I wish I could be a male when I travel.
I am sixty-five years old and travel solo. These are my personal experiences and might not apply to all female solo travelers.
If I were a male:
- I could walk into a bar anywhere in the world, sit down, order a drink, and strike up a conversation with others around me.
Entering a bar is like entering a bullfight. All eyes are on me, I am the only female, except for the bar hostesses. The males make clicking noises or suck air through their teeth and become fixated on my body. I can’t accept drinks offered to me because I don’t know if someone has slipped a drug into the glass. I don’t make conversation because the males are trying to figure out who will pick me up and offer me a ride somewhere I don’t want to go.
- I could wear short skirts, shirts with plunging necklines, strapless or spaghetti straps, and not feel someone was going to put their hands on me.
- I could make hotel reservations for one. I make reservations for two and ask for two keys at the desk. It doesn’t cost more, and it is a safety precaution. No one has asked me where the other person is. If they do, I tell them that he will be arriving on a later flight.
- I could eat out and walk around the city after dark. I feel safer staying in my room and eating something from the local supermarket. I eat out for lunch.
- I wouldn’t have to carry a warning device with a panic button that sets off a screeching sound to ward off someone who tries to mug me. I wouldn’t have to use a door stopper when I locked the doors to the hotel room.
- I could visit my former Saudi Arabian students without being covered from head to toe in a black abaya and eat with them in public places.
- I could be more adventurous and find exciting stories by talking to strange men and women.
Overseas Adventure Travel (O.A.T) reports show that more than 60,000 women traveled solo between 2018 and 2019. At present, 47% of travelers with O.A.T register as ‘solo.’ An astounding 85% of these solo travelers are women.
Solo women want to have the same adventures as males. Our sex limits us from taking chances.
Some women are fearless and travel to find exciting and sometimes dangerous trouble. I don’t.
We females must alter our life to feel safe men don’t.
We must do more research on the cultural norms of the countries we will be visiting.
Example: Do not enter a bar in Japan as a solo woman. Bars with names beginning with “Snack” are not places to have snacks. It is a place where hostesses entertain the men.
Stay safe solo female travelers.
Would you mind sharing your experiences as a solo female traveler?