4 Stereotypes about Female Solo Travelers That Aren’t True

Friday, 3 May 2019

What kind of woman do you picture when you think of a female solo traveller? 

A fearless, gregarious extrovert who is bold and assertive? A woman who has always been hyper-independent and confident, and knows exactly what she wants out of life? 

There’s a certain set of traits that many women assume are necessary for travelling alone—and if they don’t fit that set, they assume it’s not for them. Here’s why that’s a flawed way of thinking that will only hold you back: Because solo travel is a teachable, learn able skill set. 

It’s something that women from all over the world are out there doing right now—women with all different personality types, circumstances, and backgrounds. As long as you have the means to travel in the first place, you can learn to travel alone and get amazing benefits from it.

Not sold yet? Let’s dig into some of these female solo traveller stereotypes so you can see why none of these traits are actually prerequisites for exploring alone.

You don’t have to be extroverted. 

Both extroverts and introverts will have advantages and challenges on a solo trip. Making friends may come more naturally to an extrovert, but their challenge will be to get more comfortable spending time alone. Introverts won’t struggle with the alone time as much, but they may need to push themselves more to start conversation with new people.

You don’t have to be a backpacker in your 20s.

Your 20s are a great time to try out solo travel. So are your 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Any time is the right time to begin learning about yourself through independent exploration. Backpacking is a great style for solo travel because it’s easier to make friends, but it’s certainly not the only way. A major perk of travelling alone is that you get to design every aspect of your trip based on your timeline and your preferences—no one else’s!

You don’t have to be fearless.

It’s a funny thing; people who have completed a major accomplishment are often viewed as having been fearless in pursuit of that goal. What’s praised and talked about is their hard work, their focus, their dedication. But what’s often glossed over are their doubts, their fears, and their worries along the way. You don’t have to be fearless to travel solo; no one is. It’s the same with any big undertaking. You’ll face challenges, you’ll be tested. You might wonder if you can really complete the task at hand, if you’ll be able to figure it out. That’s why it’s a willingness to stick to it, despite your nerves, that separates the wishful from the successful in solo travel—or anything else.

It doesn’t have to be something you’ve always wanted to do.

Maybe the thought of going solo never entered your mind until your travel partner bailed on your trip together, and now you’re considering it. It doesn’t have to be a lifelong dream you’ve always held close. You don’t need to have a track record of super-independent interests. Because travelling alone is a learn able skill set, you can learn to do it well, and to enjoy it. Some of the most accomplished and enthusiastic solo travellers started out simply because they couldn’t find anyone to go with them.

The notion that only one, narrowly defined type of woman can travel solo is false. It’s like saying only an aggressive, wealthy tycoon can start a business. That only someone who looks like a model and is a smooth talker can find love. There’s no one “right type” for either of these things, and it’s the same with solo exploring.

If you can travel, you can travel alone. Everyone’s advantages and challenges will be different. Everyone’s experience will be different, too—but that’s what’s so beautiful. There’s no one “right outcome” for solo travel, or one “right way” to do it. That means there’s no one “right personality type” for it either. So why not you?

By Angela Skowronek, Founder of SheGoes Solo Travel

Angela has travelled to 36 countries, and about half of them solo. She’s an introvert who stumbled into solo travel when she couldn’t find anyone to go on a post-graduation trip with her. Since then, she’s been in love with independent exploration. She founded SheGoes Solo Travel, a brand that features an online course designed to inspire, empower, and equip women to travel alone. Learn more, here.

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