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2013: The end of solo female travel?

2013: The end of solo female travel?

This year, I’ve been on 16 flights, two train rides and countless subway rides. I have my carry-on bag packing down to an art form and know the route to the airport like the back of my hand. Despite settling into a fixed life in New York City, there has been more than enough travel to keep my wandering heart content.

Christine Amorose in San Francisco

Despite all of my most independent intentions, none of those trips have been alone. About half have been for work–grateful for a job that has sent me to Las Vegas and San Francisco and Miami—and while I have luxuriated in having a hotel room all to myself, even those trips have either been with a coworker who doubles as a good friend or book-ended with visits to friends and family.

C'est Christine and Young Adventuress in Jordan

My first press trip in Jordan resulted in finding a travel twin who has become a good (if long-distance!) friend. Roadtripping around Iceland with my BFF was the best birthday gift I could have asked for. World Domination Summit in Portland was a reunion of friends I’d made across the globe. Sacramento was a glorious chance to soak up the sunshine, eat delicious home-cooked meals and catch up with friends and family.

Christine Amorose and Aly Gill in Iceland

I booked Thanksgiving in Montreal and Christmas in Puerto Rico on a whim, simply because I wanted to take advantage of having a few days off and because I was in a bit of an adventure rut. I didn’t consult anyone on what dates worked best for them or where they’d prefer to go; I did what would make me happiest. But when I mentioned my plans to my boyfriend, he sweetly inquired as to whether I’d want some company in Montreal—and when I messaged my favorite road trip buddy about Puerto Rico, she immediately asked for the dates so that she could book her flights from London.

To me, the spirit of solo female travel is still there: it’s about not letting the fear of doing something alone stop you from doing something you want to do. I didn’t go backpacking around Europe after I graduated from college alone because I wanted to become some sort of independent woman crusader. I did it because I wanted to backpack around Europe.

Winter in Montreal

One of my favorite proverbs is shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. It’s wonderful to be able to share a beautiful sunset in a new place with someone; it’s also nice to have someone to commiserate with when the plane is running late.

But I’ve also grown up with my grandfather’s favorite adage: if you want something done right, do it yourself. I’ve learned which friends I can travel well with and which ones drive me nuts. I won’t travel with someone just because I need someone  to reassure me: I travel with someone only when they can truly double the joy of a new place.

Bonus: my very first guest post ever on the ups and downs of traveling solo on Twenty-Something Travel–almost four years old now! 

  • Erin

    I’m so glad you posted this. Might have just inspired me to take some solo trips around Brazil on my upcoming vacation. Great post & thanx beautiful!

  • Liz Carlson

    Love this, and I definitely feel the same way a lot. More often than not, now I plan my trips around meeting up with people around the world, though most of the transit is solo. Travel styles change and evolve over the years and that’s awesome, I can’t wait to see how I travel in 10 years. Hopefully on a private plane 🙂

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad

    I love that proverb, shared joy is a double joy; shared sorrow is half sorrow. And I’m with Liz as well; travel style definitely changes over time- I definitely know now that I prefer being an expat over being a backpacker! Great post.

  • SnarkyNomad

    I’ve had friends tell me we should travel together and I just flat out say no we shouldn’t. I mean, I feel bad, but traveling together would be even worse.

  • katbeckerr

    It is always thrilling to see a fellow travel junkie find their person!

  • camorose

    Wonderful! So glad that you were inspired. And yay Brazil!

  • camorose

    #twin

  • camorose

    Same here–always happy when I’m home in my “own” bed, wherever in the world that might be 🙂

  • camorose

    I definitely have traveled with people who I will NOT be traveling with again!

  • camorose

    🙂

  • KaleenasKaleidoscope

    Here here! The key is just to do what you want to do, whether or not someone is willing to join you. Last summer I booked a flight to Indonesia on my own because I wanted to go and would have been perfectly content to go alone, but luckily a couple of friends wanted to go too so they wound up meeting me there. Just because you’ve stopped long term solo travel doesn’t mean that you’ll never take a solo trip again. I think the most important thing out of all of it is that you’ve learned exactly what you said: ” it’s about not letting the fear of doing something alone stop you from doing something you want to do”. Cheers! 🙂

  • lamorenita

    Oh god so true…I just don’t know how to break it to them!

  • camorose

    Yup yup! 🙂