If you’re reading this post perhaps you’ve traveled solo before. Or even better, perhaps you’re planning your first solo trip! Whatever the case may be I can almost guarantee you that you’ve heard (or will hear) one of these things during your travels if you choose to travel solo. While most people are harmless and say things from a good place; other people are downright snarky and condescending. The great news is that as a solo female traveler I’ve developed a thick skin and I can let the snide comments roll right off my back. The not-so-great thing is that they still annoy me from time to time. So, here are the most obnoxious things that people say to me when I’m traveling alone.
Things I Wish People Would Stop Saying to Me As a Solo Female Traveler
“Where’s your husband?”
The main question I get asked (and by far the most obnoxious) is some variation of, “Where’s your husband?”. First off, if I had a husband he’s not my keeper. Second, are you so co-dependent you can’t possibly fathom a life without your significant other? Third, not everyone’s priority in life is to “get a husband”. There are so many amazing experiences you can have on your own – travel being one of them.
“You can’t go alone…”
I can’t go alone because you’re projecting your feelings of worthlessness and insecurity onto me? I can’t go alone because…? If you’re one of those people who tells someone else what they can and can’t do I highly encourage you to reevaluate your life and think long and hard about why you’re telling someone else what they can and can’t do.
“Do you ever want to settle down?”
Oh, does me living my dream life and creating long-lasting memories and being independent mean that I can’t settle down? Of course, I want to settle down, but again, I was unaware that traveling solo suddenly means that I can’t settle down. The two can be intertwined ya know.
“I’ll go with you!”
…I travel solo for a reason.
While I love a good girls getaway, traveling solo is sacred. I don’t want to put up with your expectations, I just want to go alone and have fun. There’s a time for a group trip and there’s a time for a solo trip.
“You should wait until someone else can go too”
Unfortunately, I waited years until someone else could travel with me. I had dreams to see the world when I started nursing school and was always too scared to go out and do it without someone holding my hand. Finally, in 2016, my friend Rachel and I traveled to Ireland together. It was an incredible trip and when I got back to the US I couldn’t wait to go again. Because my friends work traditional 9-5 jobs, and I only work 3-days/week, I have much more time off to travel than they do. (Seriously, if you’re a nurse reading this – check out how [and why] to plan an “8 Day Vacay“). I decided that if I truly wanted to see the world I couldn’t wait for anyone else to go with me. And what a blessing it’s been since I’ve decided to follow my dreams!
“That sounds dangerous”
Is it dangerous? Or have you just never left your tiny corner of the world and experienced things outside of your comfort zone? In all reality anything and everything is dangerous. Freak accidents happen all the time. Shootings in the United States happen all the time. And don’t get me started on car accidents…
The point is we’re all going to die. You can either die living the life you’ve imagined, or die in your tiny corner of the world wondering what it’s like to go out and see the world.
“Where are you staying?”
This question irks me in an entirely different way. I always share with my friends and family where I’ll be staying. However, when a stranger asks it’s an entirely different ballgame. I constantly get asked on trips what hotel I’m staying at. It’s incredibly uncomfortable for several reasons but the main reason being safety concerns. I don’t want anyone knowing that I’m alone and where to find me in the dead of night. No thank you.
“Are you single? Why?”
Because I haven’t found anyone as awesome as I am to date. Why else do you think?
“I didn’t know people in Nebraska traveled. Are you the only one?”
While this is more specific to where I’m from, I have had more than one person ask me a question insinuating that we midwesterners, well, don’t leave the midwest. The first time that it happened, I was a travel nurse in Boston. An older nurse looked right at me and said, “Nebraska? So this is like the first time you’ve ever seen the ocean?” (I was 29).
The next time it happened I was seriously asked, “Are you the only person in Nebraska that travels?” While this can be a serious and genuine question, it’s just downright silly to make such mass assumptions about an entire state. (This also goes for making generalizations about countries, religions, ethnicities). Maybe the next time you want to say something like this you should travel to Nebraska first. Get to know us. And then make your assumptions afterward.
If you do want to travel to Nebraska (and you should), make sure to check out these posts:
“Is it even fun to travel alone?”
I will say that not everyone is cut out to solo travel. However, I still encourage everyone to try it at least one time in their life. I think it’s so important to spend time with yourself and get to know yourself. Get out of your comfort zone, try new things. Since traveling solo I’ve become so much more self-aware, I can get myself out of sticky situations, and I can talk to anyone about anything. And while not everyone can travel for long periods alone, I truly, deep down, enjoy every moment of my solo travels.
For more on what it’s like to be a solo female traveler, don’t miss these posts: