Why Every Woman Should Travel Solo

The answer is easy. It will change your life in the best possible ways! 

I absolutely, 100% believe that every woman should have the experience of taking at least two weeks to travel alone in a foreign country at least once in their lives. No doubt, no question, it will shift everything. 

My six week solo trip through Central and Eastern Europe is, hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. It was a game-changer and catalyst for transformation. I wouldn’t be who I am today without that experience. No question about it. 

The culmination of my 2015 solo trip in many ways! I had just hiked the highest mountain in Czechia and would head home in only a handful of days.

What You’re Going to Lose

If you choose to embark on this big adventure of a solo trip, you will inevitably lose things along the way. Strewn throughout Europe are remnants, both physical and intangible of what I’ve lost though my travels. I’ve lost everything from yoga mats and water bottles to limiting beliefs and fear of the unknown. Here are some of the biggest losses you can expect… 

Prejudices

Visiting somewhere that’s different than your home country can be overwhelming at first. You’ll find yourself bombarded with new sights and sounds, plus completely new ways of doing life. What you’ll discover as you observe and interact with these new lands: we’re all just people. 

We all love. We all want to belong. We all want to take care of our families and grab the little slices of happiness wherever they present themselves. We’re all just humans, fellow travelers to the grave. Nothing to be scared of or looked down upon there!

Self-Doubt

One thing is for sure, before you even step on that plane, you’re going to be riddled with self-doubt! I can almost guarantee you’ll seriously consider not going. Then you’ll go and you’ll be sitting on the plane wondering what the fuck you’ve just done. “Can I do this?! Am I totally insane?!” Nah, girl, you’re not crazy, you’re fucking brave!

You’ll hit the ground and still be freaking out about finding your accommodation, getting around, etc. Then you’ll get to the end of the first day and realize that you did it!!! And you’ll do it all over again the next day. And the next. You’ll have adventures, meet interesting people, eat delicious food, and find yourself smiling more and more as you start to find your groove.

The feelings of doubt never really go away – you’ll go through the whole thing again when it’s time to move onto your next destination, but probably with a little less intensity because you’ve already done it once. Eventually, you’ll just stop listening to the voice. You’ll KNOW that you can do this! You can find your way around, get what you need, immerse yourself in a new world, and have an amazing time in the process! 

Limited World View

This will probably be quite unpopular, but I don’t care. I seriously want to lose my shit every time I hear someone say “America is the greatest country in the world.” It’s not true. Full fucking stop.

We do some things well, and we really suck at others. When you travel you’ll see new ways people and governments deal with problems we all face in modern society. Some of them are better than our own solutions at home! We have so much to learn from other cultures, and we have much to share with them as well. By showing up to a new place with an open mind, you’ll discover that your entire view of what’s possible changes! 

What You’ll Find Along the Way

Now, it’s not all just loss when you travel. 😉 Sometimes when we lighten the load in one area, we make room for some other awesomeness to come our way. You’ll take home some super cool souvenirs, and some of them won’t even take up space in your bag! Here are some of the best things I’ve brought home with me from my solo travels… 

Connection

One of my absolute favorite things about traveling alone is the opportunity to make new and interesting connections. When you travel with someone else, you’re connecting with that person (which is the point!), so you miss chances to interact with locals or other travelers. When you’re alone, you’ll find that you have WAY more conversations with people you don’t know. 

I know that as women traveling alone, safety is usually a primary concern. If we’re not careful, we can get stuck in fear and be overly wary of strangers. In my experience, most people are kind, generous, and helpful! Common sense and intuition goes a long way. Trust those and stay open to connections when they present themselves!

Confidence

This is probably the biggest thing I’ve gained through my solo travels. When you embark on an adventure alone, there’s no one to share ideas with or problem solve with. You’re on your own, love. Then this magical thing happens. You’ll discover as you problem solve, navigate, connect, manage to feed yourself, etc. that you don’t actually need anyone else along for the ride! You, my dear, are perfectly capable of doing it your damn self! 

I can think of a dozen times, just off the top of my head, that I’ve referenced my solo travels when I come up against a challenge. I’ll tell myself, “If you can get your ass around seven countries with a tent and a rental car, you can totally fucking do this!” And it’s true. Being able to call up those experiences and what it felt like to overcome the challenges I faced along the way always gives me the confidence I need to tackle whatever is in front of me. 

After you get home and settle, you’ll probably even find yourself thinking, “Well, if I can do THAT, what else can I do?!” The sky’s the limit now!

Compassion

When you lose your prejudices, you gain compassion. As you begin to see and understand our shared humanity, you stop seeing people as “others”. You’ll find that we’re so much more alike than we are different. You can see our differences as unique strengths rather than something to be feared.

You’ll have to rely on the kindness of strangers from time to time, and discover that the world is full of goodness. Maybe it will be asking for directions or help figuring out a laundry machine that’s only in German when you don’t speak the language. Yep, that happened. As you receive this kindness, you’ll be more willing to give it in return. 

Now get out there, the world is waiting for you. 

Your Turn

What solo trip have you always wanted to do but haven’t yet? What’s kept you from realizing your dream? What would it take to get you to say “yes” to yourself and go?

Annie

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