Photo: Damianos Chronakis
So you’ve made the decision to travel solo — congrats! It took me 32 years to make that decision and I have never looked back. Great — you’ve read a shit-ton of blogs and now you’re an expert even though you haven’t done it yet. Here are the things that no one prepares you for as a solo female traveler:
1. It’s not as glamorous as bloggers and instagrammers make it out to be.
It’s true, most of us just show highlights of our travels. Do people really want to see all your epic fits, bad days, cooking ramen in a coffee pot, or walking through 2 feet of mud with your luggage to a remote village? No. But if it’s a picture of you doing epic shit or catching an amazing sunset you can bet your ass we want to see it.
2. You are going to have bad days… maybe even an epic meltdown.
The number of meltdowns I have had on the road is less than 5 but after a string of nasty days including food poisoning, not being able to work due to lack of WiFi, massive diarrhea, severe dehydration, and nothing going my way, the tears finally come. Don’t be ashamed. We all think we are the toughest chicks around but we are still human. If everything was always perfect then we wouldn’t need wine nights with our girls to complain. There’s no way in hell I am giving that up.
3. You are going to lose your stuff.
The amount of stuff I have lost around the world is ridiculous. Mostly hair ties — but whatever, it counts. Don’t freak out — I’ve left GoPro batteries and camera chargers at a hotel in Germany and they mailed it back to me. If you lose something on the street — well good luck. Just remember, it’s just stuff.
4. Your period is going to come right when you don’t want it.
You’ll find yourself scrambling to find female products in a foreign place. Been there, living it currently. If your period is regular, then you know when it’s going to come, try and prepare in advance depending on how long your travels are. Also, if you are traveling with me when this happens — don’t swim anywhere near me… I’m not trying to draw in the sharks.
5. Men will hit on you.
Sometimes it will be in an aggressive manner. Try to take control of the situation. Don’t tell people you are alone and don’t feel ashamed to lie and say something like “my boyfriend is right up the street” or something along those lines. Typically it works like a charm.
6. Your friends and family might judge you — and it won’t be nice.
First they might think you are having a life crisis, running away from responsibilities and lonely. Perhaps they will think you are crazy, living on the edge and being reckless with your life. Eventually, everyone will start to resent you for living your dreams and hate you because they aren’t doing it. It’s quite the spread of emotions. It’s like no one was smart enough to stop and think “Hey, my friend is freakin’ awesome chasing her dreams — why am I judging her lifestyle when I am a hot mess?”