A Story of A Solo Female Traveller – Young, Wild, and Stupid
I’ve always been a warrior of girls could travel solo too! There are tonnes of girls out there who bit the bullet and packed their bags then headed somewhere they’ve never been. It has been happening for quite some time now and every day, more and more girls get on the plane and do whatever they want, sometimes even though they’re broke! Explore every country on their list or what other travellers will suggest her to go.
But seriously, what does it really like to travel as a solo female traveller? Is it really safe? Would it come to the point that a solo female traveller would go home instead? Would she wish she didn’t go alone? Would she be worried about her safety whilst on the road?
When I decided to travel alone, I never thought about the safety, pretty stupid right? I never questioned myself all the what-ifs I mentioned above. I don’t really know, I was just excited to do it. I’ve heard and read online that women do it. So as dumb as it sounds, I just didn’t consider my safety in every destination I go.
After being on the road for more than a year now as a solo female traveller, it was only one time that I almost accept that this is it, I will get raped or killed. After I survived that situation, I prayed and thanked whoever looked after me that night and moved on with my life, moved on with my travels. Pretty much didn’t take it as a lesson that it could happen again.
Half of my trip, I met someone and travelled with them, half was I completely alone but met other travellers along the way and spend a day or two with them. I’m almost never cautious about my safety when I decide to go to a new place, mostly I consider if there would be any internet access as my job depends on it. Which practically will take me to civilised cities where I’ll be around locals and travellers too.
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Until the day I decided to let a local join me on my solo trip ionone of the islands in the Philippines. There weren’t any internet access nor mobile reception. There weren’t even electricity. I pitched my tent by the beach and clearly mentioned to the guy (let’s call him John) that my tent is only for me. He understood that and respected my decision. He was very nice and have been consistent with his answers every time I ask him about his life and family. After we had dinner, it started to rain heavily. I told John that my tent can’t hold it and we need to run to the lighthouse.
There, we were welcomed by two older men who are the caretakers of the lighthouse. They were very nice and accommodating. I pitched my tent under a dry roof, John slept on the plastic chairs just next to my tent. I bid them all good night right after I finished setting up my tent. Before I completely set myself comfortably inside my tent, John asked me, couldn’t he really fit in my tent with me? In a friendly tone, I said, I’m sorry but no. At that time, I was already nervous about my safety. I tried to convince myself that it was all in my head.
I couldn’t sleep. Without any reasons, I was still feeling afraid. I was surrounded by three men who I barely knew, spoke a Filipino dialect I don’t understand. These people have been very nice to me, however, I couldn’t point out why my heart was pounding and my mind was racing with stupid thoughts. I made sure I locked my tent, have my whistler on my side, torch on the other and my bags are ready if I need to run. You see, I was very paranoid.
After two hours, I feel my eyes slowly closing. I woke up from a loud sound and I’m rolling, someone flipped my tent. I wanted to go out from my tent but my hands were tied, I can’t reach for my whistler, I couldn’t see anything. I called out for my mother. I hear nothing.
I opened my eyes, I was soaking in sweat and my heart was racing, I checked the time. Damn it, it’s only half past nine (9.30pm), I thought. I barely slept after that nightmare as I try to listen to every movement around me, every noise that the insects and animals make or John’s snoring. Finally, I fell asleep again.
I woke up, the morning light finally crept in, I am in one piece, I’m alive. I have thought that it was the dumbest decision I’ve ever done. Surely those people have been nothing but nice to me, on the other hand, something could have happened. If there’s anything that night taught me, it’s the fact that kind people do exist and I was paranoid that time.
As I sat on the bus, I wonder if a male traveller would have felt the same way. Would he be worried for his life to be surrounded by people he doesn’t know, without any way to cry for help? Would he ask the questions I mentioned before he starts travelling?
I’m not writing this to scare any solo female traveller, I’m writing this to bring up awareness that every traveller should be cautious about his/her decisions. Everything that has crawled up in my head as I lay down listening to the rain and insects around was obviously just in my head. But as they say, you will never be too careful.
It was indeed a crazy and scary night for me, but this would not stop me from travelling alone. This only taught me to be more careful, wise, smart, and realistic about my future decisions when travelling. I will continue being young, wild, and occasionally stupid as a solo female traveller.
DISCLAIMER: In no way, I intend to make a negative impact travelling solo as a female. The whole story is based on my own experiences and all my opinion.
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