Solo travel is on the rise among women, in case you haven’t noticed. Some of us, started off after a break-up; the rest, well…quit the 9-5 job to hustle with gazillions of restless nomads. In my case, I hopped onto solo tripping way before I quit my desk job and it has nothing to do with an ex. (Related post: Have Passport, Will Travel…Solo)
While travel can indeed help a woman recover from Splitsville, to be honest, it’s not really a cure-all. It only seems that way. A change of scenery, a mind diverted to new experiences, the distance from the ex – they all help women to recover a little from the Broken Heart Syndrome. However, when you are left alone with your thoughts, the sting is still there.
What travel offers is distraction. It gives the woman a much-needed perspective on what went wrong. Traveling makes her realize how she lost herself in the process of caring for someone. It gives her that “Aha!” moment.
Once they keep traveling on their own, women develop traits that make them more attractive.
I want to use the term “attractive” in a general context. These are traits that attract admiration not only in dating scenarios but also in platonic environments.
I say, the more women travel solo, the more they cultivate these qualities:
1. They become confident
Confidence has nothing to do with looks. In fact, when you travel by yourself frequently, you lose that habit of spending hours in the mirror, painting your eyebrows. You eventually get used to not having a hair dryer around. Who would know that the shirt you’re wearing is the last of three pairs you’ve managed to slide into your tattered backpack? You walk around in flip-flops with chipped toenail polish. Well, who cares, you’re anonymous! You go out knowing that you’re a hot mess.
2. They become self-reliant
Women who travel alone are great planners. They have a general sense of control. They don’t need men to make decisions for them. They don’t mind being taken cared of but they can manage by themselves on the road. A woman who travels solo knows what she wants and will not wait for a man to give it to her. While she can be a great team player, she is also determined to do it all on her own.
3. They are low-maintenance
Working a travel budget makes a solo traveler practical. Some can be stingy but “practical” is politically correct. Most of these girls would prefer beer over cocktails. They would save fancy restaurants or expensive steak dinners and wine for special occasions. A man can spoil a solo traveler and she’d be thankful…but she wouldn’t expect it every time. She doesn’t spend money on things she doesn’t need. To her, not all things that could make her happy come with a price tag.
4. They become smarter
Traveling alone makes one better at making decisions. If a man asks what she wants to have for dinner and she answers “It’s up to you”, she is just giving him the alpha male moment. She has pretty much an idea of what she wants and where to go, but she’d still give a man the reigns. Make no mistake, she can take charge anytime you let her.
5. They are more adventurous
She doesn’t want rules. She is spontaneous. You can have a weekend all planned with her but she can change her mind last minute over an idea that spells more fun. Random ideas excite her. She can get a man packing his bags to catch the night train out of town or hop on a bus for a long ride to a weekend getaway.
6. They are optimistic
They have bad days as everyone else does, but they move on quickly. After all, no one likes a Debbie Downer. They don’t brood over something that didn’t work out. If plan A fails, they jump onto plan B. They’ve gotten used to movement. No failure can stop them in their tracks. Traveling has taught them to survive a life of constant trial and error. They know when to let go of something that doesn’t serve them well. They believe that as long as they are pushing forward, they will eventually get to where they want to be.
7. They are mysterious
It is not being standoffish, but more of setting boundaries. After all, they don’t need to clue everyone into their personal life. They don’t owe anyone a tell about what their next move is, who they hang out with, or what they are feeling. An air of mystery is sexy, but they don’t do it on purpose. Reserved at first, but they are willing to open up at the right time and with the right people. Just when you think you’ve learned all there is to know about them, you uncover more endearing truths.
Solo travel can be daunting for women who haven’t tried it. However, once you’ve done it, you will definitely do it again. I don’t think it’s that travel bug that bites nomads in the ass. I believe it’s that feeling in a woman that they’ve taken their power back. It is that fulfillment that makes them scream “Yes I can!”
Do you feel the same way after traveling solo? Tell me what else has travel helped you with. Share your stories, they deserve to be told!
Sheila, a.k.a. The Solo Tripper. Former news desk editor, full-time traveler, freelance writer.