To The Naysayers, Finger Waggers and Tsk-Tskers of the world;
Stop telling us what we can and cannot do. Seriously. Please, stop. It’s an old, tired routine and you look ridiculous.
When a woman travels on her own, she gets it. She understands the dangers associated with wandering the world without chaperone or bodyguard and makes a conscious, informed decision to accept the challenge. There is no need to play Dire Prediction Maker or Captain I Told You So. It’s not as if she woke up one day, packed her pink suitcase with a bunch of scarves and strappy sandals, and set off to see the sights with nothing more than a passport and her faith in humanity.
This is not the profile of a solo female traveller.
The solo female traveller is on it. She keeps her money in three different places, assuming at least one of them will be found in a mugging or robbery. She dresses conservatively to avoid drawing unwanted attention to herself, which sucks because it’s usually uncomfortable and stinking hot. She studies the map and makes a point of knowing where she is at all times. She shells out for a cab after dark and frequently opts for the guided or organized tour because, even though they can be awkward and stuffy, there’s safety in numbers. She chooses her accommodation based on location more so than price. She calls home and checks in frequently so people won’t worry, knowing they will anyway. She asks questions: Lots of questions.
So when a woman gets robbed, kidnapped, raped or murdered while travelling solo, please understand that it’s not because she was dabbling in something beyond her scope of intelligence or capability. It’s not her fault. There is a difference between asking for it and deciding that the freedom to travel at will and explore the world is worth the potential price of admission.
We get it. It’s a dangerous world full of creepy, evil assholes. We still want to go.