Guest blog post by Brooke Seward from World Of Wanderlust.
There's a generalisation you see... that travelling "solo", as a woman is considered "risky", or "dangerous." And yes, at times it is may seem scary, but solo travel is something we should all do at least once in our lives.
So we caught up with Wander Woman herself, Brooke Saward - one of the biggest female travel bloggers in the world, to discuss the increasing trend of female solo travellers who (now, more than ever) are off travelling the world, and inspiring others to join their journey.
RE: WHY THE SOLO TRAVEL AMONGST WOMEN IS TRENDING
It has been so rewarding being a part of the solo woman traveller trend and seeing it grow so quickly across the globe. I think women are choosing to travel solo for a lot of different reasons, but mostly I think it comes down to practicality. From my personal experience, I found it really frustrating waiting for others (friends or family) to commit to a trip overseas, so I decided time after time that I would just go it alone. After the first trip I realized how amazing it is to go on your own – both for practical reasons (seeing only the sights you want to see, waking up when you want to, eating croissants for dinner with no one to tell you off!) and for self-discovery (I learned so much more patience, tolerance and to stand on my own two feet from solo travel).
RE: THE IMPORTANT LESSONS GAINED FROM SOLO TRAVEL
I think the biggest thing I learned wasn’t just a lesson but a completely new point of view of the world and my position in it. One of my favourite quotes to remember when travelling is by Gustave Flaubert – “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” For me this reminds me that there is always someone fighting a harder battle than me, and that the only way to overcome life’s problems (both big and small) is to remember there is always someone worse off than you.
"At times even the smallest things make us feel like our world is ending, but 110% of the time these are lessons in disguise." - Brooke Seward, WOW
RE: THOUGHTS ON TAKING A GAP YEAR AFTER YOUR STUDIES TO TRAVEL
I didn’t personally take a gap year as I went straight into university and instead chose to go travelling solo for a year after my university studies, which I think worked well for me because I’m the kind of person who can change their mind quite quickly and choose to follow my heart instead of my head! It was a good choice for me to get my full education out of the way before travelling, otherwise I fear I never would have gone back to get my degree!
I’m often asked if I think you need a university degree by young people and I think the answer can go either way. While I didn’t use my university degree for my current job (full time gypsy would be an appropriate title by any measure), I do think it gave me life skills that have helped tenfold – such as time management, persistence, and getting used to criticism and/or rejection. So from my personal experience I would opt for education first, travelling second, career somewhere thereafter!
RE: THE SAFEST CITIES IN EUROPE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
Definitely the UK – I have had the best time travelling solo in Ireland, Wales, and Jersey (in the channel islands). But for the rest of Europe I would say countryside France is where I have felt safest and most enjoyed as a solo traveller – but then again I’m just in love with France and all things French!
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RE: HER INSPIRATION METHOD
I’m a huge sucker for Pinterest because I’m a very visual person and words don’t do nearly as much convincing for me as photos do! I’m an avid pinner and always finding new places to go to through Pinterest (@worldofwlust).
RE: 5 TOP TIPS FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELLERS
- Don’t always believe what you read – see a destination for yourself before writing it off!
- Seize the day – wake up early and catch the first light, it’s the most refreshing start to the day and means you will fall asleep earlier (night times are the loneliest of times as a solo traveller!).
- Say hello to everyone and anyone (who looks friendly!) as this is the best way to meet people and make friends all over the world.
- Drinking alcohol can cloud your vision and end in unsafe situations – be careful how much you drink, who with, or skip the booze and opt for fun alternatives like a comedy night or theatre show
- Keep in contact with a friend or family member periodically so someone always knows your movements – I find social media the best for this so I don’t have to punch out 20 emails, just a quick status update or tweet does the trick!