Imagine... trekking the dusty trails to the base camps of the Himalayas, with only your backpack for the sole purpose of beholding the view from the top of the world. Or lounging without a care in the world, on some remote sandy beach with clear blue waters and the sun shining gloriously. Or watching the world pass you by while fashionably perched at some street café in Europe, sipping really good coffee. Now imagine doing all that, by yourself
Let's face it, we all love the romantic notion of travelling alone. Leaving it all behind to do some much needed soul searching in faraway exotic lands for an Eat Pray Love journey evokes some deep-rooted sense of freedom and courage that most of us long for. As rewarding as it was for Julia Roberts, the idea of a woman roughing it out all by her oh-so-frail little self still raises a few eyebrows. Even more so for Asians.
The Boogeyman is NOT out to get you!
With the recent tales of assaults and attacks around the world that have been plaguing the media, it's no surprise that women are afraid to leave their houses. But what people fail to realise is that if anything bad were to happen, it can happen just about anywhere. In 2012, it was recorded that in Malaysia alone, there were 14,291 house break-in cases from January to July*, and 3,488 cases of domestic violence**. Anything bad can happen anywhere, even in your own home. Then again, if you don't leave your house, nothing will ever happen to you. No soul searching, no new experiences, no new friends, absolutely NOTHING! Isn't that far more terrifying than all those statistics?
What people also fail to realise is that all these stories you read in the papers or on your Facebook feed have probably been happening over the past 10 years. Maybe even longer. It is only recently that these horror stories have reached your ears, thanks to this beautiful thing called the Internet. And thanks to the Internet, these stories that probably have been exaggerated slightly out of context are now taken seriously. The travel industry have taken major steps to ensure solo travellers' safety, such as having dedicated floors for women, women butlers for room service, women tour guides and many more.
More women travel solo than men
Woman are already travelling solo. Recently, Travel Guard Worldwide, Inc. produced a poll reporting that solo travelling has become commonplace, noting that 73% of their agents claim that more female travellers embark on solo trips than their male counterparts. According to 44% of their agents, most of their clients taking solo trips are 55 years or older, and 82% of them state that their clients' budget are less than USD 5,000***. Are you running out of excuses yet? What's your excuse for not being one of them?
Start your own solo adventure
To give you that little push to brave the horizon, Sedunia Travel is hosting a blog series called Why Every Woman Should Travel Solo. This series is a collection of interviews of some well-known writers and bloggers in Asia who are no stranger to solo travelling. Having done what most of us only dream of, these women are your best source of information and inspiration, and they are:
|Juno Kim||Jeannie Mark||Amalla Vesta||Anis Ibrahim|
|Hannah Pearson||Makiko S||Michela Fantinel|
Here to guide you on your very first step into the wonderful world all by yourself, the interviews will focus on 2 key factors:
- The perks of travelling solo; what's so great about it and why you should do travel by yourself.
- The fears for women travelling solo; what are they and should they be taken seriously.
*Homeowners also to blame for break-ins, says CID chief, August 16, The Malaysian Insider.
**Statistics on Violence against Women in Malaysia (2000 – 2012), Royal Malaysia Police and Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development.
***Women Travel Statistics Explained by Travel Expert, http://gutsytraveler.com/women-travel-statistics-2/