One of the things we love most about working as a Tour Operator is that we get to arrange fantastic holidays for fantastic people. One such guest, Ms Tahira Zec, recently returned from “the Land of Smiles” Thailand, and kindly wrote this brilliant blog about her experiences as a solo female traveller – Enjoy!
Having recently returned from a solo trip to Phuket, Thailand, I am particularly inspired to write a small bit on solo female traveling.
I’ve traveled solo before; I’ve also traveled with partners, with friends, and with family. And I have loved traveling in all these ways. Whom one travels with (or without) is a fine art form. In the end, my biggest lesson, in any of these scenarios, is that it is what one makes of the travel opportunity that matters, regardless of who you’re with or without.
Phuket was the perfect place for a solo trip. The Thai people and their culture are very accepting and open, so I would most definitely suggest Thailand as a solo destination for any female considering it. I had an amazing time hanging at the beach, excursions on my own, organized tours, and if you love the nightlife, it is never ending. Along the way, I met some wonderful and interesting folks from all over the world. Some I hung with for a short time and some over multiple times. Either way they all left lasing impressions with their stories and with their questions of me in regards to solo traveling. I will share those questions with you today and maybe even answer some of your questions you may have in regards to traveling solo.
By far, the most frequent question asked was (well, it’s more of a statement with a question mark) “You’re traveling ALONE?” and, I must confess, sometimes asked with a look of horror. This is always my favorite part when exchanging pleasantries with other travelers. I had joined a family from Australia (grandparents, parents, kids) on a bus tour of the island and about half way through the tour the grandmother asks me “honey, did no one want to come with you on the tour?” When I told her I was alone for the entire trip, I left her speechless and truly with a look of horror. But this to me is when the solo traveler’s true character building and self-confidence raising takes effect and grows.
“Are you scared of getting mugged?” This question has always seemed a bit odd to me. If I let this stop me from traveling then I would have to stop walking out my front door as well. But nevertheless, I do take some precautions when traveling (which would probably not be a bad idea to take up even when not traveling.) I carry a whistle and I carry a “muggers wallet”, which is a wallet with minimal cash and no bank cards, so if I were to get mugged, in theory, this is the wallet to be taken.
“Do you get lonely?” This one I’ve thought about and thought about and my answer was always “Uhm, no.” But for some reason I felt as if my answer should have been different. Or perhaps I felt as if the people asking the question expected a different answer? Looking back at my Phuket trip, I truly do not recall one moment of loneliness.
A question that had me chuckling, on this Phuket trip, came from a trio of men at the Irish Pub on Karon Beach who asked with amazement once they learned I was solo “why would a female come alone to Phuket?” Truly, ladies, Thailand is not only for the man. Perhaps in days gone by, but nowadays it is absolutely ideal and a great soft landing for a first time solo traveler.
And my absolute favorite question came from a 14-year-old Japanese girl traveling with her parents. “So you’re alone? So you can do anything you want at any time?” And my reply was a “Yeap, that’s about right” along with a huge smile.
One question I’ve been asked several times since returning from the trip (so I’m thinking others have the same question.) “Who takes all the great pictures of you?” I recently purchased a tripod, which I used often and I also have a gorilla-pod, which is tiny and lightweight, and a great alternative if one doesn’t feel like carrying around a big tripod. But, for the most part, I rely on strangers to take my picture. “Would you mind taking my picture?” is a fabulous opening to meeting new people.
Ladies, do not let solo traveling intimidate you. It truly is an experience of a lifetime, with benefits to last for a lifetime.
Happy Travels -Tahira
Thank you Tahira, you are an inspiration!
To check out more of Tahira’s fantastic posts, please follow her blog: http://tahira007.wordpress.com/