I went to Paris a few years ago, like all hopelessly romantic North American women do. When people ask about my holiday, I love to tell them about the Eiffel Tower, and the long walks along the Seine, and the croissants (SO MANY croissants, I truly respect the French’s love for carbs).
There is one little detail that I often leave out, though – the fact that I traveled halfway across the planet for non-job-related reasons, completely alone, and I did it on purpose. For some reason, even in 2019, a woman is considered odd if she willingly chooses to take a trip by herself. Some naysayers mean well, wondering about safety and the other difficulties that can arise from being alone in a foreign country. Some people just think it’s sad, like I must be forced to travel alone because I’m a diseased and friendless oddity.
One woman I met who was appalled at the idea of travelling alone even said I was “so brave.” Hey, I’ll take the compliment but I really don’t think I was “so brave” –I’m just a person who wanted to see Paris, so I saw Paris.
I’m not antisocial, and I have a number of friends and no visible rashes, so I’ve travelled with others on many occasions. I love romantic getaways with my latest bae, and can get behind a good girl’s trip. But trust me when I say that every woman should take a solo trip at least once in her life.
Consider it a rite of passage like getting your driver’s licence or your first vibrator – you’ll learn a lot and have fun too!
Here my three reasons why a solo trip can be just as good, if not better, than a trip with other people:
1) Arranging Plans for Multiple People is a Logistical Nightmare.
I mean, where’s the lie? If you’re trying to coordinate travel plans with another person, I guarantee one of the followings things will happen. Your vacation days from work won’t align. Your budgets won’t align. They’ll never pay you back for their share of the hotel. One of you will miss the plane or forget your passport. One of you will accidentally be mistaken for a drug mule and thrown in prison - oh, wait, that was the sequel to Bridget Jones Diary.
In any case, more people means more problems.
2) You Get to Do, See, and Eat Exactly what you Want.
You know how the relationship code goes – my boyfriend has to put up with my European shopping excursions in exchange for me going to see an Arsenal game with him (Is it soccer? Is it football? I don’t care, it’s boring.)
Some would say these kind of compromises are “adult” and “responsible.” I say my vacation time is short and precious, so I want it all to myself, like one long self-love date. I will eat 30 croissants a day and stalk Prince Harry on my vacation if I want to, and no one can stop me. Well, Scotland Yard might have a problem with the Prince Harry thing, but no one can stop the croissant binge!
3) You Get to Feel Like a Stone-Cold Bad-Ass.
Ladies and lady-identifying people, there is power in doing what you want and not caring what people think. You’ll feel good about yourself that you didn’t let fear or society stop you from doing something you wanted to do.
In addition to feeling good, traveling alone teaches resilience, confidence, navigational skills, budgeting skills, organizational skills… so many skillz!
Feel accomplished when you turn a long-held dream into reality. Feel proud when you hit a travel snag and solve it on your own. Feel cool when you share stories of your awesome adventures with friends. Feel satisfied when you eat that third croissant without anyone around to judge you.
You get one life, so book yourself a plane ticket to somewhere amazing and enjoy it on your terms. If you want to share the experience with loved ones, that’s what Instagram is for!
Written by: Crystal Wood