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The Solo Female Traveler’s Manifesto

solo female travel

When I jumped feet first into the big, bad scary world of travel blogging a year ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Though I had been internet writing for over two years, I had interacted very little with what I soon would discover is a whole ‘nother universe of people just as passionate and crazy as me about travel.

Welcome to the club.

While there are many things I take issue with in this bizarre community, at the end of the day I’m happy that such a likeminded and *cough, cough* generally positive group exists. When you chose a life of travel sometimes it can feel alienating, but to find a big group of people who think, feel and behave in similar ways to you, makes the decision a less lonely one.

solo female travel

Journeying to Porto for my first ever travel blogging conference last September, besides being overwhelmed by so many feelings and emotions, what I remember most vividly was this big push for branding yourself and your blog – which let’s be honest here – for me is the hardest thing in the world!

I don’t want to be defined by anyone, damnit!

And what on earth would my brand be? The overly ambitious crazy American girl who has a love-hate relationship with Spain, who is a die-hard Harry Potter fan but can’t stand mayonnaise and who more often than not finds herself in very awkward and uncomfortable situations around the world?

Clearly I have a very business-savvy eye. No one has taken that image yet HA! All mine!

solo female travel

However, all was not lost, and I began to hear whispers here and there about the ambiguous brand of “Solo Female Travel Blog.”

Was this where I belonged? Female? Check. Traveler? Check. Usually alone? Check (sadface). Blogger? Trying to be.

Four for four. Was this my niche? Did I just find a home in this mildly incestuous world of blogging?

In spite of having accumulated over five years experience traveling the world alone and as a woman, I had never really considered myself “A Solo Female Traveler” even though by happy accident it was the case. I guess the same could be said that even though I attended a women’s college for four years, I never considered myself a feminist. I think this just all goes back to the idea that I HATE being branded as anything.

solo female travel

To me, I was just a girl who liked writing and traveling and hating having to deal with other people’s crap on the road. I’m more of an introverted adventure-seeker who happens to travel alone and have two X chromosomes. Gimme a backpack and a one-way ticket somewhere pretty and I’m a happy camper. Put me on a tour bus with dozens of other people with no way out, and I kinda want to kill myself.

Suicide jokes aside (sorry!) as annoyed as I was at this branding of “Solo Female Traveler,” after a lot of reflecting, I realized there was a great need for encouraging girls to travel alone, and therefore I was not allowed to hate the idea on principle.

solo female travel

While I have the tendency to charge through life oblivious to my impact on others, it would be impossible for me to ignore the community I’ve accidentally created by way of this blog – through my stories of finding your passion, getting inspired and following your dreams, mostly for girls but not all the time. Until now, I have been careful in my writing not to alienate myself from the boys, because where’s the fun in that?

Without sounding incredibly cheesy, I think my happiest moments are when I get emails and messages from readers asking advice about traveling the world, alone, female or otherwise. Those are the best, and lately I’ve noticed a lot of feedback from girls.

The older I get and the more experience I gain roaming the world and talking with strangers, I have become more and more conscious of the gap between men and women in so many different spheres, even in the US, or better put, ESPECIALLY in the US. Some of the most misogynistic crap I’ve heard around the world has come directly from the mouths of “friends” back home. Shocking.

Maybe I’m becoming a feminist after all.

solo female travel

This past year has been an enlightening one about women who travel, especially alone. Between the death of Sarai Sierra in Istanbul this winter to the all the media attention of rape in India, many (ignorant fools) around the world have used these tragedies as a platform to question the safety of women who chose to travel alone.

Though I think we can all agree that girls who travel by themselves is not the issue.

While I could sit here and write til I’m blue in the face about all the things that are wrong with this picture, and why I think every girl should travel alone at one point or another in her life, but what good will that do? And what could I say now that hasn’t been said before? Over and over again I might add.

solo female travel

Instead, I want to seize this opportunity to use my blog for good instead of evil (for once) and try to make a difference. I’m a big believer in inspiration, creating a tiny spark within a person that causes them to go out and try something new, something different, something they might not have done otherwise. I want to inspire girls to travel, and if that means alone, then so be it.

