Seven soul-searching questions about Female Solo Traveling

So ok, you decided upon setting off on your own because it has always been a part of your budget list, because you want to test your limits or you crave for open highways and a Thelma-and-Louise experience (well, the road trip part of it). You've read everything about the things you are supposed to carry with you (the heavier the emotional baggage, the lighter the rucksack, I hear), you've informed your nearest and dearest of the decision and given them your itinerary for safety purposes. You have prepared the perfect combination of precautionary measures and pleasure plans. What's next?


Why then, you nomadic soul, I have gathered some key questions to help you design an introspective experience. They can be answered in a self-help worksheet way and hopefully encourage some great conversations on the subject. Enjoy!


Is it a trip or are you running away from daemons?


It can be a journey. It can be anything you want and need. But here is a question for quiet refection and I am going to allow some space so that you write down your thoughts on it.


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Is there really a difference between male and female solo traveling or are we allowed to call it gender equality just yet?


When you scroll down pages devoted to the stories, facts and figures of female solo traveling, you may be discouraged to even contemplate the idea of stepping out of your front door. Most pages take the extensive trouble of warning you of all possible scenarios, from kidnapping to murder and from dressing in a way that should discourage potential rapists (we are not even close to equality, sister) to taking self-defense lessons before booking a trip. Some pages only refer to safety precautions and never to the excitement of such a decision. We should definitely read everything that is out there and never overestimate our preparedness. But girl, it is so much easier for male travelers. The language is different. The suggestions are different. The promises of a good time are endless. So bear in mind that we have a long way to go before sharing common tips.

That is why they call it “female solo traveling”. It is practically a genre.


The success of a solo trip lies in preparation or the ability to improvise, adjust to circumstances and let things rest?


Here, that's a question that answers itself. Preparation is a prerequisite to creating memorable times.


Is there such a thing as a “perfect destination”? And does it matter?


Get rid of “good”, “bad” or “perfect” categorizations. Executing a plan, especially when you are new to solo traveling, is the important first step. Let yourself go, surprise yourself (while of course remaining aware of possible dangers, yes, unfortunately I cannot stress this enough), live a little. Or a lot.


Is the word “solo” both a beginning AND a destination or is it just an excuse for meeting new people?


When I write about solo traveling there are many people who do not fail in pointing out to me that solo can be as good as duo or as enjoyable as a family vacation. That's great folks but we are talking about different experiences and yes, you can start and end this trip on your very own without necessarily bringing back a prince charming on the way home. I mean it shouldn't be the alternative to a dating application. You can do whatever you want and remember to get rid of other people's leery remarks.


What if I decide midway that I can't keep pretending I am Cheryl Strayed anymore?


Although many of us swear by Cheryl's books and keep copies of them by our bedside table (great companion to a solo traveler), one should not really try to simulate or step into someone else's shoes when designing their own solo experience. One may be inspired by a story but you have to create your individual steps, follow your own way, at your pace, in a time that suits you. I feel I have to warn you on that as there are people who come to me with a I-want-that-for-myself-too attitude. Solo traveling doesn't have to incite false enthusiasm, that is enthusiasm based on miscalculations and Instagrammable-only potential. You begin from the place inside: your heart.


Is solo traveling really a step away from your comfort zone or does it sit at the core of your existence?


I truly believe that most people who solo travel do not “get out” of feeling-comfortable zones. They are comfortable in their own skin, doing exactly what they are meant to do, following their dreams and passions. They go out there to meet themselves. Or to reintroduce themselves to the world. It is a transformative promise.


Go on, write your own question and think deeply about it or send it to thehealingtreeproject@gmail.com for us to include it in our next chapter.


Take care,


Despoina