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Solo Female Travel, Then and Now

Updated: Nov 5, 2021

A look at solo female travel-the challenges, the benefits, and how it has changed over the years.

I’m just now dipping my toes, testing the waters, seeing what solo travel really entails.

So when I was hired by a tour company, Other Way Round Travel, to write an article about solo female travel -its history, future, and challenges along the way, I knew I had to reach out to women in my travel community to help me out.

Other Way Round organizes group tours in Colombia for adventurous 25-45 year old travelers looking to link up and explore the country together.

During my research for this article I spoke with Aida, an adventurous spirit who chose to leave her 9-5 in exchange for a year of self discovery in South America.

I sipped coffee with Vicki, a retired biology professor, as she described the liberating experience of her first solo biking excursion after a nearly fatal accident forced her to relearn everything from how to tie her shoes to how to speak.

I reached out to a fellow veterinarian, a classmate named Alice, who says she's always preferred traveling by herself. "It's liberating" she says. "To step out of your comfort zone, to gain confidence from doing something on your own."

I sat with my neighbor Kathy, a retired Spanish teacher, who traveled extensively through Colombia before settling in Ohio, and who emphasizes the importance of traveling with a purpose and connecting with locals while traveling by yourself.

And last but not least, I spoke with my own mother, who has always described the satisfaction of traveling on your own. "It's easy!" she laughs. "You don't have to negotiate anything, all the decisions are your own!"

During my conversations with these amazing women, we talked about the challenges faced by solo female travelers-gender stereotypes, culture differences, sexism. We spoke of the satisfaction that comes with facing these challenges and coming out stronger on the other side. We discussed the difference between traveling as a young woman and traveling when older. We talked about the comradeship that is borne between female travelers on the road, and the changes in the world today, making solo travel more accessible than ever before.

I might just be dipping my toes, testing the waters, and I still have much to discover. But if there is anything I’ve learned after speaking with these amazing women, its that solo female travelers are never really alone.

Click HERE to read my full article about SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL.

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