I wholeheartedly believe that every girl should go on a trip alone at least once in their lifetime. While it may not be your thing to roam alone around the globe, or even to travel at all, it’s important to try new things and above all, become independent and self-reliant. Girls are not independent enough. Boom.

solo female travel

I’m also a hardass. As much as I believe in glass ceilings and continued gender inequality in the workplace, I also firmly stand in the Sheryl Sandberg camp that women hold themselves back. While obvious in so many sectors, it’s definitely true for solo travelers, though that’s is changing fast. Thank you solo female travel blogs!

Women underestimate their own abilities, over and over again. Why? Because that’s how most girls are raised. We grow up in a world where powerful, independent, and ambitious women are frowned upon. Does anyone else find that incredibly sad?

Women need to step up to the plate, and travel happens to be one of the easiest arenas to make that happen. Whether you are going on a day trip from your hometown or backpacking around the world for a year, I encourage each and every girl to travel alone at some point in their lives. I’m not saying that every girl should be a solo female traveler forever, but personally I think everyone should try it once. Men too. I promise the results will surprise.

solo female travel

If you want to travel, go for it. Make it happen. Don’t hold back.

This is my message for all the girls who’ve reached out to me and those who haven’t, who’ve traveled alone or one day will travel alone.

Here is a space for girls to be inspired. Here is an opportunity to find encouragement. Here is the chance to become part of a community.

Here is the Solo Female Traveler’s Manifesto

solo female travel

1. We will be brave and won’t be afraid to travel alone 

Without a doubt the number 1 reason why I hear that girls don’t travel alone is because they are scared. Not spoken in so many words, media and news around the world today (especially in America) pounds it into our heads that the world is a dangerous place, but above all, for women. While it would be foolish to ignore the fact that there are more risks involved, I have absolutely no qualms saying that it’s also been widely blown out of proportion.

I get it – it’s scary!

solo female travel

But there are risks with everything in life, travel included, but are they any higher than what you might be facing back at home? Or worse – are the risks at home higher than ones you might encounter abroad? Personally speaking, in over 30 countries, the most in danger I’ve ever felt was back in DC.

So don’t be afraid girls, or better yet, don’t let an unjustified fear hold you back from something you want to do. For the number of times I legitimately felt in danger, I can give you 1000 examples of beautiful, friendly, and unique moments that surprised me to no end while traveling.

solo female travel

2. We will also be smart on the road

That all being said, it would be just plain stupid to act invincible on the road. I believe I have not had any incidents because I’m so careful when I’m traveling. Mom always has my itineraries, no matter where I go, so she knows where I am. I’ve carried a doorstop with me for as long as I can remember to keep my door from getting kicked in, and I take a lot of precautions when I’m traveling to avoid potentially dangerous scenarios.

It took a long time but I’ve also learned to trust my instincts. If I feel any way uncomfortable or sketched out, I hightail it outta wherever I am as fast as I can. I’m a firm believer that common sense will help you in the long run. I also believe in learning from past travel experiences, work up to challenging places – don’t just jump headfirst into a possibly “difficult” country. Learn through experience.

Shit can happen anywhere, of course, but being smart and staying away from potentially dangerous situations can go a long way.

solo female travel

3. We won’t hold ourselves back

Perhaps this is the hardest lesson to learn and to take away, something that I actively work on improving for years: do not hold yourself back. It’s so easy to convince yourself not to take that trip to Paris or that you don’t deserve a vacation down in Mexico, or the most common excuse I hear, you can’t go to A, B, or C because you don’t have anyone to go with you.

Why do you need someone to go with you? Nothing makes me angrier than hearing from people who say how much they want to travel but don’t because they don’t want to go alone.

solo female travel

Life is about taking chances, trying new things and forcing yourself out of your comfort zone – that’s when you learn and have the most fun! There is a fine line between being adventurous and being stupid on the road, and through experience, you’ll learn to navigate those murky waters to have some of the best memories.

Women face enough obstacles all on their own; don’t let yourself be one of them.

solo female travel

4. We will be an example to other girls and women

It’s part of the solo girl traveler code to encourage and inspire other girls to travel alone too. An unspoken rule until now, part of the job description is showing people that A. we travel alone as girls and B. we’re ok.

Maybe these women will never travel alone – that’s their prerogative. But maybe they will reconsider their views on solo female travel, which is a  win in my book. If I can get one person who when I first say I’m traveling to so-and-so country alone to change their view from first – “oh wow, that’s so dangerous” to “so-and-so traveled to this place and didn’t have any problems” then I count that as a win.

solo female travel

I think one of the biggest problems with the view of solo female travel are women who have never traveled alone perpetuating the stereotype that it’s dangerous without any firsthand experience or facts to back it up.

