A Travellerspoint blog

Don't always believe everything you read

in other words, make up your own mind

When I first decided to go to India I wanted to go alone. Don't ask me why because I don't know. Anyway, my friends thought I was mad. And to be honest, everything I read -- online and in travel guidebooks -- sort of discouraged it. While no one came out and said it was a stupid or dangerous thing to do, there were articles and sections that could have made a solo female traveler wary.

In the end I went on a tour -- not because I was afraid to go alone, but because I was referred to a travel agent who was leading a trip I wanted to go on. She was going to all the places I wanted to see and she was going at exactly the time of year I wanted to go. And they were staying in spectacular hotels and her itinerary was very appealing to me.

I'm not sorry I did it. I had a fabulous time.

BUT ... now that I've been to India I know that I could have gone myself. I never felt that I wasn't safe. I never felt that if I'd been a woman alone I would have been scorned by many Indian people (which is what a lot of the guidebooks warn you about). I know I wouldn't have been lonely. And I know I would still have enjoyed myself.

It was great to have people to share my experiences with -- but I also know that I would have met people during my travels. I did even on my tour. You meet people and strike up conversations everywhere -- in lines, in bars, in cafes, at museums, at airports, in restaurants, in hotel lobbies, at tourist attractions. Somebody inevitably starts talking -- it stands to reason -- you obviously have something in common because you've found yourselves in the same place at the same time.

If you're a woman traveling alone are there things you need to watch out for? Absolutely. But if you're a woman traveling on the subway at night in your own home town there are things you need to watch out for.

How do you know what to see if you're not on a tour? Well to begin with that's what travel magazines, the travel section of newspapers, the Internet and guidebooks are for. Hotels can also organize tours for you and you can also make arrangements with your travel agent to hire your own, private driver and guide.

All you really need to have a terrific vacation on your own is the confidence to do it. So don't wait for your spouse or your sibling or your kids or your friends to go on holiday with you because you might end up waiting forever -- and while everyone else gets to see the world, you'll be wishing you were.

If you want to go somewhere and you've got no one to go with, go anyway. And if you're not quite ready to fly solo go on a tour -- there are plenty of them that cater to small groups of from 10 - 14 people so if the idea of traveling with 20 or 30 others is putting you off, there are alternatives.

Do it once and I'll bet wish you'd done it sooner. Send me a postcard.

Posted by a_broad 18:34 Archived in Canada Tagged women

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Comments

I have always enjoyed traveling alone. Of course there are times when you wish you had a dear-one to share your experiences with, but traveling alone allows you to meet new people, make friends and experience the local culture.

Good article :-)
www.travelonthedollar.com

by totd

right on! I found solo travel by accident. I'm definitely an advocate and hope to introduce to many others. I started out in Costa Rica but have been to Rio and BC Canada on my own. I've begun hatching a plan for a scavenger of hunt site to tempt those that have plans for near and far. Love to hear back from you on what you think.
http://traveldifferently.blogspot.com/

by rresendiz

You are very right. News sometimes were exaggerating that you can no longer distinguished the facts from fallacy. Anyway, there are free sites that caters to giving only the truth. Care to check http://www.hotelbackpacker.com. This is a free site that helps those who wants to travel alone and be free from wary. Just like you, you are a very "strong" traveler.

by hotelback

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the trip. This is something I am trying to convince other women as well in India but I guess we still have a long way to achieve that. I travel alone and the fact is I really enjoy that. It is untrue to say that there are not challenges when one travels alone however with little bit of local knowledge , homework and adherence to basic rules, I think travelling in India can be quite amazing and amusing as well.
I would love to hear from you , your travels and ofcourse the experiences.

Happy Travelling and Exploring !!

by Reshmi

I really would like to go to Beijing, Xian, Chengdu & maybe Thailand for a couple of weeks (06/26-7/12), but in this environment it is difficult to get anyone to come with. It seems that everyone I know is scared to take 2 weeks off…
I’m looking for advice on traveling alone; as a married 29 yr woman. Is it crazy? Will I be bored?
Should I go with a tour? Anyone going around the same time?

Bozena

by kalatf34

I just wanted to say that this blog really inspired me, I'm going alone to Canada in June and will stay there 10 months before I will visit LA, San Fransisco and New York by my self. As an 19 year old girl I have some worries regarding the fact that I'm travelling alone. It would be nice if anyone have som advice for me!

Simone

by Simone90

Im about to go to USA for 6 weeks.. I will be travelling alone for some of the trip and meeting up with people ive met on the net along the way.
Im soo excited.. Im nervous too.. which is Natural.. as ive never been overseas before.

I Cant wait to have my experience ... and share it with other people.

Lots to see.. lots to do.. lots to enjoy.

ps..this thread is very inspiring.
thank you.

Ange

by Ange61

Wow, reading your article, you are so right
! I do not know why more people do not travel alone. I do understand that it is nice to share such experiences with friends and family, however while traveling alone you do meet new people to share those memories with. Right after turning 19 i went on my first over seas trip. I went alone and had the best time of my life! I met sooo many people that i think if i traveled with someone i wouldnt have gotten to know. I never got bored or wished that i hadn't gone alone. Im actually going on another, longer trip on my own in 6 months and am looking forward to it. I feel like that trip was life changing and recommend a solo trip for everyone, you will learn so much about yourself!

by moe00

Oh reading people's comments about travelling the States alone is interesting. I rocked up in Hanoi, Vietnam with the intention to live for a year or so; with no apartment, job and no prior learnt Vietnamese. 10 months later, I'm still here, and have absolutely no regrets. Travelling alone may be scary, but the experiences are incredible.

by CatAttack

Glad to know your thoughts about India !

by Kabir

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