Solo travelling – why we need to end the stigma and bolster self-empowerment

Find out why travelling alone is such a powerful self-empowerment tool – and why we need the end the stigma for solo female travellers.

In the last year, the number of solo female travellers has exponentially increased. But, despite this, many people still believe that traveling alone as a woman is dangerous, and should be limited to ‘safe’ destinations, or avoided entirely.

This worry may put off some women from embarking on their own journeys – and missing the liberating and empowering benefits of traveling. So isn’t it time to end the stigma of travelling solo, and empower women to discover the world on their own? 

Travelling alone liberates your decision making

‘Liberation’ and ’empowerment’ can mean different things for different people, but most will agree that having the freedom to make your own decisions without the influence of others is the very definition of both.

Travelling alone gives you the perfect opportunity to work out what you want without needing to take others into consideration, which can pave the way for self-discovery.

Where do you want to go – one city over, or across the country? How do you want to get there – hop on a train, or become a licensed motorcycle owner and operator with a need for speed?

If you’re not used to being in control of all decisions, solo travel means you’ll get some much-needed experience with doing so, thereby boosting your self-esteem and confidence in your own abilities.

It also builds your self-trust

Not only does making your own decisions without outside influence lead to self-confidence, this segues into learning self-trust too, even in the face of the unknown.

Trusting your gut instinct is more natural for some and less so for others, but all independent travellers will inevitably be able to hone this skill.

Becoming in tune with your mind and understanding the reasons you make certain decisions is something that only you, and you alone, can embody. Trusting yourself is empowering yourself to make good decisions.

How we can all help end the stigma of solo travelling for women

While it may be down to you to empower yourself on a personal level, it is the acts of many that can lead to ending a stigma against women.

In this case, it’s championing the idea that women shouldn’t travel alone. Women are quite capable of taking care of themselves, and when there are increased risks for them, they are more than aware of it, which means they also account for it.

Women just as able as men to think things through and plan, which easily applies to travel. Heading out solo helps encourage other women to do so as well, and collectively proves that women are just as able to travel on their own. Inspiring others, you’ll find, is empowering in itself.

Ultimately, how you empower yourself and grow as an individual is up to you. Whether it’s through independent travel, an art class, or something more radical like going off-grid, the first step to self-empowerment is deciding to seek it out.

Photo by Toa Heftiba