8 March 2020 is International Women’s Day. This is a global day, celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, according to www.internationalwomensday.com. With this day approaching we would like to focus specifically in on women’s solo travel.
Women who plan a solo holiday often receive negative reactions from their friends and family. Driven by fear and concern, they sometimes even discourage their female friends to travel on their own.
And that is a pity. There are so many great reasons for women to consider travelling solo.
This blog offers you an insight into the advantages of female solo travelling. If you are in doubt whether solo hiking or cycling suits you, this list may push you right over the edge.
Disclaimer: the team of Ireland Walk Hike Bike do not want to be held responsible for your decision to spend some money on the most incredible trip of your life.
1. You meet new people
Whether you decide to go for a solo cycling holiday or travel with a friend, you WILL meet new people. Of course, it is completely up to you if you are open to new connections.
If meeting new people is the main goal of your solo adventure, joining a guided group tour seems the right thing to do. Particularly when it is a tour specially designed for solo or single travellers.
However, you will be surprised by the number of people you meet on a self-guided solo cycling or hiking trip. If you are open to new friends, that is.
For instance, if you would book a self-guided cycling trip on Dingle, there is a big chance you will encounter other people riding a similar, or even the same route.
One reason why you meet more people when you travel solo is that other solo travellers often enjoy sharing experiences.
Besides, believe it or not, you will simply gain respect from others. Just because you are a woman travelling on your own. Both other travellers and locals tend to be curious about your stories and experiences.
2. You become a great problem solver
Hiking or cycling solo will make you a fantastic problem solver. Why? Because you are on your own. There is no-one else to help you.
When we talk about problem solving, we are not necessarily talking about major issues. Think of more practical problems, like a broken shoe lace while you are halfway a massive climb. Or a puncture when you have 25 more kilometers to go on your solo cycling trip.
The idea of facing problems like these can be very daunting. However, learning to solve problems on your own is going to help you for the rest of your life.
After travelling on your own, you will face problems with more confidence and in a more constructive way. Learning that you don’t always have to rely on other people gives you a strong feeling of independence.
3. You will get help if you need it
If you are not looking for that strong feeling of independence and the information above would stop you from hiking or riding solo, it may be reassuring to know that you WILL get help if you really need it.
Actually, that is one reason why Ireland Walk Hike Bike has invented their self-guided tours. Although you are experiencing the rough Irish nature on your own, you are no more than a phone call away from human contact. And help, for that matter.
Furthermore, as we have mentioned above, people tend to have a lot of respect for female solo travellers. This implies that they will keep an eye out for you and offer a helping hand when you need it.
In fact, travelling on your own truly shows other people’s helpful nature.
4. Your decision-making skills grow
As you learn how to solve your problems on your solo adventure, you will also become a master in decision-making.
Nobody is going to tell you to hurry up when you are trying to take the best possible photo of those cute little lambs in the fields. Nor will anyone ask to slow down if you are racing up that hill pretending you are Chris Froome.
You can go at your own pace. You decide.
If you book one of Ireland Walk Hike Bike’s self-guided solo cycling trips, you do not have to make ALL the decisions on your own. The team will set up a route for you and tell you exactly where to stay at night.
Nevertheless, you may be drawn to an unorganised solo cycling or hiking holiday. With an adventure like that will have control over all the decisions that have to be made.
Just like problem-solving, decision-making is an invaluable life skill that opens the gateway to independence.
5. Plenty of time for inner reflection
As a solo female traveller, you have all the time you want to do some well-deserved soul searching. There is no-one to distract you from you path to your inner self.
Hiking solo can be easily used as a means to reflect on your life and personality. The peace and quiet of the Irish countryside open your heart easily. It is just you and the powerful force of nature.
Exactly that force brings you from your head to your heart. It may even provide you with answers you have been looking for for a long time.
6. You feel free and confident
Travelling solo gives you a huge feeling of freedom and confidence. Think about it. All that problem-solving and decision-making make you the boss of your solo hiking or cycling adventure.
Once you return to you normal life after your epic solo holiday, you will feel on top of the world. In fact, you will look at the world differently. More positively.
And the world will look differently at you. The people that recommended you to stay at home earlier, meet a new, more confident version of yourself.
It is highly likely that they will reconsider solo female travels and book a solo cycling holiday for themselves the next day.
Best country to start travelling alone
Sometimes people wonder which countries are the best destinations to start travelling alone as a woman. There is not necessarily one correct answer to this question.
The most important thing for solo female travels is that you feel safe and comfortable in the country you will visit. The definition of safe and comfortable differs from person to person.
If you have an urge for adventure, you probably won’t mind travelling to a country with a completely different culture and language, such as India or Vietnam.
Maybe your sense of adventure will already be met when you hike or cycle solo for the first time in good old rural Ireland. If that is the case, Ireland Walk Hike Bike has the perfect self-guided hiking and cycling tours for you. What about solo hiking Sheep’s Head or Donegal?
Of course it is always important to explore the dos and don’ts of your destination before you travel there on your own.
Female solo travelling: if you have the chance, do it
It seems clear that solo travelling is an enriching experience in multiple ways. Therefore, every woman should do it at least once. Treat yourself with knowledge and skills you will carry with you for the rest of your life.
Travelling solo makes you a more complete human being.
Are you interested in Ireland Walk Hike Bike’s self guided solo cycling tours? Check out our available trips here.
Whatever you decide good luck to all of you brave solo female travellers!
This blog was written for Ireland Walk Hike Bike by one of our regular clients Judith Kimenai
“Judith is a Dutch text writer that is always on the lookout for new cycling and hiking adventures all over the world. Ireland has always had a special place in her heart. In 2019, she lived on the Beara Peninsula for 8 months.”
Thanks to all our clients who gave us permission to use including Chris Eden, Anne Evans and Jonathan Andrew