TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE
Are You Alone? Insights From a Female Solo Traveler
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
“The solo traveler appears alone, lost in thought
But takes in the entire world – sights, sounds and reflections.
Long walks, surprising discoveries, love found, love lost, new friends awaiting in every town.
A journey from the inside out in mind, in body and in earth.”
– Heather Markel, May 2019.
“Are you alone?“
This is a question I am often asked. Solo traveling the globe, alone, means, well, I’m on my own a lot. Depending on who asks, and when they ask, I vary from bristling and wanting to protect myself to feeling openness to a new friendship. The few solo male travelers I have met do not appear to be asked this question as much as we women. I imagine, in part, because fewer men travel alone than women.
Enjoying a view in Ushuaia, Argentina.
And sometimes I laugh at the question because none of us are really alone, ever. We may be physically in solitude but we are constantly connected with thoughts. So many times, I’ve thought of a friend and had them reach out shortly thereafter, or I’ve reached out to them to discover they were just thinking of me. So, mostly, I don’t feel alone.
“Even when we appear alone, we’re not really.”
Having solo traveled on vacations, and now for the past year, I realize I’m not phased at all by solo travel. Sure it would be nice to have a travel companion (but that has it’s own set up challenges unless you find the right one!) but the fact is, most people will more easily find excuses to travel than time and money to make it happen. So, for myself, I’ve found that if I want to pursue my passion, I have to, at the onset, do it on my own. I find this question really hits home with the wonderful women who dream of traveling the world, but can’t imagine doing it on their own. Whether for safety, for companionship, or something else, there tends to be a lot of fear and perhaps disappointment, around this concept for those that haven’t done it.
Meeting friends everywhere I go.