Another week, another Women Who Wander. Women Who Wander is a series here on Young and Undecided where fellow travelling ladies can share their thoughts and stories about solo female travel. Best experiences, horror stories, destinations guides, tips and motivation. You will find a little bit of everything here and hopefully it was empower you to take that first step towards solo travel too. This week, Madhurima is sharing her thoughts on the booming solo female travel craze, and whether it’s really necessary travel solo at all.
Madhurima is a cultural purist at heart, who believes in doing everything “the local way.” She loves discovering off-the-beaten-track places and delving into the unknown. Eating local food, staying with the locals and discovering their favourite escapes, understanding their culture and beliefs and celebrating local festivals is her motto while travelling. After all, when we understand people’s views from different cultures, we become a bit more tolerant every day, thus leading the way to a harmonious society. You can follow her adventures on her blog
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Time is changing and the travel & tourism sector is changing along with it. A survey predicts that today, 80% of travel decisions are made by women.
It is no secret that women are leading the way in travel and one of the booming segments of women’s travel is solo female travelers. Today’s female travelers are bold, independent and looking to explore new and raw experiences. They are looking to break barriers and reach the most unreachable places to interact with people from unknown cultures.
Reading their stories, it is almost impossible to not be inspired to travel solo. However, I believe it’s important to take a deeper look at the reasons behind solo travel rather than getting swayed by a few stories. This brings me to the most important question, do we really need to travel solo? And if yes, should we always travel solo?
Travel solo at least once
First things first, you can’t really judge something if you have never done it. So, get up and get ready and take your first solo trip. It may be a very carefully planned one or it might be totally spontaneous but one thing is for sure, you will learn a lot from it.
Other than learning from your mistakes, you will also learn a lot about yourself and that is the very essence of a solo trip. When you are traveling with someone, you are never making 100% of the decisions or facing all the consequences for your decisions alone. When you are traveling solo, things are different. Each and every decision and choice you make will shape the rest of your journey.
This allows you to enhance your decision making process and increases your sense of responsibility. As you leave your comfort zone and venture into the unknown, you will learn how to tackle challenges and unforeseen circumstances. You will learn to adapt to new surroundings and grow as a person.
Most importantly, you will learn to live with yourself. You will accept your flaws, appreciate your strengths and learn how to find your own happiness. You learn to become your best friend and that, I believe is the whole essence of solo travel.
Travel with your friends and family too
In the process of understanding yourself, it is important to remember and maintain the relationships in life that truly matter- your close friends, your family and your lover (if you have one). Traveling with them is a very different experience but also equally worthy of your time.
Instead of grabbing dinner alone, you now have a few people to share it with, instead of facing the problems alone, you now have some help and not to mention, your backpack is now safe even if you go to the washroom!
Travelling with friends (family or lover) teaches you the importance of working in a team, compromising when necessary and finding the joys of sharing. In the process, you also strengthen your relationship with them because now you have been there for each other in unknown situations and surroundings. Clearly, balancing both these types of travel is a delicate matter but that does not imply you stop either, not yet at least.
Till when should you travel solo?
You will face many challenges while travelling solo and sometimes they will break you, but you must continue your journey.
Continue, at least, till the point you become your own best friend and fall in love with yourself. Continue till you truly understand your strengths and weaknesses and begin to work on them to become a better person. You must continue at least till the time you are more than comfortable with your own companionship.
A day will come when you will love spending time with yourself. You will crave for it in fact! Until this point, you must continue to travel solo.
Balancing both types of travel
Once you have achieved this, you may wish to stop solo travels and only travel with friends or family. However, by this point, you will discover the joys of solo travel and not be ready to quit it.
At this point, you are ready to take on the world by yourself and you will continue to discover the joys of life. Now that you do spend a lot of time with yourself, you will appreciate the time spent with your friends and family even more.
Of course, as you grow as a person and expand your horizons, not everybody will understand your views and feelings. You may not fit into many of the old circles you were part of and some family members may not be able to relate to you anymore. That’s okay. Work on these relationships and with time, most of them will begin to understand you and support this beautiful person you have become.
And just like that, you would have achieved the perfect balance between discovering yourself and strengthening the bond with your close ones.
Finally, If you are a solo female traveller, or just have an interest or opinion about it and would like to write for Women Who Wander, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to share your stories
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