To cut it short, I don’t think solo female travelers even exist. And yes, I do care to elaborate, so bear with me.
I’m a woman, I travel solo. If this is all I mean when I define myself as a “solo female traveler” then fine, I accept it and it’s the truth.
It’s the meaning behind this “solo female travel” that I hate and reject. I find that when a woman sticks too much with such definition, then it becomes a mostly offensive, degrading label. As in “hey, I’m a woman, but I travel anyway” – wait a minute, what’s the matter of being a woman in first place?
Got my point?
If not, let’s put it this way. Believe me I know the risks of sexual harassment and all (let’s not forget I lived and struggled with it during my 2 years in Egypt). But don’t we all agree that the end of all sex and sexism related problems is equality? Then why would I have to treat a female traveler differently than anyone else?
To me, it would make more sense to divide travelers and tourists into “fearless” and “fearful”, if we really want to talk about safety measures.
Now, as if women weren’t scared enough to step outside their doors, they also have to keep in mind that traveling as a woman is a different experience (???), that it takes extra safety measures (such as… ? Most of the times keeping men at home may help, not women) and on top of that there are some “experienced solo female travelers” that encourage them in a rather perverse way – “hey I’m a woman BUT I can still have fun!” Well thanks! To me this is called being part of the problem!
As a solo female traveler just because I happen to be a female, a traveler, and a person who often flies from A to B on her own to explore the world including the dreaded Middle East, I can assure you that the best thing to do in order to have a good experience when traveling as a woman is to avoid the above mentioned way of thinking. It never occurred to me that I was a “solo female traveler” until I came across the label somewhere on the internet and I immediately felt uncomfortable with it. Sometimes I may have used such description for myself but never meant that women have to travel differently. No way. Taking care of yourself? It goes without saying. Are we really alone when we travel? No way. Nobody is. Unless you are in the middle of the desert and then you have a bigger problem…
Yup, I’m back and aggressively so. :)