I came across a great article on huffingtonpost.com from Lee Abbamonte, the self proclaimed “youngest American to travel to every country”. Since the moment I started talking to family and friends about my upcoming trip the #1 reaction is concern that I will be traveling alone. As a single, young woman no less! While I appreciate the trepidation, I see it more as a challenge than a concern. I’ll share my favorite excerpt from Lee’s article…
“Solo travel almost forces you to talk to people, whether it’s locals or other travelers. It forces you to come out of your shell. It forces you to take charge and learn about where you are, where you’re going and where you’ve been. It forces you to be uncomfortable with your surroundings, which is a great thing. Being uncomfortable means you will go out of your way to feel comfortable by meeting people and getting to know the city you’re in. That feeling of being uncomfortable and thriving at overcoming it is what separates travelers from tourists.”
One of the main reasons for this trip is to take me out of my comfort zone and see what I am really made of. Of course, a certain amount of common sense and caution is needed, but that is true for any traveler, not just women. Another point that Lee makes is that he has met plenty of solo women travelers all around the world, but most of them are not Americans. While we have obviously come very far in this country, as far as women equality, we still tend to coddle our women to a point. Traveling alone is discouraged more for women than men. Men can take care of themselves while women are susceptible to panic, deception, and god forbid, rape. The truth of the matter is that traveling in unfamiliar places can be dangerous for anyone. But it can also be enlightening and empowering if you go into your trip with a positive attitude and confidence.
Thanks Lee for a wonderful article :)