Women on The Move: Safety and the Solo Traveler

I’m all for “Mancations” but as a solo female threading my way through Mexico last year, I enjoyed the freedom of traveling alone. Solo travel is inherently selfish. It is the unadulterated joy of doing what you want to do daily, without concern for a mate’s preferences or schedule.

On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable to want someone to share the joys of a new discovery, the thrill of an adventure gone awry, or simply the comfort of familiar face when you get sick.

One of the main benefits of traveling with friends is that you always have someone to keep an eye on your gear while you make a bathroom/food/ticket run. I follow the common tips for security, but every now and then you have to let your guard down and trust the universe, fellow travelers and kind strangers to keep you and your stuff safe.

There was the night I arrived in Mexico City to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a single, American, female, hailing a cab in one of the most dangerous cities on earth. Though I was nervous, I decided to trust my intuition, and ended up getting a tour of the midnight mariachi bands serenading throughout the city, and treating my cab driver to the best hamburger I had had in months.

And though on occasion bad things happen to good people, and bad people happen to good places, the thrill of solo travel is being free to investigate, participate, navigate and return to tell the tale. We’ve mentioned it before, but its not a bad idea to check out USA Today’s list of best (and worst) destinations for female travelers before you hit the road.