WOMEN SHOULDN’T TRAVEL ALONE!
What? Are you kidding me!? The last time that I checked, we were living in the 21st Century? It appears that despite the progress that women have made over recent years, there are still many men AND women out there who continue to believe that there are way too many dangers for single women to travel alone.
In some ways they would be correct, however, there are still many who would prefer to have us women confined to the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat (I don’t cook), but I much prefer to travel. I am a single woman who loves travel and usually travel alone.
The idea that even in the 21st Century it remains too dangerous for a woman to travel alone is completely foreign to me. I am fortunate enough to come from a long line of independent, courageous women beginning with my grandmother (born in 1915), to my mother (born in 1939), and then there’s me (born in 1960).
These very special women in my life have always encouraged me to follow my own path no matter how difficult, scary or dangerous. I have continued to pass these same characterists and beliefs onto my daughters (born in 1987 and 1988) and finally to my granddaughter (born in 2007).
A BIT OF BACKGROUND
This post stemmed from a discussion that I had recently with a girlfriend. She has been happily married for 34 years and has never really worked outside of the home. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I fully support women AND men who choose to stay home to raise their children and look after their home. It’s an extremely tough job, and I have the upmost respect and admiration for those of you who can do it. I unfortunately was not cut out for that. I do believe though that in this particular case, my friend has not progressed from the 60’s and 70’s with respect to her views on women having the freedom to make their own choices and decisions with respect to the direction their lives will take.
Related: Let’s Get Ready for Takeoff
We were recently discussing the current dangers of women travelling alone in certain Caribbean islands. In particular, the rise in crimes against women and the recent increase of rapes and sexual assaults occurring at all-inclusive resorts many of which are being perpetrated by resort employees.
Recently at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, a women who was travelling with her husband, was sexually assaulted by a resort employee. From my friends point of view, the female traveller made the ultimate mistake of being hungry. The woman went in search of some food, and yes it was after dark. She was ultimately sexually assaulted by an employee of the resort that she was staying at.
My friend’s solution to this danger of being sexually assaulted was “well she shouldn’t have been out by herself”. Are you kidding me!? I was so furious over this remark, and I couldnt believe the fact that these words were actually spoken out loud. Especially since she knew full well that I had been travelling solo for almost 10 years.
Firstly, this woman had every right to walk the resort to get some food, whether during day-time hours or night-time hours, or whether by herself or with her husband. This was her home for the week and she had every right to walk on her own to get food and had every reason to believe that she would be safe in doing so. Afterall she was in a gated, guarded resort.
Secondly, if you have ever travelled to the Caribbean, you will know that many of the islands are dark by 6:30 in the evening. Judging by my friend’s reaction, it became apparent that she believed that one of the dangers of women travelling alone was going for dinner. I guess she thought that we would be better off ordering room service every night.
Once I reminded my friend that I walk alone every single day, whether it be in my home Country or when travelling abroad, the discussion came to an abrupt end. I would like to think that it was because she realized just how stupid and sexist her comment was. Unfortunately I doubt that was the case.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO TRAVEL ALONE
The bottom line is that women should never be made to feel that they are unable to travel alone, or do anything else alone for that matter. Yes, there are dangers out there and absolutely extra precautions must be taken whenever travelling alone, but there is an entire world out there waiting for us to experience and discover. The dangers of women travelling alone are not much different than our male counterparts. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you want to travel alone, and you have the courage to do it, then go for it! Just don’t do anything that you wouldn’t typically do at home.
End of Rant….
Unfortunately my mom is now deceased, but I continue to thank her each and every day for raising me to be such a strong and independent women. She continued to encourage me right until the end to live my own life and to be dependent only on myself.
Let’s always support each other in our decisions, whatever they might be, and stop tearing each other down. No crime against any person is okay and it is certainly not the victims fault! Period!
I would love to hear your thoughts on the dangers of women travelling alone. Should we, or shouldn’t we? Should we let our fears take over? Should we worry about what others think?
Conversation, discussion and debate is healthy. Passing judgement is not!
SAFE & HAPPY TRAVELS TO ALL OF MY SOLO TRAVELER FRIENDS!