Saturday, 11 June 2011

Sick of the Solo Female Traveler Naysayers

I hate the travel naysayers.  You know, the people who use scare tactics in order to try to convince me that I can not travel here, or go there, or do this, or do that...because it is way too dangerous as a solo female traveler.

Me with a water snake in the Jemmaa El Fna in Marrakech.

OK, I realize that as a solo female traveler I need to be more safety conscious than a solo male traveler.  And more safety conscious than if I were traveling with a group.  And I realize that many of the travel naysayers are the people that love me and do not want me to get mugged, raped, injured, or worse.

But the conclusion I have drawn on this trip is that solo female travelers can go anywhere in the world.  That is right:  anywhere (though I would not recommend Afghanistan at the present time).  And they can do it safely, smartly and have a great time.

 Lentils for lunch in Marrakech.

And an egg dipped in some tasty spices.

The other conclusion I have drawn on this trip is that the premier reason why the naysayers think it is so dangerous for the solo female traveler is because they know next to nothing about the cities and countries in question.  If you know next to nothing about a city or country and have never been there personally, of course it is going to seem "exotic," "dangerous," and "travel unfriendly."

Please do not call me naive.  I deployed to Afghanistan for 15 months.  I lived alone in a shitty neighborhood in America.  I have friends that have been mugged, raped, injured, and worse while traveling (and while walking from their apartment to the bus stop at home in America).  But I can also tell you that the travel naysayers are blowing things out of proportion.

 Fresh-squeezed orange juice is a staple food in Marrakech.

And donkeys abound.

And the sad thing is that the more they naysay, the more I want to travel to these "exotic," "dangerous" and "travel unfriendly" locales just to prove them wrong!

I do not believe that I have been in any more danger on this trip than I have been in my native Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City.  Even when I was in Kolkata, Cairo, Istanbul and Sarajevo.  Of course, it is more challenging for me to visit international cities than it is to visit Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City because I do not know the language, the lay of the land, and sometimes the local customs.  And for that reason there are things I do not generally do over here that I freely do at home like wander the streets at night.  But that is not to say that it is any more unsafe.

 I bought a bunch of dates, then fed one to a monkey.

At the expense of sounding like a bitch, I wish the solo female traveler naysayers would shove it.

1 comment:

  1. I used to travel solo all the time on business, mostly in the US, but also to Mexico and Hong Kong on occasion. I was disappointed when my corporate clients wouldn't engage me for projects that involved travel to more exotic places, though, for the sole reason that I was female. It burned my butt. I really wanted to go. Glad you're doing your part to undo the idea that women are weak and helpless and can't take care of themselves.