Life is either a daring adventure or nothing – Helen Keller
Women have taken to voracious travelling, and they are indulging in the experience, all alone. Solo travelling for women across the globe is rising steadily as women of all age groups are joining the club of solo female backpackers. As one says, ‘travelling is freedom and freedom has no gender”, women are setting out on lengthy expeditions sans any ‘male chaperones’. ‘You holiday with family but travel alone’ was what a travel enthusiast was told by a fellow traveller in one of her trips and that changed her perspective. Despite raised eyebrows, women are daring to seek the world from close quarters and bring home an all-new self.
Women tend to be more adventurous
Is it only for the love of adventure that women are venturing into the wild and the distant? The thirst was always there but not the means and the resources, be it tech, connectivity or people support. Here’s why the ladies, young and old are finally wearing their traveller’s shoes, and with what flair! As more women ditch the kitchen and enter the portal of the professional world, they are living their dreams like never before. As aptly pointed out by Jamen Yeaton-Masi, vice-president of worldwide product for Country Walkers & CW Safaris, “Women are becoming more financially independent and thus more apt to travel; you could argue that this also gives women more confidence to pursue more adventurous travel.” He also observes, “Women tend to be more adventurous than men in regards to international travel and perhaps even joining groups alone”.
April Merenda, president of Gutsy Women Travel echoes a similar thought, “There are more and more women who are independent, who have lucrative careers or never got into a marriage, and more and more of them share their interests or don’t share their vacation schedules, or quite frankly she just needs to get away alone.”
Discovering the connect
Solo travellers do not always travel solo but are often part of the solo travellers’ group. And when the group is women exclusive, it’s fun all the way. “When women travel together, they tend to be a more cohesive and closer-knit group than mixed groups…They support each other and encourage each other to try something that they may have never done before. [It’s] a win-win for all women.” says Deborah Kilcollins, brand manager of Big Five Tours and Expeditions. And there’s something amazing about such women to women interaction in a neutral context, “Women travelers tend to have an impact on women in the destinations visited and a subtle message of women’s empowerment takes place.” she adds.
Carol Dimopoulos, president of Perillo Tours, who has 70% of her clients are women, emphasizes why women are more keen to socializing with other women, hence join women-only travel groups, “They’ve realized that they need to be with their own tribe. They don’t want to have that dynamic with men. No matter how much you love your husband, spouse, son, it just doesn’t provide the space to have that solitude.” According to Sue Hile, founder of Adventurous Women, “Women want to try things…but travelling with males, sometimes they don’t think they can. It’s not everybody, but there are women out there who feel that they just can’t let their hair down and be themselves with men around and the company of women is different. You talk about different things, you laugh at different things. It’s a very different dynamic.”