If travel was free, then I would go everywhere.
EVERYWHERE. I mean, wouldn’t you?
Lots of people, particularly women, are worried about traveling. Safety is, of course, a top-most concern, as is financial feasibility and time-commitment.
These are all completely valid concerns; however while you are considering all of this, it is also a good idea (especially to keep your motivation up) to look at the gains you can get from traveling, particularly as a woman but more specifically as a woman traveling alone.
I believe that every girl or woman should consider traveling, whether it is just across country or even across the world, as long as it is somewhere different where good times and new experiences await.
So, if you aren’t sure you want to explore the world, here are 5 perks you get from traveling beyond your front door.
1. Hello, Miss Adaptable
After visiting eight countries (for varying amounts of time) I can say that traveling indeed involves some amount of discomfort and uncertainty but that can actually be a positive.
Dealing with things such as culture differences (example – my Aussie mate: Have a good one! Me: A good… what?), different weather, and different surroundings are all obstacles to overcome.
These help to build your problem solving skills and increase your adaptability and flexibility as a person, and while they can sometimes be confusing and awkward (but also possibly loads of fun), they may just help you handle tough situations in the future without breaking.
2. Repeat After Me: I am Independent!
There are two consequences of independence you gain from traveling:
- You become more aware of your needs and become better at meeting them since, well.. you have no choice but to take care of yourself. You figure out ways to do laundry in any city you learn to make a meal out of whatever is provided or available; you may even become less materialistic and figure out what your essentials are (because you simply cannot lug around a bunch of stuff from city to city).
- The other facet of independence involves you being the master of yourself. You want to go see an orchestral performance of the score of Lord of the Rings at the Sydney Opera House? No one to go with? Who cares? You’re in Australia! Ever felt like you can’t go in a restaurant because you wonder how awful it would look if you ate a meal by yourself? Well, when you travel alone, you don’t care about that anymore. Your curiosity for the local cuisine may overcome this fear. Gradually, you learn to appreciate your own company and generally be more comfortable with yourself. Don’t let your self-consciousness get in the way of having fun.
3. The Human Connection
Being your own best friend is great, but traveling alone does not mean you will be alone. The sheer diversity of people out there for you to interact with is amazing.
Granted, not all of them are going to be great (unpleasant people here, unpleasant people there). However, there is a greater chance you’re going to meet characters who will embrace you and will enrich your life. Maybe you will even meet people who have nothing else to offer but their awesome company.
4. Opens Your Eyes, Opens Your Mind
Meeting all those people, learning about their lives and their culture, opens up your mind to just how diverse the world can be.
Traveling can help to increase your tolerance to other people, other cultures, and other ways of thinking. This perk of traveling is particularly beneficial to women as you get to experience the respect (or lack thereof) that are given to women and the freedom they have in different societies. Traveling has helped me to realize that I am not limited by my gender.
5. Level Up Your ‘I-Am-Interesting’ Perk
Surfing in Tahiti, rocking out at a metal concert in Germany, feeling the spray of a roaring waterfall in Guyana, somehow surviving your misplaced wallet in London, falling down skiing in Canada?
How amazing would it be if you were the girl who did all of that? Of course, you all have different interests, and that is completely fine. Maybe you simply enjoy visiting wineries in various countries; that’s fine! But no longer will you be the girl who exists, but the girl who took a risk and came back with a story or two, maybe even a friend or two.
Again, it is important to consider safety when traveling and make sure you read up about the cities/countries which you are visiting.
I would never advise anyone to blindly jump into a trip half-way across the world; make your plans, consider pros and cons, and cater to whatever you can.
This article is not about traveling tips, it is simply here to give you that bit of motivation you need to kick you into your travel dreams. These are the perks I have observed based on my own little travels here and there.
Let us have no more of ‘I really wanted to go to Spain but I had no travel companion’ and let us have more of ‘I went to Spain because I really wanted to go there!’