Travel and Being Female
Hmm, you really want to travel. None of your friends or loved ones can go when you can go. Do you stay and do the staycation, which often means watching binge of your latest telly show? Or do you look at the fact you got a very small inheritance and can get a ticket really cheap before the holidays. Yeah, I went last year, but barely scratched the surface. That need to explore more in depth in the country, get to place I did not see, and ones I saw that I really enjoyed and want so much to experience again.
I explored solo last year, and survived it. There were plusses and minuses to the travel. When traveling, it’s great to share your exploration with someone if you can. Being solo means you are in charge. But being a female solo traveler, there are some limits to what you can or should do. Depends on the countries are going to.
Going solo means that you have your itinerary, not someone else’s. It also means you should also provide someone with your itinerary so they will know where you are. Sadly, there are bad things that happen in the world. And people will take advantage if they see you are lone and well, we hope these things never happen, but they do. So let your family or a friend know where you are going.
Traveling with people means you can share and handle luggage together and have great sharing experiences. You also have to agree to disagree, have shared attractions time and maybe strike out on your own when the group thing doesn’t work. When you are solo, you are solo. It’s just you and your way, which for some is a great thing. It depends on your personality. If you spend a lot of time on your own in general, do small trips on your own, you’ll be fine. But if you are a people person who likes to be around friends a lot, solo may not work for you. But even if you are the lone wolf, there are some moments in traveling that you will feel very alone in a big, busy world. This happened to me half way through the trip last season. I was in Oban, Scotland. Big coastal tourist area. Spent hours clambering around, got back to one of the best B&B rooms I had been in, sat in chair, watched the port and island with binoculars. Took trip around the islands. Then I suddenly remembered a headline or two I had seen in papers and the craziness of Brexit, and upcoming presidential election hit me. I listened to John Lennon’s Imagine, and contemplated the world. I snapped out of it, “said you have to take a break from it all once in a while, feet on the ground”. It happens. Best get a kip and get on with evening exploration.
Yes, traveling alone can mean that when the sun goes down, you may want to get back to the hotel, depending on where you are traveling. In Europe, summer nights mean long light, you can stay out quite late and there is still sun. Just be mindful of how much drinking you are doing, don’t be a victim. Many hotels and B&Bs have travel safes, where you can leave money. You should keep your ID on you at all times since you never know what will happen, and it is a requirement. I would suggest only having enough cash on you to get your meal and a drink maybe.
When I was in Glasgow the first time, I was staying of the square and it was party central on Friday and Saturday night, spilling out into Sauchiehall Street with it‘s theatres and clubs and pubs. People walk locked in arms in massive groups going to and fro. I watched the groups cavorting and figured out quick that safety in numbers can be a good thing and glommed on behind a group of women, go errands done and got back no sweat. It was actually kind of fun. I don’t know if male solo travelers have as much difficulty getting about at night. Mugging experiences in San Francisco curtailed my night time explorations years back, so I am very wary. But if you are lucky to travel in high summer, you can be out and about until 11 pm and have plenty of light.
To your health you should think. You are traveling overseas and your healthcare provider coverage probably won’t help you. Some countries in the EU have socialistic coverage of health care and if you travel between countries and have a hospital stay, you may have some coverage. Not so if you are from the US. You may want to see what your limits are on your credit card because this may be the only way to get coverage in a foreign hospital. Or, get travel insurance.
Often we look at the travel insurance offered when booking our flights. Hmm, do I need to guarantee my flight? Is this an expense I can afford. It might be worth it to look at insuring your flight and basic life and death. It can be very costly to bring you back to your family should the worst occur. Not to spoil and dampen any vacation, but leaving a mess behind is never a good thing. So do a little research before you go and leave a copy with the friend that has your itinerary.
So what it comes down to is, do you really want to travel? If you have the opportunity and you got a wee inheritance, do you go for it solo? Or you have been saving for two years determined to go, do you look for a group traveling? Don’t let the solo prospect deter you, you could meet up with your favorite social media pals, or make new ones. I’m thinking of doing it. There are also social apps like Meet Up with groups doing all kinds of things that you may like to share. I am solo again. I really like the experience and meeting people if they will meet me. Sometimes the best convos are with strangers who turn out to be kindreds. I will probably take a few official tours, but I am already researching alternative tours of cities, and bike tours are starting to look really appealing. So take a chance and have an adventure while you can.