Hey, how are you doing ?
Great, I’m going to Turkey next month, just booked my flight !
That’s great ! Alone ??
Pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had. It goes from trying to hook me up with friends that might want to travel with me, to a stream of recommendations (bring a pepper spray, don’t look men in the eyes, is your phone working in case of emergency, …).
No people, my phone isn’t working, I don’t have a pepper spray, and, most of all, I don’t want anyone coming with me. I like to travel alone, it’s the best thing !
Waking up every morning whenever I want, knowing that I can do whatever I want with my day. Talking with other travelers and locals. Having the deep satisfaction of finding stuff out on my own. Why would I want anyone tagging along and slowing me down ?
People wouldn’t react so strongly to the idea of solo travel if I wasn’t a woman. They think it’s dangerous. Is it ?
Frankly, traveling alone as a woman can be dangerous. So is crossing the street, learning to drive and eating too much salt. But just like these other examples, the danger shouldn’t be enough to hold me back !
What could happen to me that would make me regret my decision to travel alone ? Being scammed or mugged would be annoying, but is not really a big deal. Could I get killed ? Raped ? (Let’s just say it, everyone is thinking it).
I guess it could happen, it’s always a possibility. Psychos can be found everywhere, and I’m definitely not muscular enough to defend myself or not fast enough to run if that kind of situation were to arise.
But someone could also push me under the subway today when I make my way to work, in my hometown. Let’s be honest, our big western cities like Paris, London or New York are way (way!) more dangerous than Istanbul or Bangkok. I’m not gonna bore you with statistics (I don’t like numbers), but you can look it up if you don’t believe me. Us westerners are freaking mad.
In the end, I’m not saying traveling is not dangerous. I’m saying it’s just like everyday life. You have to think, be cautious, trust your gut and respect people, and everything should be fine. If something were to go wrong despite all your good sense, there’s no one else to blame but fate. And this mean girl could have catch up with you at home just as well.
Please, please, don’t be afraid to live out your life ! Whether it’s to travel or something else, get out there, do it ! When we’re old and gray, we’ll just make fun of our young selves for not doing what we wanted when we could ! Plus, what’s life without that little thrill of excitement mingled with fear you get when you do something you’ve never done before ?
Adventure is out there ! It’s heading our way ! (UP)