Solo Travel & Safety
I am a born nomad. Even when I was a teenager, I often fantasized travelling around and depositing exciting bits of new experiences and knowledge into my wisdom account. The thrill of embarking on a solo travel expedition and exploring the far-off land sand, the hidden treasures has always fascinated me. Some of the greatest euphoric moments and some of the toughest challenges that I have ever faced in life were while I was travelling alone to a far away land.
I am a strong believer that travelling can be one of the most rewarding experiences for a woman. For centuries, the life of a woman was confined to her household. Her entire world revolved around the limited periphery that included her husband and children. She hardly had the permission and the courage to break out of this restricted existence.
Fortunately, things have taken a remarkable turn in the recent times. The modern and educated urban woman has successfully shattered the age-old walls of prejudice and taken empowering steps towards a new way of living – the life of personal freedom and of following her own bliss.
Why it is important for women to travel
Whether you like a solo trip or prefer company, travelling can be one of the most enriching experiences of your life. It is a great way to de-stress and recharge your worn out batteries. When you are away from your routine life you get the opportunity of putting your day-to-day worries behind and see life with fresh new eyes. This is particularly so for women who hardly get any free time as they have to battle it out on two fronts, namely, workplace and family.
When you travel to different parts of the world, you get to experience a wide variety of lifestyles of people. I often find myself admiring the human spirit of survival by overcoming all odds, whenever I see how people adapt their life around their surroundings and living conditions. You also learn about new cultures, traditions, art and music of different regions. All this helps you grow as a human being and appreciate the beauty of the world.
You get to know new people while you travel. Sometimes, you come across like-minded people who share your interests or hobbies. These folks can often become your lifelong buddies. I often gel nicely with fellow travelers since they also share my passion for travel. I get to learn a thing or two about the places they have already visited and even some invaluable tips to travel safely in certain parts of the world. Being a woman, this is essential information for me which I use for myself and like to share it with other female travel enthusiasts.
If you are a nature lover, then travelling is the best way to get closer to the natural beauty of the world. The mountains, rivers, forests, and the oceans will not only soothe your senses but will often bring you closer to your true self. It can be a profoundly spiritual experience that will urge you to find the deeper meaning of life.
Traveling solo has its own adventure and freedom. However, if you are more safety conscious or are travelling to a country or state about which you have doubts regarding your personal safety, then joining an all-female travel group is a better option.
Some great destinations in India for female travellers
What about our beloved India? Why don’t you see the name of our country in the list? Well, as we already know that the horrific rape incidences in the recent past and the sexual violence statistics of many surveys have put India in a bad light regarding women’s personal safety.
However, we also know that India is not inhabited by some kind of rare monster species that are extinct in the rest of the world. Female in general face sexual assaults and violence all over the world, regardless of the country they live in. So there are some great places in India too that is relatively safe for female travellers.
While travelling in a vast and multicultural country like India, your experience of travel is bound to be as multicolored as the land itself. Your experience also largely depends on where you travel in India. In general, the southern Indian states like Sikkim, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, etc. are perceived to be relatively safer than most of the northern states. Sikkim is one of the best places to visit for women who like to travel alone. Some of the other Places that are considered safer for women travellers are Mumbai, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Ladakh, etc.
The importance of personal safety for women travelling alone
As we have discussed in some of our earlier blog posts, the issue is deeper than we think. It is set in the very conditioning of the collective mind-set of people in our society. Although a psychological and social reform will be the best solution for the dilemma of female exploitation and violence against them, it is not easy to achieve. So what we have in our hands right now is that we must take the responsibility of our safety on our own shoulders and vehemently fight for our oft neglected personal security rights.
The issue of personal safety can really haunt women when they step out of their comfort zones and venture into solo travel. During your journey, you meet many strangers, you stay in unfamiliar places such as hotels and motels, visit restaurants and bars, and go to never-seen-before destinations around the world. All this exposes you to risks and can make you an easy target for sexual crimes if you are not vigilant enough.
When you are in a foreign land, you can’t trust everyone you meet. There are always manipulators and sexual predators around who will try to take advantage of your vulnerability. They can act friendly and offer to help you around, show you good places to visit, better bars and other services in the city, or even allure you by promising to arrange your stay in better and cheaper hotels. Being in an unfamiliar place, chances of your accepting their help are high.
The risk is higher if you travel on relatively lonely streets or railway stations or visit parks, pubs and bars, and other such places after dusk. The chances of eve-teasing or sexual aggression are more likely at such time and places.
Stay safe while travelling with personal security products
Taking your safety in your hands is more than just being courageous. You must understand the risk factors that predispose a female traveller to security threats. You also have to be smart enough to use your commonsense in a crisis situation. Fortunately, today, modern technology is on our side. There are a wide range of personal safety products that can be your best weapons against the assaulters. These cleverly designed products are easy to use and are often all you need to keep the sexual aggressors at bay.
For instance, the pepper spray and the chili spray are among the most popular products used by women while travelling. When you are face-to-face with an aggressor, you just pull out the spray from your purse and spray the content into his eyes to end his foul game then and there.
Another popular and inexpensive product during your solo travel is the safety whistle that helps you attract the attention of passersby during such emergency situations. The wrist alarm serves a similar purpose and can be deceptively effective in getting help when someone tries to take advantage of you while travelling.
Many other useful products that I have specially designed for Female Travellers are the LED torch with flashlight and multi toolkit, 3-in-1 safety kit, survival bracelet; Manual Whistles. These are boon for female travelers.
In a nutshell, if you are like me – a modern-day woman with an adventurous spirit, seeking her freedom while maintaining her dignity – then this is the right time to begin your journey. Life is short and the whole magnificent world is there to explore. Why waste time in petty things like watching daily soaps or gossiping about your co-workers? There are so many better things to do in life. Travelling solo or with a travel group will bring the best out of your personality. You will get bolder and smarter. You will be more sensitive to life and grow more empathy towards others. All in all, you will grow tremendously as a mature and self-respecting individual.
I wish you a perfectly safe and enjoyable journey. Cheers!