Trust Betrayed – The Sometimes Suckiness of Female Solo Travel
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
“Changing cultures, changing ways, meeting new people
Assuming the best of them, but sometimes finding something less.
A moment, a wrong assumption, a slip of the hand
Trust betrayed, feelings a mess.”
– Heather Markel, June 2019.
I’m very lucky and perhaps also smart and prudent. I’ve been solo traveling the world since January 31, 2018. In all that time I haven’t had any bad experiences, until now. I’ve made countless friends who work in, or own, the lodging I’m staying in. We’ve enjoyed conversation, food, drinks and remain in touch. So, my recent experience shocked me. I’m sharing it especially for the other female solo travelers out there who might be dealing with their own difficult stories or who want to avoid having a bad one.
I stayed in a small hostel-hotel recently in a small town in Argentina. The owner was lovely. He made me feel welcome and offered me coffee. We chatted. My first night he insisted I eat the delicious fish empanadas that his colleague had made and enjoy a glass of wine with them. He even invited some female travelers I met to join us for wine another evening and the four of us had a lovely time. So, it was with delight that, on my next-to-last night at the hotel, I accepted the owner’s offer to cook dinner for me and one of his staff and then have a quick drink down the street. I was careful with how much I drank the entire time at the hotel because my intuition told me not to let my guard down. I’m so grateful I listened.
“Always listen to your intuition.”
After a short while, the owner and his employee walked me back to the hotel. I felt protected and appreciated them making sure I got back ok even though it was not late and this town is one of the safest I could imagine. That’s when things went awry. Or, at the very least, my presumption they were protecting me.
Despite this unfortunate incident, I always try to see the good with the bad. Because I needed to feel safe in the next town, I booked myself into a “luxury” hotel (multiple floors, elevator, more than one person at reception) right in the center of town. On the way back to my “luxury” hotel one evening I stopped across the street. I was so happy that I chose this hotel. It was perfectly located. I felt safe in it and around it. It was inexpensive and the staff lovely. I realized, ironically, this bad experience pushed me to love my choices, and notice that I did. It has also pushed me to be very clear with my boundaries, another excellent lesson, and luckily one learned without too much pain. And so I see that within the hardship was a gift.
If you are a female solo traveler, check out my tips to stay safe.