HOW DID YOU DECIDE TO START TRAVELING SOLO?
Since i have the travel bug* I always was looking for friends and family to travel with me (and i am talking multiple times a year!), but busy lives and packed schedules got in the way. So did that mean i waited till someone was free? Well at the beginning yes and it was disappointing. But one day when i was studying in England, i just decided to jump on a plane and go to Italy alone. And that was it, i stopped waiting, i enjoyed my company and i discovered all the perks of traveling solo.
*Travel Bug (noun) a strong desire to travel across the world
WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF SOLO TRAVEL?
Gives you freedom, independence and the chance to do what you want when you want.
When you aren't willing to wait around for others.
Solo travel allows you to challenge yourself and gain confidence. It lets you go travel your way.
When you travel with people you are discovering places with your friends and talking to your friends, but when you travel alone you meet new people and you are interested in the locals and their stories, so you get to immerse into a culture.
You embrace “the art of doing nothing”, enjoying your own company, and living in the moment.
You start saying more "yes" to life, as you realize that some great experiences came out of saying yes to solo travel to start with.
WHY ARE THERE MORE SOLO WOMEN TRAVELERS THAN MEN?
It seems that individualism is a greater value for women especially that until recently they were expected to be the stay-at-home mom, and that created a greater hunger to discover themselves as individuals.
The gender disparity could be because the desire to better yourself through self-reflection is something women are psychologically more prone to do. Self care must be done alone, and since travel can be self care, more women are booking solo trips.
Men do relationships through activities, so when men think of traveling, they think to do it as a pair or group activity. Women bond through conversation.
Baby boomer mothers who were affected by feminism raised daughters to be more independent and confident. Additionally nowadays they have the means as they are financially independent.
HOW TO SAFELY TRAVEL SOLO ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN?
Get aquatinted with the destination before you get there: It gives you the lay of the city, and helps you find your way around without getting lost the first time.
Stay connected: Make sure you have roaming and data on your cellphone so you have a lifeline.
Have a driver/guide from a reputable company/hotel with you: i found this to be the best way to stay safe, a driver/guide is local and they would warn you if there are shady destinations on your itinerary. They also know your whereabouts so you are under their responsibility somehow.
Inform others of your daily itinerary: i do that especially when going out at night, i inform the reception of my hotel of my situation and my itinerary.
Know the local number to call for emergencies. And have the business card of the hotel with you.
Don't leave common sense at home. Coming from Dubai, i am used to being safe and my belongings secure, so sometimes i would leave my bag or phone to go see something or take a picture. I have to remind myself every time i travel that i am not in Dubai.
Trust your gut feeling: dont let courtesy override your gut instincts because you dont want to be rude.
Dress conservatively and don’t flaunt your valuables too much.
Be willing to ‘splurge’ when it relates to your safety.
Want to get inspired by some of Monz's solo trips?
Other people matter, their stories, their culture, their food. Travel shows you how small you are