While I never go out of my way to tell people that I travel alone to show off, if it does come up in conversation, I do take pleasure in breaking stereotypes and showing that I’m a little blonde girl who’s traveled alone around the world and I’m still walking and talking, and hey, I am planning on doing it again.

solo female travel

5. We will be an example to men too, because, let’s be honest, they need it

When I was in Greece this summer, I had a conversation with a guy renting me a car on the island of Paxos that went something like this:

“So who are you traveling with in Greece?” – Greek guy.
“Nobody, just me.” Yours truly.
“So wait, you’re traveling alone?”
Me, “Yes, I usually travel alone.”
Greek guy staring at me like I grew a second head, “Yeah me too, but I am a man!”
Me – slams face on desk in frustration.

solo female travel

How many times have I had this conversation over the years? Too goddamn many, that’s what. Why is it so astonishing that women can travel alone?

Solo female travel is an opportunity to educate everyone around you – men and women. Take advantage!

I’m not saying that you should actively push girls to travel alone or criticize men for being narrowminded, but just lead by example. Be honest about your experiences when you meet people. I think that makes the most difference and ultimately can have the biggest impact.

solo female travel

6. It’s ok to get lonely sometimes but we won’t let it hold us down

If solo female travel has taught me anything over the past 5 years, it’s to learn to be ok with being alone. I mean, that’s a hard lesson to learn! Luckily, I was born a pure introvert, so I love my own company, especially traveling. Group travel stresses me out. When you’re traveling alone, you’re the boss. It makes things so much simpler!

However, I would be lying if I said I never got lonely on the road. By its very nature, solo travel means solitude. Sometimes I get tired of eating meals by myself or going to beautiful places alone – these are moments you might want to share with someone else, right?

solo female travel

But where I can’t thank traveling alone enough is that it’s forced me from being a shy introvert, to a more outgoing one – talk about contradictions! As soon as feelings of loneliness start creeping in, I force myself to meet new people and make new friends. Whether I join a guided tour or hop on a pub crawl or make conversation with the waiters or people next to me in restaurants, I find a way for human companionship.

It works every time. Also I am very nonthreatening-looking, or so I’ve been told, which leads people to feel comfortable chatting with a perfect stranger. Also, for some reason waitstaff in restaurants tend to pity me and give me free food when I dine alone. As much as I hate the thought of being pitied by a perfect stranger – free food, wahoo!

I’ve traveled mostly solo but also with friends, and these special, small moments of meeting random people do not happen as often when you are in groups. So if you feel lonely traveling, make the effort to meet new people and don’t let it hold you down and destroy your trip.

solo female travel

7. We’ll learn from our mistakes and we will grow and be shaped by our experiences

No shit Sherlock, right? Right?

Nope. How many times do I repeat the same mistakes traveling? A lot. Usually it takes me between 2 or 3 times of messing up before I learn my lesson. Only once if it’s a big one.

Nowadays, when I screw up on the road, from missing trains to wrong hotel dates to losing things, I actively try to make sure it never happens again.

solo female travel

And do you want to know where I’ve made the same mistakes traveling? Planning trips with other people. Some of the biggest regrets I have while traveling are NOT when I’ve been alone, but rather when I’ve gone on a trip with people. I think that speaks volumes.

Personally I’ve grown a lot over the past few years and I’ve learned how I travel best. Mistakes, failures and self-growth are irrevocably linked, so it’s important to not get too bogged down with the negative and focus on the positive.

solo female travel

8. We will make our own choices about what we’re comfortable doing

As much as I preach and ramble on here about the value of solo female travel, at the end of the day, each and every person has to make their own choices and decisions about what they feel comfortable doing and how far they will want to push themselves.

While I do believe it’s important to test yourself, step outside your comfort zone to grow and become independent, what that means varies for each and every person. My version of traveling might now work for you just like yours might not work for me. There is a huge range of travel lifestyles and choices out there. You have to go with what works for you.

Whether you’re hitchhiking around South America alone or escaping to a B&B an hour away or even joining in on guided tours around the world, there plenty of options to chose from.

solo female travel

9. We will become more independent

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Girls are not independent enough nowadays, and that needs to change.

