I’ve always envied my friends who fearlessly would take off in to the world by themselves. They’ve always seen braver, so sure of themselves.
Then last year I went to Idaho for work. When I was researching the best airport to fly in to, I realized that I was only going to be a few hours from Yellowstone. Since it takes almost 10-12 hours to get to that part of the country from South Florida, I couldn’t come up with any reason to not spend a few extra days exploring the park. Except… I didn’t have anyone to join me.
Then I said, “why not?” There was no reason for me to not go. I refuse to buy in to the idea that women can’t travel alone. I’ve been way too stressed to not take some time to explore America’s first national park. And you k
now what? It was an amazing experience. I was able to move around when I wanted, where I wanted. I came up with ideas for a longer trip with the hubby, read books and discovered amazing parts of this country.
If I had to give advice on traveling on your own (especially if you are a woman), it would be this:
- Be confident. The first question I got was “but what if something happened to you?” Well, anyone who knows anything about self defense knows that the more confident you look, the less of a target you are. Plus it’s easier to meet people if you aren’t afraid to talk to people.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Definitely get off the beaten path. I did. But be aware of who and what is around you. Not just in a paranoid, “is something going to get me?” sort of way. But also in a “wow, this place is amazing,” sort of way. Since you aren’t with people, you have no excuse not to look up and around.
- Research. There’s no negotiating things to do because you have different interests. So take the time to find out if there are awesome things around that you wouldn’t normally be able to do.
- Sit at the bar. It feels awkward to sit at a table by yourself. It’s quick, easy and if you aren’t feeling the people, at least there’s probably something on TV.
And if nothing else, carry bear spray. Especially in the woods.