For many, it goes without saying that men travel alone. However, the fact that women are doing the same is often a source of amazement or concern. But is traveling alone really harder or different for a woman than for men?
Prejudices and headwinds among friends
The first difficulty that women traveling alone are more likely to face than men is the headwind from their social environment.
The fact that men can move freely anywhere in the world, but women cannot, is probably one of the main assumptions for this headwind. There are many prejudices that traveling alone is far more dangerous for a woman than for a man, or that a woman can be less independent.
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The thing about cultures and the position of women
In many cultures around the world, women are still assigned the role of reserved housewife. There are norms for clothing, behavior and their position in society.
Often in these cultures, there are also clear rules for men – such as treating a woman with respect – but sometimes they are less strongly condemned for “stepping out of line”.
It gives the impression that traveling alone as a woman entails much more difficulties and limitations than traveling alone for a man.
The thing about fear and security
Women are often more fearful than men about security issues. You may just feel weaker especially physically or not very adventurous.
And then again: men are more likely to encounter difficulties elsewhere that women escape. For example, they’re more likely to get knocked down in the club. Or the police take tough action against them, women are overlooked. If they stopped celebrating or taking to the streets because of that, that would no longer be life either.
Women traveling alone are also often taken under their wing by locals, as a man you have to fight your way through alone.
Therefore, fear while traveling is not helpful for both sides. It is enough to be attentive as a woman even when traveling alone. This also opens up a lot better to good experiences.