One of the best things about solo travel is becoming independent and self-sufficient. You become the boss. Don’t deny yourself such a wonderful and fun opportunity to grow and take care of yourself. By having to face big challenges all by yourself, you will become a much stronger, self-sufficient person.

Let travel make you more independent

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10. What are your thoughts?

I want this to be collective piece. While all of these points have become second nature to me, I know there are many more out there that I’m missing. Have you ever traveled alone? Would you? What was the experience like? Please share your thoughts in the comments for everyone.

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183 Responses to The Solo Female Traveler’s Manifesto

  1. Sophie October 7, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    At the risk of sounding like a total jerk, I DID try traveling alone – to Germany for a month. And I pretty much hated it. All I learned was how much I loved my home country Canada and how much I never wanted to travel alone for the rest of my life ever again. I would love to return to Germany WITH A FRIEND. Sorry but traveling alone is not for everyone. I had my experience, hated it, have no desire to repeat it, never traveling alone again. On the upside, staying with an acquaintance in Switzerland was awesome.

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Yeah but you tried it and realized it’s not for you, and that’s what matters. I was very careful with how I phrased this post as not to imply that everyone should be a solo traveler, but rather encourage people to travel alone who might not otherwise or to try it once. I hope that even though you might have hated it, you took away some valuable lessons and experiences from your time in Germany.

    • Holly February 28, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

      I know this is a very old post, but I am interested in why you hated it? I am traveling to Germany alone my self, and am rather curious!

  2. Sam Briggs October 7, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

    Thanks for that Liz. I’ve only just started following your travels and its so refreshing to see a girl just getting out and on with it. I’m a traveller and my friends are all (pretty much) travellers. I’ve done solo and group travel and love both equally but I agree that more girls need to get out and see some things by themselves. Even my guy-friends are scared of doing it solo but I feel it’s one of the best things for a person – food for the soul! Next year I’m off on my biggest solo trip around south/central America. I am meeting a girlfriend for Peru but we are both going solo and will meet up and I honestly can’t wait. It’s going to push my comfort zone and scare me but the benefits I will reap will be immeasurable!
    Thanks for this post Liz! Love your work. X

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 12:58 am #

      That sounds awesome!! Enjoy your travels and keep me posted :D

  3. Emily Rupp October 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    Hello, Liz, I just stumbled upon your blog while doing some travel writing research. I have to write a paper about my dream job and how I can use said job to make a difference. And I need sources. I’ve just been hopping around from one blog to another it seems via Google search (hey, it’s a start when it’s just you and your laptop in your dorm) and I stumbled upon yours. I first found the post in which you announced you were quitting your job to start your travels, and I was really happy to find a young woman doing exactly what I want to do. So I decided to see what your most recent blog posts were, and I saw this one.

    It only inspires me even more.

    Just like you, I’m quite introverted by nature. I could handle travelling alone quite nicely. Plus, the way this article is meant to just empower women, it makes me feel that just by travelling I’m doing something to contribute to showing the world that women are just as capable of men (yes I am a feminist, but I’m not one to shove it down people’s throats).

    Now, I need to get back to work on my paper (though I don’t really want to) but I’ll be sure to check out more of your blog later.

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:09 am #

      Good luck!!

  4. Veronica October 12, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    Hey! I really enjoy all of your posts, but I can especially relate to this one. I´ve always loved traveling and have traveled both in groups and alone and the trips that have stood out the most have always been the ones I took alone. I love your Solo Female Traveler´s Manifesto and I am going to share it with a lot of my family and friends who want to travel but are too nervous. I think too many women are afraid to travel alone. While it is a little scary the first time, you really grow from the experience and the next time, it is not as bad. You get to create your own itinerary, you can see what you want, and you will even meet interesting people along the way. Thanks so much for this post. I hope it will inspire more women, especially my friends and family, to travel alone. =)

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:24 am #

      Exactly! thank you!!

  5. Tiffiny October 12, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Thank you for this! I prefer solo-travel and many of our reasons are the same. :)

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:08 am #

      You’re most welcome!

