As I've mentioned about a million times, I'm about to embark on my first ever solo trip overseas. Whilst I'm feeling excited about my adventure & all that it will entail (the chance to explore new cities as well as re-visiting others; catching up with friends & family who live overseas + the promise of several hauls of the beauty & fashion kind - bring it on!), I've also felt a sense of trepidation and slight anxiety in the lead-up...and you can thank my double X chromosomes for that.
You see, just by sheer virtue of being a woman, I feel I have this (rather unfair) target on my back. Whilst I consider myself fairly street smart and rather cautious, I also know that I'm vulnerable to prey & the thought of becoming a victim of crime whilst away has definitely crossed my mind more than once. Recent events in Europe & America have also left me with a small case of the jitters & binge-reading numerous blog posts & articles about the perils (and, may I add, the positives) of female solo travel hasn't exactly settled my mind either.
However, I know full well that I can't, nor shouldn't, let my fears stop me from exploring the world on my own. I can't, nor shouldn't, let world events dictate whether or not I leave my house, let alone my country. Let's face it, bad things happen everywhere. For all I know, something could happen to me in the middle of Sydney. Hell, I could be struck by lightning tomorrow!
Maintaining a healthy sense of perspective about it all has helped me greatly. Besides, I told myself and my family a while ago that I'd travel on my own & I'll be damned if I let my fears stop me from doing just that!
There's also something else that's emboldening me - my maternal grandmother. Back in the "olden days" (you know, before the internet and other modern travel conveniences), my grandmother travelled solo around the UK at a time where, perhaps, few younger women travelled, let alone travelled on their own. She may have even been frowned upon for doing so, being un-married & without a male accompanying her; but I'm sure she paid no mind to any tsk-tskers. Instead, I like to think she kicked up her heels & had the time of her life, whilst her peers were settling into marriage & motherhood (both of which came later in life for my grandmother).
Then there's a friend of my Mum's from the UK, who my family & I met 20 years ago whilst travelling in the US. She's come to stay with us several times in Australia & not once do I recall her mentioning any horror stories (although I suspect she'd just get on with it anyway).
These are just 2 examples that I have to draw on, but knowing the both of them and their solo travel histories is another thing that's giving me the confidence to strike out on my own.
So, to any woman (regardless of age) who's reading this & wondering whether or not that solo trip is worth taking, I say go ahead. Take the risk and see the world as you please. By all means use your wits & take necessary precautions, but don't let paranoia over your gender or the state of the world ruin your holiday or prevent you from going in the first place. You never know, you may discover your own strengths in the process.
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