Be Bold For Change (#beboldforchange) was the motto of the 106th International Women’s Day 2017. Even after a century of celebrating this day of women empowerment, gender equality is a still a far-off thing in today’s society.
Instead of waiting for the change to happen on its own, let all the women change for themselves. Come out of your shells and comfort zones, and break the stereotype. There is no better way for a woman to realize her power than traveling solo.
This Women’s Day – be bold enough to travel on your own; go traveling solo! To all those adventurous ladies who have already traveled solo, kudos to you!
Be Bold For Solo Travel
There are a lot of hardships that come your way when you decide to travel alone; maybe it is the concerns of your loved ones or the fear of the unknown. As a woman, we have to deal with a lot of issues (and internal chatter) before embarking on a solo trip.
Here are the top 8 concerns woman face and how to overcome the resistance.
Concerns From Loved Ones
When you want to spread your wings, sometimes they get tied down by the concerns of your parents. Their concern (even though annoying) is explainable and mostly reasonable. With the increase in violence towards women in all spheres, it is only fair that parents get concerned for their daughters traveling alone.
But once you make the decision to travel solo, take your time and explain to your parents. They will surely understand, once you put your plans before them and promise to contact them regularly.
There is no shutter to the eyes of a male, and even if there were one, they would still stare. When you travel to a new country, it is common for women to get male glances.
That is why before traveling to your destination, do extensive research. Read about the culture and traditions so you can dress in an appropriate way. It is okay to wear shorts and a tank top, wandering around the Parisian Lanes.
But in some places (for example in India or a Muslim country) it is not a good idea to attract unwanted attention to yourself. Even if you see some locals wearing modern western clothing, it is not a bad idea to keep a low profile.
Wherever you travel, always make sure to check first what the local custom and cultures regarding clothing are and pack accordingly. You don’t have to be boring. You can still travel in style as well as comfort without attracting unwanted male attention. Here is a hint: try ethnic clothes.
Get Over the Pitying
In many places around the world, people think traveling alone is pitiful. They label you as a “sad old soul” who needs a partner to settle down. But women who travel alone know well that the road can be the best partner, and new experiences keep you in good company.
It is not impossible to have a family and travel; you can do both if you have enough patience to balance both. Do not feel sorry for yourself or lonely, and when you feel so, think about why you traveled in the first place. It is easy to use just a patient smile and calm voice to let the people know that you don’t care what they think, but you care about what you want.
Periods When Traveling
Traveling is fun, but the change of weather can mess with your menstrual cycle. You cannot enjoy a beach day with cramps annoying you. And if you are enjoying an African Jungle Safari, then God save you! (Please pack some painkillers, just in case.)
In many countries, there are less than safe and unhygienic conditions. Sometimes you have only a bucket of cold water to deal with your problem. In those troublesome times too, we women do not give up. Though it is better that you plan your trips on dates when you are likely period-free, so you can have fun to the fullest.
Kickass In A New Territory
Solo women travelers are easy targets for desperate men. In countries where men have a chauvinistic mindset, they do not think before pouncing. If you are a beginner, it is better if you avoid dangerous countries like Yemen. In many of the developing countries too, you come across many instances where solo female travelers get abused. Research well, plan and prepare.
Do your research on your destination and rate it on a scale of safety. And if it is above 6/10 then it is okay to take the risk. Once at your destination, put your game face on (reserve a smile for the friendly ones).
A self-defense program comes in handy in case you need to kick ass when the situation arises. Carry weapons for safety with you, like pepper sprays and a penknife just to take your opponent by surprise. And above all look confident even though you are shaking in your boots!
Pack To Look Pretty
After reading this, you must surely want to explore the wild and badass side of your personality. But the biggest superpower of a female traveler is the ability to pack less and travel more. Girls, we know you love to look beautiful. But sometimes blending comfort and beauty is an excellent thing.
A couple of t-shirts, jeans or shorts, jackets, boots and a dress or two is more than enough for your travel wardrobe. Make sure all the combinations work together, so you do not repeat an outfit in your pictures.
Remember there is always that one lovely dress and accessories you buy on your trip to take back home. So, leave some room for them in your luggage as well. Also, do not forget your essential toiletries. You need not carry your makeup kit with you: a Gloss and Kajal will do the trick.
Get Wild and Have Fun
Are you bold enough for a transformative change? If yes, then make your decision and get wild. Traveling alone can get lonely at times and if you meet someone who sets the sparks going, why jinx it by not being prepared?
Please only engage in safe sex. Make sure you put the rubber on and do not forget to take your pills. These small steps give you relief from bigger troubles like STDs and unwanted pregnancy. If you are brave enough to embark on a solo trip, you are brave and matured enough to say “No” if you are not interested. Do the right thing.
Make New Friends
Whether you believe it or not, there are plenty of places around the world where a traveler gets treated like a celebrity. In many places, it is actually easy to make friends; be it an Airbnb or a hostel or a resort. On your way, you meet fellow female travelers. The bond you share becomes stronger when you share your journey and experiences.
This International Women’s Day, add your story to the collection of stories about brave women making bold decisions. Do something and share your stories that will inspire other girls to explore the world on their own.
International Women’s Day
Below are some of the events in March:
1) International Women’s Day Fun Run, Brisbane on March 5th
2) SHEfights – An all-female Muay Thai event in Toronto on March 11th
3) Water for People (a free event in Washington D.C.) on March 8th
4) International Women’s Day Walk in Zurich on March 8th
5) WOW (Women of the World) Festival in London on March 7th
All events focus on the motto of this year’s International Women’s Day: Be Bold For Change! And, one of the best ways to initiate a transformative change is “by traveling”.