Thoughts on being a solo female traveler

One morning in January 2006, I woke up thinking that I want to stop talking about travel and start traveling. I asked myself who should I go with, and decided I’ll go on my own. Going solo was a hard decision to make, but I had to do it, else I wouldn’t be able to travel.

I went online to research about the places I’m visiting, and in the process, I discovered travel blogs about women traveling alone around the world, on trips that spans one month to over a year. I had a deep admiration for these women’s courage to go off alone, and wished I had the guts to do it myself.

As the months pass, the date of my departure started to loom. I grew more frantic as the days pass, until I no longer have the time to fret — I am already boarding the plane to a place I haven’t been to before and I’ll be alone.

I have been a loner by nature and as much as I love the company of my friends, I equally enjoy spending time on my own. I guess that helped me to be comfortable traveling solo. The great thing about solo travel is that I don’t have to worry about doing activities or visiting places that others might not want to do. I can go on my own pace and no one would complain. Of course, the downside of going off alone is that I’d have to shoulder the costs on my own.

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Though interestingly, a number of people who went off to travel alone would comment that they were hardly alone. While traveling, they get to connect with other solo travelers. Staying in hostels, since most backpackers stay there, lets you meet other travelers, be it in your dorm room or in the hotel’s common rooms. Then there are the locals that you meet. I remember this two Thai ladies who were manning the travel agency office in Maenam beach in Ko Samui. Upon learning that I was traveling alone, they took me under their wing. I had hours to kill before the boat ride to Ko Pha Ngan, and they let me stay in their office. One of them even took me to the place where they usually eat their lunch.

So why should you travel solo? Because it’s a fulfilling experience. Everytime I get home from a solo trip, I feel so accomplished. I am proud that I was able to stand on my own, to take care of myself even for just three days (but of course, there are all these paranoid thoughts running in my head the whole time I’m traveling). These trips made me feel good about myself, it made me feel confident. Each trip is an affirmation that I can do whatever I put my mind into.

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Youth Trip is holding another Backpacking seminar this Thursday at ROX. Since March is women’s month, this round’s topic is the Pinay Traveller. If you want to know wheres, whats and whys of traveling solo, join the forum on March 19, 7pm at the Core Room, on the 3rd floor of the ROX store in Bonifacio High Street.

In celebration of Women’s month, I’m changing JustWandering.org’s blog theme to white and blue. Dove has brought together your favorite female bloggers in one site. Read the real thoughts of real women over at dove.ph.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 27 Comments
  1. freeze says:

    minsan napapaisip ako to go solo when i’m itching to go someplace without someone to tag along, but di ko pa rin carry maging loner. 🙂

  2. nina says:

    Freeze: Yun nga iniisip ko kanina when I was writing the entry. Paano kaya yung mga di sanay mag isa? :-/ Have you ever tried it though? Kahit day trip lang?

    • Poyt says:

      Hah! Now I know the answer to this question! LOL! I have always travelled in a group and I get bored easy. Travelling solo gave me the courage to talk to strangers, kasi naman my friends always think I’m insane when I talk to random people. It’s awesome! I even blogged about it.

  3. dyanie says:

    Ninaaaa! new banner ah! ganda! 😛

    I haven’t tried traveling na mag isa. though i was able to go to the mall and watch a movie na solo hehe. yun palang. dati ko pa iniisip na umalis kahit day trip lang na mag isa kaso pag paalis na ko, natatakot na ko. 😉

  4. anna says:

    Thanks for posting this, Nina! Been looking for something like it forever. Just registered. Hopefully they’ll have something like the Deaf Traveller next time. 😉

    Amen to your 4th paragraph. Medyo frustrated pa rin ako from my trip last week. Too many people want to go to different places and we were not able to disband and go on our own until the day before departure. Argh. -___-;;

  5. bchai says:

    You are one of the few people I know, who has the *balls* (lmao) to travel solo. Bravo, hon, bravo! Not many females would dare travel by themselves because they think that their gender prohibits them from exploring places only men would go without trouble. You’ve just proved that it doesn’t—and it can be done! Cheaply too! 🙂

