Not all who wander are lost - we also simply want to explore (because we can!)
The rise of solo travel by (unapologetic) females.
Most of us know the quote: "Not all who wander are lost." by J.R.R Tolkien, it's a quote I've seen around for some time and anyone who adores travel as much as I do, can testify to the fact that travel (to some) is an insatiable desire which is also a deeply personal experience.
Not always because we find ourselves lost, quite the contrary, it's because that we feel more ourselves than ever before, we have a zest for life, seeking new experiences, desiring to meet new people and masks we wish to drop and new elements of our personalities which we seek to explore in greater depths. Unapologetically.
Travel for so many of us solo women, is true freedom, the moment we step onto that plane to head to a new destination, by ourselves, we can embody absolutely any part of our personality. Any parts which we feel have been hidden under the labels we have in our lives (wife, mum, big sister, sensible friend, thoughtful girlfriend, dependable colleague). It's not to say we're necessarily unhappy at "home" it's simply the mere fact we get to explore the depths of who we are, what we believe in, who we wish to be and a chance to embody the confidence which really lies within (uninterrupted).
Traveling to a new country and unknown destinations will do that to you. You have so many "firsts"; to packing your suitcase for one, which one to trust at the airport (taxi or Uber?), to making a dinner reservation for one, to enjoying a morning coffee on the beach when every one else around you seem to know each other. To dealing with the "oh she's alone looks". Which can be really fun, but more on that in another article.
It calls for a level of confidence you don't get when have the comfort (and security) of those you know, around you.
There are many women, in their mid thirties (and above) who understand what I am talking about. More women than ever are taking to solo travel, they're tired of waiting for their husbands, partners or friends or to take them or join them on that "trip of a lifetime".
I speak from experience as a woman who regularly travels abroad alone (most months in fact!).
I have been called a 'flutterer' by those nearest and dearest to me as I can't seem to sit still for too long.
Don't get me wrong, I love being at home, surrounded by friends and visiting family, as well as shutting the door to my cosy apartment in the Cotswolds and not seeing a soul for a entire weekend whilst binge watching Daniel Craig or Henry Cavill (not fussed!).
Although after a while, I become twitchy, my soul knows there's an incredible world out there, sights to be seen which will cause my heart to skip a beat and belly laughs to be had throughout the night until I can hardly breath. Not to mention, new people to meet whom instantly feel as if I've known them my entire life.
Some call us 'solo travel junkies' selfish, some call us 'entitled' whilst others just raise their eyebrows and mutter under their breath that it's all very absurd and time we 'grow up'.
Well I say love and light and each to their own.
Travel to me is a necessity, it makes me happy and my happiness it's not up for discussion nor negotiation. It's like telling a fish to survive without water - not going to happen.
You see, those who adore travel as much as I do, know it heals our soul, it provides us with confidence, stretches us outside our comfort zone, creates wonderful new uplifting conversations, fills us with excitement, experience unforgettable delicious food, seeing views which will forever be etched into our hearts... not to mention stories and memories which will last a lifetime.
(Photo: My first sight of the UK after 6 Months in Europe, South Africa & Australia - May 2019.)
So if you love travel as much as I do, then today's reminder is as follows:
It's ok to admit that you want more excitement in your life, than discussing the new supermarket opening up in town, or who's seeing who, or whether that new restaurant is worth the hype.
It's ok to book a last minute ticket to visit friends or family who live abroad and finally take them up on the offer they keep lovingly saying to you.
It's ok to crave sunnier climates because quite frankly you're sick to the back teeth of seeing rain (especially when it's meant to be "summer"!)
It's ok to travel half way across the world to check out that famous bar, because you simply saw it in one of your favourite films
It's ok to not want to get on that flight home and (if you can) extend your stay because you've been invited to go on a surfing trip (even if you've never surfed in your life!)
It's ok to simply look forward to a huge cold beer by the ocean whilst watching the sunset.
Maybe we'll pass each another at an airport, until that point, fellow epic travel loving human, remember:
All we have is this moment and this one life (that I know of!), so if there are any "rules" to be followed, don't you think it's best we set them for ourselves.