Can we stop telling women they shouldn’t travel alone? Please?

I know, I haven’t written anything since May. There are many reasons for that.

There are the usual reasons: daily life, binge-watching few seasons of House Of Cards because It was election season in the US and I needed to understand, and I just didn’t have anything interesting to say..

And there is the fact that I changed my job and have been on the road for almost a month on business, and yes I choose my jobs based on how much I’m going to travel in case you were wondering. I think I actually said that when I was interviewing, I’m not sure… I’ve also been to Berlin and Vienna for 10 days (beautiful cities by the way), but I’ll write about them in my next post, I promise.

We’ve all witnessed the news earlier this year about this American young woman who was found beaten to death while she was solo travelling in Nepal, and another one murdered by her couch-surfing host in Nepal. Both incidents happened only couple of months after I was solo travelling in Nepal, and trust me it was the first time the phrase “It could’ve been me” made that much sense to me. It actually could’ve been me, but it ALSO could’ve been anyone else, let’s say a MAN for example. Wait internet don’t hate on me, I’ll explain.

When I was reading the articles about both incidents, I went through the comments and almost everyone was going on and on about how “they sort of asked for it” (What?), because ” they shouldn’t have solo traveled to a country like Nepal because they are women”.

Since I started travelling back in 2012, I have mainly traveled alone. Not because I didn’t have friends to travel with, not because I didn’t have friends. I did it (and still do) because sometimes it just feels good to enjoy your own company. It made me meet people and have friends in countries I’ve never been to (and probably won’t go to anytime soon…Australia if you’re reading this). My point is, It was a choice not a necessity. That said, my friends and family have always made comments about my choice, my family being worried and my friends halfway between being impressed and feeling sorry for me.

I’ve never been a feminist, at least not according to today’s definition of feminism. I do believe though that every human being (men and women) should live their lives by their own terms, and if they want to solo travel, well they should.

First of all, travelling alone is not more dangerous for a woman than it is for a man. The fact is that women and men have the exact same mental capacity, relatively speaking. If you keep your common sense, pay attention to your intuition, and trust your gut, traveling alone is safe either you’re a man or a woman. So there is no reason to tell a woman that she shouldn’t travel alone if a man can do it.

Second, telling women to stop travelling alone is ignoring the root of the problem. The reason why this woman was beaten to death is not because she went to Nepal alone, It’s because a psychopath murderer beat her to death. It’s like saying: “women are being raped because they’re wearing provocative clothes, not because sick perverts are walking the streets”. Ridiculous right?

Now I’m not being delusional by saying that the whole world is a safe place, of course it’s  not. I didn’t feel safe in many countries I’ve been to, Nepal being one of them. But instead of not going, do your research and be aware of your surroundings. Have faith that people are naturally good if you’re good to them, that’s what I do and it always works.

Bottom line, if you’re a woman who wants to explore solo traveling, but you’re hesitating because of how people are going to look at you (especially in the Arab world, let’s be honest) or because of your safety here’s what you should do: do your research, be prepared, pack your bag and go for it!

You’ll love it, I promise.

Cheers to the places we yet have to go to!

Solo trip to Slovenia

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