  6. ZZOE October 17, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Great post!
    I am always shocked when people react like that to me traveling alone.
    Yes, me and a map, we can walk a full day by ourselves in big cities like Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, HK, San Fransico, LA etc… I remember a (female) colleague who was refusing that I spent a weekend by myself in LA taking the bus ??? I had to convince her and then email her regularly that I was OK…
    But even worse than that, I even have people who are scared that I travel joining small group tours. I am a scenery junkie, and so far this is the best way I found to cover a lot of different landscapes during my holidays. But even if I am with a group and a guide, some people think this is not safe for me to go alone…
    People are locked in their own little world, and medias are not helping… I remember a New Years Eve where a lot of cars were burned in Paris and some Media in other countries titled that it was the revolution in France???
    I would have so many stories on this topic (strangely mostly with cab drivers), but I have already written too much.
    Inspiring girls to travel the world, open their minds and get independent is a great goal.
    Keep posting!

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:25 am #

      Thanks! Yeah I still don’t get it either but what can you do?

  7. Ashley Irving October 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I coud not agree more with everything i have throughout this blog! This article was exactly what i needed to hear too. I am a young 21 year old blonde (funny how for some reason i feel it is necessary to mention my hair color) studying abroad in Jaen Spain for a year and while i was more than excited to come here alone, these first couple months i have been slightly struggling with the alone aspects of it. I have always been an independent person but i defiantly find security in traveling with a companion. While doing these first couple of trips i have found someone to travel with i am realizing that i may prefer being alone after all and maybe i have been letting my fear hold me back. After reading this i am excited to pick a city and go there… alone :)

    Thank you for the advise and inspiration! I wish you the best throughout your travels and life :)

    God Bless!

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:26 am #

      Woot woot!

  8. Pedro Meca October 22, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    good post!

    travelling solo in the best option for sure…you don’t depend on someone else…and you enjoy the trip the most.

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:28 am #

      Agreed haha

  9. Shonan Love October 31, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    First world white privilege manifesto, more like. You dumb bitch and seriously ugly, ugly person.

    • Liz November 1, 2013 at 12:24 am #

      T.R.O.L.L.

      • Shonan Love November 1, 2013 at 2:23 am #

        Exhibit A. the Perennial Response of the White to Statements Making the White Uncomfortable: ‘Troll/Terrorist’

        • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:27 am #

          Not really, you called me a dumb bitch for no reason. How about you take a good look in the mirror

          • Shonan Love November 13, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

            Your blog more than adequately shows you for who you are.

            You are arrogant.

            You are a hideous person.

            And you are one dumb bitch.

            Peace out, stupid bitch.

          • Deanna Holt March 10, 2014 at 10:07 am #

            OMG. Can you believe some freaks? I say good for you, Liz. Keeping this crazy person’s idiotic post up and not deleting it. Made me very angry for you though. Here you are posting this wonderful, encouraging blog and you’ve got insane garbage like this in your comments. Good lord. It takes all kinds, right?

  10. Elena November 5, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Great Blog and thank you for encouraging words., I have started to write 4 weeks ago about travelling in Ireland..not yet on my own, but I am thinking about it.

    • Liz November 7, 2013 at 1:28 am #

      You can do it!!!

  11. Caroline L. November 9, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Hi Liz!

    Thank you so much for making this wonderful manifesto. I’m planning on traveling across America for a year by myself and this manifesto gave me so much courage!

    I have a few questions.

    What type of doorstop did you buy to prevent people from kicking your door in and where did you get it?

    Also, do you think a phone with internet/gps capabilities is a necessity when traveling around for a long period of time in America? The last time I went on a trip with friends, their iphones were super useful. But part of me thinks it’s best to avoid having super expensive gadgets with you while meandering around a city.

    Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge with us!

    • Liz November 10, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Until a month ago, I always just depended on wifi on my iphone when traveling. Since then I unlocked my phone and buy pay as you go sims wherever I am if I’m there for extended periods of time and it just makes life so much easier. It’s up to you!

      I just use a simple rubber doorstop, does the trick :)

  12. Katie November 12, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    I love this! Am currently sitting in an airport waiting for my connecting flight to Nepal (followed by India). I’ve been questioning whether this trip was a good idea, though have been totally reassured by your post & am a little excited now. Thank you! x

  13. kunal November 24, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    how fabulous are u………wowww……

  14. gillian December 12, 2013 at 2:08 am #

    amen, girlfriend! i love this.. i am about to take off for south america for a bit on my own, and love reading inspiring stuff like this.. gets me even more excited! keep on keeping’ on.. setting a great example for the rest of us!

  15. Silvia December 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    This was so great to read. I have traveled solo several times, but I’m a serious introvert and usually end up being way to alone, avoiding interacting with other people. Sad, especially as I’m not at all like that when traveling with friends. This definitely gives me some inspiration to change that and put myself more out there, though!

