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Should Female Backpackers Go on their Own? Why or Why Not?
There is a tendency to think of women as weaker and somehow more vulnerable to being victimized than men. There is also a tendency to think the world is a dangerous place and this tendency can border on delusional and even paranoid; fueled by too much TV, movies and news programs. Actually, crimes could occur in your own backyard. But hopefully that possibility, as remote as it might be, will not stop you from venturing into your own yard.
Fact is, many experienced female backpackers travel alone and testify that it is safe to do so if you are smart and that it can be a very enjoyable experience full of fascinating and exciting adventure.
Of course, you should do your research. Fortunately, in this day and age, there is plenty of information out there. Female backpackers run their own blogs and can give you first-hand info on what it's like for them to travel alone. This info is more reliable than that of your over-protective Dad, I'm sure. You want information that is reliable and not based in hype and hearsay.
You can also check out the many forums on the subject, check out the travelers on Twitter, look into guidebooks and consult fellow travelers. There is a plethora of resources on the subject.
Obviously, you are not going to want to go straight into a war zone. So, common sense is always a good ally.
Do you travel alone?
Why You Should Go Solo
I think a good challenge is healthy. It's interesting and not boring and leads to personal growth and a good down-to-the-bone education.
It's also empowering. You gain the confidence that you can live freely, independently, and on your own. Who wants to be coddled and sheltered their whole lives?
It's very possible to connect with people who have some, if distant, connection to friends and family back home, when you are out seeing the world beyond your own neighborhood. It will be a great experience to make and solidify some of these connections.
You meet new people in circumstances in which you must be self-reliant. And, guess what? They are mostly good and helpful. Many female backpackers have testified to this fact. Actually, some of them say that people are often more protective of female solo travelers and offer them extra assistance. Great way to meet friends and find out about people.
Basically, when you venture out on your own, you have a stronger sense of freedom, you are not answering to someone else, you make your own schedule and you are always doing something new and exciting. Seems well worth it. What else are we living for?
Just Be Smart
This goes without saying, I suppose, but it's important to remember it. It doesn't matter if you are a man or woman, it always pays to use your common sense. You might not want to go out at night, should take care in using reliable taxi services and it would do you well to find accommodations with competent security personnel. Such things are intelligent considerations for everyone out on the road.