I (19 yr old female) traveled by myself this summer at first just on weekend trips because I was working and then for 2 weeks at the end of the summer (in Spain and a little in France). It did not bother me in the least bit to travel by myself in fact I liked it a LOT and on most trips I didn't have trouble meeting people.
BUT one thing that started to bug me was people (usually guys) were like "aren't you scared traveling by yourself" or "you're a girl and you're travelling alone?!?!?" and sometimes they would repeat these type of statements more than once. A couple times I almost got to the point where I wanted to say "Yes I am a girl traveling solo and no I'm not scared but if you keep saying that I am going to think that there is something I should be scared of!!" or they would try and tell me what to do...
So I'm asking everyone else to do us girls a favor and befriend us but don't try and scare us or parent us!!
I'm also wondering if anyone else has any similar stories.
One of my stories was when I was in Paris and the desk clerk at my hostal was a nice guy but every time I walked in or out he was like be careful, be careful and then when I got my backpack to leave and told him I was leaving on a night train he was like "don't leave on night train it's better to leave in the morning." I replied " then I have to pay for another night in a hostal and I lose time during the day traveling." his solution "you can stay at my house."
Yah great solution!!! You tell me how many times to "be careful" but you want me to spend the night at a strange guys house... Don't worry I stuck with my night train.
hey leahrb, thanks for the info. I have traveled in the u.s. but want to start going out of the country and cant find anybody else to go and dont mind being by myself but have had concerns about going alone. I am doing as much research as possible about the do's and do nots and am really glad to hear from a solo female and would appreciate any stories from other females as well.
Travelling in Brazil on my own. EVERYONE AND I MEAN EVERYONE would be like..."wow youre so brave " and Im like errrrrr no not really, it got really boring after a while trying to defend my chosen travel style, which is definately alone, (cos Im just the best company)
Anyway I met loads of groups of boys travelling together that were far more clueless than I was walking round looking like they had massive neon signs above their heads saying we're tourists please rape and pillage us!!!!
Ive got a bee in my bonnet about this.
I'm glad you like the thread. Most of the time while I was traveling I was in Spain and knew the language and the culture (the guys yell and whistle and make kissing noises at girls quite often) but since I knew they did these things it didn't really bother me. I used "I'm going to meet some friends, or I'm waiting for some friends" - quite a few times.
So I suggest reading up on your country(ies) before you go.
Also try and find a balance of having your nose burried in your map while making sure you don't wonder into any iffy neighborhoods.
Other then that have fun and don't let the guys scare you off!!!
I understand why it bugs you but what are we supposed to do? NOT warn you about the places to avoid?
If you engender an attitude in other people that you don't want to be told because you can look after yourself, thank you very much, then you could come unstuck. As with all forms of advice, you have to listen to it politely, filter out what you need and be grateful.
You see, nice guys tend to be a bit protective towards women, even if they're not trying to hit on you. Maybe that's a bit sexist, but it's also quite nice, don't you think?
Politeness in any situation can be overwhelming. I'm reading a book right now by Josie Dew, an English woman cycling around Japan. She is constantly given gifts everytime she stops pedalling - food, drink, offers of lifts and accommodation. At times she gets fed up with it and wishes it would stop, but she's hardly spent anything thanks to all that generosity, and is she complaining? Nope.
You can't accept generosity on your own terms. It comes at you when people choose to give it, and you take it or leave it. But don't complain if it doesn't come back when you need it.
thanks for the reply.
Maybe I came across a little bit wrong. I do appreciate whatever advice I get while traveling and I do what you said and listen to everyone's opinion and then kind of filter it out. This type of thing didn't bother me but the thing that really got me was when people just kept saying over and over you're alone, you're a girl, you're alone, you're a girl. Or be careful, be careful, becuase that does nothing but scare me. It doesn't warn me what section of town to stay away from or give me any reason that I should worry while being alone.
So maybe what I'm saying is if you meet a girl traveling alone don't be so surprised that all you say is "you're a girl and you're traveling alone!?!..."
i have to agree. i dont usually tell people i am traveling alone untill i come back from a trip. usually people are frightened to be alone, but i find its not so bad. also meeting new people is very exciting. i cant wait to go to europe this winter. i was going to go alone, but i have a friend who is coming, but its not for sure. but i am truely going. anyway, i find it doesnt matter how old you are as a women, people think of the worst when you are alone. but do as you please and wait for no one.