  6. nina says:

    Dyanie: Try mo lang one time 😀 Pero I guess depende rin talaga yun sa tao ^_^;

    Anna: Great idea! I’ll bring that up with the organizer 😀

    Re: group travel it’s hard din talaga misan when traveling with a group, that’s why I feel lucky that I was able to find people who pretty much in the same wavelength as I am, we agree on the places we want to visit, and when we do want to go off on our own, pwede rin 😀

  7. nina says:

    bchai: Really? When I was traveling, I met a lot of solo female travelers. I guess there’s just not as many female travelers as men ^_^;

  8. bchai says:

    LOL—I guess I haven’t met that many solo female travelers. At least, not here in Europe or the States. Most that I’ve seen are always with their significant others or a friend (or two). Either that or I don’t pay attention to solo female travelers. I’d probably find more if I walked into some of the pensions or guest houses here. 🙂

  9. freeze says:

    hmm… on a leisure trip, i think I’ve never gone solo. the most siguro is solo on a plane ride… aha! oh i did once in HK, nag extend ako for a day solo when my friends took a flight a day earlier. uy, that’s a milestone! 🙂

  10. nina says:

    freeze: There you go! That’s your stepping stone na 😀

  11. wysgal says:

    It’s pretty empowering to travel by one’s self (especially as a woman). Good for you!

  12. nina says:

    Thanks wysgal! I hope to visit as much places as you have someday 😀

  13. Joyceee says:

    great post nins! 🙂 i actually wanna be a solo traveler and i think i’d have no problems traveling alone (except for the moolah! haha) i wanna experience that, traveling alone, someday. ^_^
    you’re one of my inspirations in traveling/wandering! hehe 🙂

  14. ajay says:

    Let’s drink to that. Most of my trips were solo, especially when I was single. Ang sarap ng solo sa New York, hehe. And so was going in Kota Kinabalu, kase inindyan ako ng kasama ko, huhu. I’d still go solo , if only for the fact na ang hirap maghanap ng travel partner, especially pag international trips

  15. Badet says:

    The only time I can go solo is when I’m in malls. But for travelling to an unknown place, I don’t think I can do that now. Siguro when I was single, I can try that pero hindi na ngayon. =)

  16. Poyt says:

    I love your banner for women’s month! Naks, I haven’t tried traveling alone just yet, but I think I will. 😀

  17. dong ho says:

    great nina! more and more women backpackers arise and im sure youth trip’s session this march will be good. i was there last month.

  18. Scribetrotter says:

    I so agree with you – solo travel is such an accomplishment! I love to travel on my own and my longest trip lasted… three years! It’s the best thing I’ve ever done and showed me how I can survive anything, anywhere.

    Happy travels!

  19. Nothing is more liberating than a solo trip, even for a woman. I’ve seen a lot of women do it and in fact, I just met several here in India. And as you pointed out, you get to meet others doing exactly the same thing and share about travel experiences over a cup of chai or in my case, a dinner of tandoori chicken.

    Happy travels!

  20. uiwwitch says:

    It’s true, even when you’re traveling alone, you’re never really alone. I wandered through Central Park alone and ended up with a bunch of girls touring New York! It was a lot of fun.

  21. caryn says:

    i completely agree; traveling alone gives you a great sense of accomplishment 😉 i love how you get to explore spaces and places by yourself, on your own time. and yup, you get to meet a lot of interesting people!

  22. Marco says:

    I also like solo travelling coz Im in control of everything I do.

  23. I strongly agree that travel is one of the best way to have a nice time.The best one that.I am very interested to join this.

  24. Kay says:

    Very inspiring.. 🙂

    Hope i can do it someday.. when i finally have enough guts to do so..

  25. Lovely says:

    Wow, this post is really inspiring! I really want to travel solo but my fears are keeping me from doing that. But reading your blog entry inspires female travelers like me who want to discover the world on their own. I can’t wait to start traveling alone and attain the sense of fulfillment that you said. Great post! Keep on inspiring other female travelers! By the way, congrats for winning the Best Travel Blog for this year! Cheers 🙂

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