Solo Travel for Women. My husband introduced the concept to me some years ago – the notion of women stepping out of their comfort zone and experiencing the beauty of the world on their own. At first I thought, wow, that’s brave. But certainly not something I had the guts to do. Then earlier this year I took a leap of faith, all thanks to a European airfare sale email from American Airlines. London had their cheapest round-trip fare from New York. And just like that, my first ever solo trip was born.
I’ve always been fiercely (and sometimes dangerously) independent. But in the days leading up to the trip, I was a ball of all sorts of emotions and secretly hoping that my hubs or one of my BFFs was coming along. My mind was playing tricks on me and I came up with a nutty list of do’s and don’ts for the trip. Walk the streets with confidence and unless you’re about to step off a cliff, never look afraid or lost. Don’t tell anyone you’re traveling alone. Your hubs is “at a conference while you sightsee” or “your girlfriend is under the weather in the hotel room” or “you’re meeting relatives in 30 minutes”. If some creepy guy is trying to talk to you, get out of the discussion by saying you’re waiting to meet your husband. I won’t bore you with the rest of the really crazy ones. (Don’t make fun. I’ve watched too many Lifetime movies.)
Foolish thoughts aside, I boarded my flight. I knew a great adventure was in store and I could have never imagined how incredible it would be.
London is an amazing city and I was only able to see a small fraction of it during my short stay. Double decker tours, the theater, shopping, afternoon tea and a day trip to Paris kept me really busy. But the trip took on a whole other meaning for me. Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Champs-Élysées and The Eiffel Tower re-energized me. Well, not really them per say, but more so exploring them on my own. It gave me a sense of freedom that I had never experienced. I was invigorated and saw myself outside the cloud of other people’s opinions and societal norms. I saw myself in a new light which helped me step out of my comfort zone in a major way.
Don’t get me wrong, there were quite a few awkward moments especially at meal times, which is when I missed having a buddy the most. However being alone forced me to interact with strangers and make new friends. Hey, I’m still a New Yorker. So I will always proceed into just about anything with caution. But I learned that not everyone is out to “get” me. Getting over that fear of the unknown is major for me and doing it on your my made me feel like a rock star!
Solo travel made me a stronger and more empowered woman. And because I have still have some foreign currency in my wallet, I’m holding to it for my next adventure.
Because the world needs more stronger and empowered women.