    • Liz December 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      yay! I am glad to hear you’re feeling inspired, I know how hard it is to put yourself out there with strangers but it’s worth it, I promise!

  16. Lauren @ Roamingtheworld December 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Nicely written Liz! It’s true. I traveled solo in 2006 to Alaska when a friend bailed on me last minute and it was the best thing that happened. It was the prelude to my big adventure solo travel in Africa for 9 months…
    Many people were surprised- solo woman in Africa?! Say What!
    But I wasn’t going to wait till I found someone with the interest, time and money to join me!

    • Liz December 18, 2013 at 7:16 pm #

      OMG we should chat because I really want to do a big backpacking trip through Africa!

  17. Danielle December 27, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Last summer, I traveled abroad for the first time through a study abroad program at my university. I went to Paris with 20 other lovely women and LOVED it. I feel so lucky that everyone in my program happened to be a girl (it was an art history program — go figure).

    I never traveled far by myself because it was my first time abroad, it was still empowering to travel in small numbers with just girls. And I totally remember the first time that I rode on the metro solo. Even though I was just traveling back to my dorm from one of the gardens, I felt like I could rule the world!

    This upcoming fall 2014, I am moving to the Netherlands to get my master’s degree. I am super excited to travel on my own and I have finally convinced my dad that I’m not going to die (he tried to convince me to watch Taken at least 100 times before I left for Paris, but I think the fact that I returned unscathed instilled more faith for me in him).

    Traveling with a trustworthy group of girls through a structured program like undergraduate study abroad, in my opinion, is a really good way to start traveling abroad. I think I would have been scared shitless if I had just tried to backpack solo as my first experience. Now that I’ve traveled a bit around Europe, I feel that my confidence is boosted and I look forward to possibly visiting some more “risky” countries like those in Eastern Europe.

    • Rob December 28, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      Liz, I hope you’ll forgive a guy commenting but I found your blog really interesting and inspirational (for both sexes) – great job! I travel internationally a great deal for work and I am currently carrying out a post-grad research into ‘Risks to international business travellers (sic-I’m a Brit!) and what tracking methods are available’ (GPS, apps etc). Part of this research covers the heightened dangers & risks to both sexes when in certain parts of the world/cultures.

      Most people just consider the lone female as a heightened risk but it was refreshing to see the acknowledgement that men can get into just as much (if not more!) trouble.

      You (and your fellow bloggers) offer some great advice – the humble doorstop is one I use myself and is very effective. Common sense is a great tool too – you often know through instinct when things are not quite right.

      Not wishing to hi-jack your blog in any way but I would love to hear of any challenges that you or your readers have encountered through your travels (e.g. cultural, misogynistic or geo-political problems) and how they were overcome. Happy to be PM’d if you think that’s more appropriate.

      Stay safe and keep pushing back the (man-made) boundaries!

      “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” – St Augustine

      • Liz January 3, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

        LOVE THAT A GUY COMMENTED :D

        I am definitely planning to write more about that, stay tuned :D

    • Liz January 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

      very good, that’s so exciting about the Netherlands, which is like the safest country ever. I traveled through eastern europe, and trust me, it’s totally fine over there too, not risky at all. It just gets trickier when no one speaks English haha

  18. Sarah January 13, 2014 at 7:28 pm #

    Hey Liz – Love this post! I am currently preparing myself for a lifestyle of long term solo travel. Just waiting to finish my TEFL and get my new blog half started.

    People keep asking me, aren’t you worried it will be dangerous? But I’m not even a little bit. (:
    It’s all about being sensible! This post has made me even more excited.

  19. Saumya Pandey January 15, 2014 at 4:21 am #

    Hey Liz, I was so glad to read your blog… all those stories and moments… :) well, I am from India and needless to say the concept of solo woman traveler in India is even more unheard and unapproved than possibly in the other parts of the world. I just wanna travel and learn so much. anyhow…reading your blog did give me some hopes … haappppyyy travellinnnn…. and keep sharing your awesome experiences :)

    • Saloni March 6, 2014 at 4:54 pm #

      Hello Saumya,

      I loved Liz’s blog too.. and I am a Indian women in mid 20′s
      I want to learn about solo travelling. coz I dont want to be dependent of being with someone to go anywhere..
      If you are a solo Indian traveller.. please help me

  20. Gemma January 31, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Liz, found your blog after Stuff.co.nz featured your article on ‘kiwisms’. I am also travelling solo – 3 months in to my 1 year adventure in NZ. Currently working in Auckland but planning on traveling around NZ once I’ve saved up some funds. Thank you for the inspiring post and lots of useful tips/ideas!

