

Part of travel involves experiencing culture that is different from yours.You could either go and entirely refuse to be a part of it or embrace it. How can you do that? Embrace change, accept differences, go to the park and mix with locals. There is of course the danger in some places of being bullied for being different. At one time in East Africa, I could clearly get that I was being mocked for not knowing the local language

The sure way out of this is really to adopt a care free attitude. Let them talk about how you speak differently, don’t allow yourself to be bothered by that because some locals embrace foreigners. Train your taste buds to accept change, chances are that though different, you may like some foods and ultimately, the other way to overcome the feelings of not fitting in is to stop being judgemental and stereotypical.

2)Will I be safe?

This feeling of not being safe affects many even in places we call home. The feeling is just worse in an unfamiliar place. Hundred percent safety is not a guarantee everywhere but some things that will keep you safe are things like avoiding walking late nights on your own, being intoxicated and try at all costs to keep your stuff safe (bank cards, passport, cash etc) and I have seen some keep their documents in a secure sash that goes in one’s underwear. Pretty cool.

3) Loneliness?

It’s funny how some travellers feel embarrassed or is it insecure of having a meal on their own.Which one is better, to ditch that solo trip because you can’t be on your own, or wait ages or forever for that group trip? I am okay with enjoying that meal on my own.It is embedded in some minds that when you travel alone, you are alone and lonely all the time but that is not true. Starting from your mode of transport which could be a plane, cruise, train or bus to the hotels, hostels and what not, you do meet or find people everywhere. Loneliness is sometimes a negative mindset you should shake off.

4) Family disapproval

Males travelling is usually not as much of a problem in families as opposed to females doing the same.Sometimes it is our family members that disapprove of the solo travel. One way that has worked for me is to update them of my whereabouts and everything you are upto. Taking good care of yourself everytime you travel and family having confidence in you and how well you take care of yourself, will reduce their complaints.

4 thoughts on “Overcoming fears of solo travel as a female

  1. I’ve always wanted to take a solo trip someday as I think it would be a great way to get out of my comfort zone and learn more about myself. I just need to work up the courage to actually do it. Thanks for providing some inspiration and motivation.

  2. I feel very lucky to be a man and where traveling alone feels normal and safe. I can only imagine the additional considerations for women. Way to go for spreading awareness and inspiration through your travel writing!

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