This one is for all my solo female travelers!
As a solo female traveler, I was pretty shocked to learn I hadn’t done a post like this. I have traveled with others, sometimes for long periods of time, but I always find myself going on these solo adventures to countries I’ve never been to before. Most of the time, there is even a language barrier to contend with and that adds another stress all on its own. I’ve recently been in South Korea (I’m actually writing this from the airport in Inchoen) and my sister and her friends would call their challenging encounters “The Struggle Bus”. Thank you, ladies. Thank you.
The Struggle Bus is the greatest term ever invented because it sums up so many instances during my time as a solo female traveler. Something to note, this is not the “Impossible Bus” or the “I can’t do it Bus” – it merely describes the challenges you will face along the way. Let’s be real though, sometimes it’s the times that don’t go right that make for the best stories.
Here are my tips for the Solo Female Traveler
- You will get hit on, approached and gawked at. Get over it. If you want to stroke your ego and say you’re flattered – go ahead. The truth of the matter is that you’re an easy target. Think of when your guy mates talk about approaching girls at the club, when a girl is standing alone, he loses the risk of embarrassing himself if he’s rejected. The same goes for when you’re at a hostel, airport, restaurant or park on your own. Secondly, if you’re in a country that doesn’t have a lot of people with the same skin tone as you, you will stand out. Dramatically. During my time in Korea, my blonde mane stood out like a beacon. A mate of mine dyed her hair bright red and we use it to find her in the crowds in Seoul. Thank you, Amy! She has a blog too – check it out.
- You will feel incredibly frustrated and sometimes a little afraid. You are stronger than your fears. You’re in a foreign country and you’re dealing with strange currency, languages, alphabets, cultural differences – there is bound to be a time when you’re not going to feel ‘alright’. Don’t be too hard on yourself and try to understand that that particular situation will make for a great story one day. Standing at a bus station not knowing which way to go is both daunting and exciting at the same time. You never know where your journey will take you.
- You will be told that you should be married – this is a cultural difference and shouldn’t be taken personally. Have you seen, Eat Pray Love? Of course, you have. Liz gets told she should be married ALL the time and in real life, it’s exactly the same. Especially in South East Asia. As my wrinkles set in with each passing year, I do get the question a bit more. Don’t have a panic attack and wonder why you’re not snuggled on the couch with ‘what’s his name’. You’ve made the decision to do this because you WANT it MORE than you want that. I’ve personally never felt this way when told “OH NO, why no husband?” but I’ve had friends message me in tears because everyone thinks they’re old and well past their due date.
- Make sure you have enough money for emergencies. This is pretty self-explanatory; you need to make sure that if you’re going to travel alone – you should be able to sort yourself out on your own.
- For goodness sake, hook up! If this isn’t your vibe, thanks for reading and good luck on your clean journey! Kidding. In all honesty, these are YOUR adventures. Nobody is looking over your shoulder judging you or trying to make you feel bad about yourself. Be spontaneous and always remember that this is YOUR life and if some Australian bartender says ‘G’day’ you say, “Good Fucking DAY, mate!”