  21. Katrina Renee February 12, 2014 at 9:26 am #

    I’m in love with this.
    My friend and I are backpacking through Europe next year but I’ll be spending the first 2 months traveling alone before we meet up. I’m so excited to travel Europe solo and experience everything it has to offer. :)
    Thanks so writing this gal. You are lovely….

  22. Liz February 12, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    I just found this blog and I absolutely love it. I just went on my first solo trip to DC last month and am heading out to Chicago for a short trip in May. Not full vacations right now, but for the time being it’s all I can afford and have vacation for.

    I’ve been itching to get back to Europe and this blog pretty much just sealed the deal for me to start hunkering down on the planning. And thanks for the doorstop tip! I honestly have never thought of that.

  23. Cali February 13, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    This is the first post of yours I have read, but I will definitely check out the rest of your blog. I’m going to Colombia in just three weeks. I have always been fairly self-sufficient, but the many blogs of solo female travelers I found (and some of the guy’s blogs encouraging women to travel alone) have given me more courage and now I’m glad I’m going alone!

  24. Alona February 18, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Hello Liz,
    So in the past couple of months I’ve been yearning to travel and wander. I’ve met so much people who have made it their life to go where there heart desires. But one thing that I’ve always couldn’t understand is how do people like yourself get the money for it all and keeping a job?. I understand that there is always hostels and ways to get good deals, but it still costs a lot for tickets and what not… So whats your secret of saving?

  25. Jess February 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

    Liz – What an inspiring article! I know I want to travel but I hardly know where to begin planning (and justifying to others) and on-top of that dealing with the fears that the media, family, and friends have pushed upon me. I traveled while in school to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Crete – but it was usually with a group. I enjoyed your article so much and it helped me work through some of the anxiety and fear about making the decision to travel alone.

    THANK YOU!

    I look forward to reading lots more of your blog posts and planning my own trips <3

  26. sonya February 19, 2014 at 1:33 am #

    I run a safe and comfortable home stay in Delhi/Gurgaon for women travelers to India, and provide assistance to first-time visitors unfamiliar with my country. I also organize safe, fascinating, economical journeys into the northern and western parts of India for small groups of women. Such tours offer travelers authentic, informative experiences of a wide variety of Indian flavours: spirituality, culture, history, adventure, festivals, rural life, cuisine, handicrafts, people, business etc. You can contact me on trailblzr59@hotmail.com

  27. sarah February 22, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    I’m planning to travel to Europe on my own this April and am so scared. I know I really want to go and I planned everything, but I’m still so afraid of what might happen because I’m going alone. However, after reading your article, I think I found some kind of peace and strength through your bravery… So Thank you!!~

  28. Michaela February 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

    Hey Liz! Just stumbled across your blog as I was researching for my first semi – solo trip to Singapore in June (my brother is working there this summer so I’m taking the opportunity to visit him, but I will for the most part be doing my own thing). After reading a bit of your blog, I honestly feel like I’ve finally found my long lost twin (of sorts haha)! I too am quite introverted and do like my own company yet also have the same insatiable wanderlust as you! As incredibly excited I am for this trip I’m just as nervous because I’ve only travelled with people. Any tips for first time solo travellers?

  29. Hannah Fuqua March 3, 2014 at 4:25 am #

    Hey! Thank you so much for posting this! It was very helpful. I’m currently living in China teaching English, but I’m seriously considering not returning home and just traveling throughout South East Asia when the semester is over. I want to see Thailand, Laos, etc.. I’m 19, and I’m not super rich, but this is something I really want to do. In your travels do you ever work in a country to make money or just save up? I want to do travel solo, but i dont want to be stupid about this either, what are your thoughts? I would really appreciate any specific advice you could give me on this. Thanks again for the inspiration!!

  30. Mariely M March 4, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Actually had a friend bail on me for spring break. I am fully considering traveling alone. I’ve always wanted to do it (at least once) and am saving up to go away for a week in April. Where would you suggest I start? I live in the states and wanted to know if you know of a good starting point. Thank you for your post! I really enjoyed it and it motivated me so much =)

  31. Samantha Nicole March 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I know this article is old, but I’m a 18 year old girl working up the nerve to tell my parents that I want to take a year off of college so I can travel my home country (America) alone, so I can find out who I really am, and what I really want to do. I know this is something I really need to do, but I’m just unsure how to go about it. Please, any advice would be awesome.
    Thank you!

  32. Elin March 16, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

    Hey! Thanks for sharing this! Gives me a little bit of comfort about going away solo!
    I’m off around Europe on Thursday, never been so scared! Have ypu got any tiips about travelling Europe?! :)

  33. Casey March 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    Hey!! Yes this post is very refreshing!!! I will be traveling to Europe this summer by myself for a couple months and I was SOOO excited until my family started giving me grief about it! They make me feel that every horrible thing is going to happen, and it’s all because of the crap in the media!!!
    Anyway, I was wondering if I could get some advice though. I was in a world wide travel competition and made the top 25 in my area. I didn’t win, but all the other shortlisted competitors created a Facebook group, so we can all stay in touch, and give each other travel advice and even host each other when traveling. Well, I figured it would be a great opportunity to meet some of them, but so many people think I’m absolutely crazy. For some reason it hasn’t even phased me at all because we have been communicating and sharing our travel interests for over half a year. What do you guys think? Am I pushing buttons if I meet up with a couple of them and have them show me around??
    Thanks!

  34. Alison March 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Hi.. I’ve just read your article and had recently came back from my first solo travel too. Totally agreed with what you’ve wrote. It’s mind-blowing when you are doing the solo thing. Gradually you’ll fall in love with the uncertainties which will open up to many possibilities that this solo trip can brings.

  35. bhagyashree March 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

    Hey.i am 24 yr old from india..
    I have been giving it a thought. ..
    And yes. ..I am definitely scared…
    Convincing my family has been hard too..
    But your post has really boosted confidence. .
    Just have to decide a place now. ..
    Thank you.
    Planning on paris or Rome. ..
    Any suggestions..??

  36. Johanne March 25, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    WOW – this bog was fantastic Liz! I couldn’t agree more with the quote ‘The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before’. I look forward to finding these places.
    I am about to embark on my first ever overseas travel experience not to mention doing it solo, through North & South America/Canada then onto Europe and although I don’t feel particularly worried about my singular status, I am certainly greeted with disapproval from others when its learnt that I am going it alone. Sometimes I find it easier to say that I’m meeting people along the way rather than hear the repetitious negativity. Common sense is the key factor, enjoy yourself and go outside your comfort zone but if your gut says no, listen to it =) Bring on September 8th 2014! xoxo

  37. Lou March 29, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

    Came across this by accident but has definitely inspired me. I’m someone who had some amazing trips with my ex but when we split I realised that I think I have different thoughts about holidays to my friends. After a few years of going along and lying on the beach I am itching this year to go and explore a bit more. I really thought I wouldn’t get the chance as none of my friends are in the same place in their lives at the moment. This really has me thinking I should just take the plunge and go myself so thank you so much!!

  38. Amy April 5, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Iv been dreaming to go on a trip around europe for 2 years now and am finally going to do it. Im going June 22nd for 2 weeks, and my parents have been saying I cant go unless I find someone to go with. Im 21, sensible and my dream is to travel! Iv looked at prices and have it all planned, I want to spend 2/3 days in each country and will be getting train between. My plans were Amsterdam- Copenhagen- Berlin- Prague- Vienna- Budapest- Dublin. Where are the best places in europe you have been to?

  39. Becks April 7, 2014 at 4:34 am #

    Stumbled here whilst looking for info on New Zealand. How refreshing to see you express the fun that solo travel can be. Glad you’ve found your niche.

    I’ve done the same across Europe and the Pacific. It’s not for everyone. But I love it. Grateful to see like-minded souls out there.

    Any tips on Wellington? Spent only an afternoon there last time, looking to stay longer this time.

    Happy travels!

  40. Sayali April 10, 2014 at 7:01 pm #

    Liz!
    your blog was such an amazing read. I came across it when doing some travelling research. I will be travelling to Switzerland alone. Since I’m Asian and I stand out of the crowd immediately, my father is petrified by this plan of mine and he’s all set to pursue me to not take this trip. Reading your blog has inspired me so much that I’m not going to succumb to his pressure at all. Thank you so much! :D

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