I fell in love with solo travel when I went on my very first trip alone in Norway. It was a weekend away hiking to Preikestolen (Preacher’s Rock), and I couldn’t have been more nervous or anxious. What if I got lost? What if I got attacked? What if I got hurt? What if I just failed and couldn’t hack it on my own?
These questions were top of my mind the entire weekend. And then I went, saw some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen even to this day, and I survived. I realized that weekend that I was much stronger than the world gives a young girl credit for. That I was much stronger than even I had given myself credit for.
After that, I craved more solo travel. I needed to see for myself that the world truly wasn’t as scary as everyone thinks it is (spoiler; it’s not).
Fast forward a few years and I found myself living in Asia, looking down at plane tickets for my first solo trip in Asia to Jakarta/Bali, Indonesia. Despite concerns and fears of danger, again I arrived, explored alone, and survived. I honestly had the time of my life and the people in Indonesia ended up being such friendly and kind folks!
Why I love Solo Female Travel in Asia
Traveling solo, especially as a woman in Asia, has a bad reputation for being dangerous, a bad idea or ill-advised. Often these fears are founded out of ignorance or because of one tragic news story. It’s obvious family and friends are just concerned out of love, but it can make it really difficult for aspiring solo female travelers in Asia to take the leap without their family’s support.
I think when we look at all of the things surrounding us in our lives, there are far more dangerous things – like driving a car for example – than solo female travel in Asia. I’ve realized that what people actually fear is the unknown. Not knowing how to get around a new place, or knowing if the people are nice, or if their unique cultural norms and ideas will conflict with theirs. But we shouldn’t let the fear of the unknown hold us back from solo travel.
Reasons I love solo travel:
1) It breaks down barriers, stereotypes, and cultural misunderstandings.
By visiting a new place, you actually see for yourself what it’s all about. You meet the people and you realize they have normal lives just like you and I. You realize the world isn’t so scary after all, and that people are actually inherently good.
2) You learn what makes you happy and how to be alone.
Sometimes it takes being alone with yourself to truly learn what makes you happy. And finding comfort within yourself sets us up for a killer confidence and successful relationships with others.
3) You meet people you probably wouldn’t have met if you weren’t traveling alone.
You’re much more approachable when you’re alone! Without a friend, it’s easier to meet other travelers from around the world and make some new friends and travel buddies in the process. I’ve met so many new friends on the road that I wouldn’t have met with my boyfriend or another person by my side.
4) You can do absolutely what you want, when you want, where you want.
You only have yourself to please! You dictate what you do and where you go. You have the power to make it your dream vacation.
5) You’ll gain strength and independence and come back empowered.
It’s inevitable you’ll experience moments of challenge or loneliness while on the road traveling solo, but you’ll overcome them on your own and come out stronger for it. When you get home, people will marvel at your bravery and you’ll feel so empowered.
Solo Female Travel in Asia Tips
Sadly we do live in a world where bad things can happen. I’m a huge advocate for solo female travel in Asia, but it’s still necessary to arrive prepared and set yourself up for the safest trip you can!
My favorite travel tips for solo travel in Asia are:
1) Research the cultural norms for the country(ies) you’re visiting before you arrive.
Every place is different and it’s always a good idea to respect and understand the culture of the country you’re visiting. Even if you don’t agree with certain things or feel compelled to address injustices, it’s not our place to question another culture. We’re in their home and we have to follow their rules.
2) Never go out alone at night, especially while intoxicated.
I follow this rule even while in America. It’s frustrating as a woman that we constantly have to worry about this, but it’s sadly the way it is.
3) Act confident and trust your gut.
I really think there’s something about acting confident, standing tall and speaking firmly when dealing with a scam or a tricky situation. But also always trust what your gut is telling you. If it’s saying to get out of a specific situation, listen.
4) Tell your loved ones where you’re going and when.
It never hurts to let others know you’re whereabouts. Your mom will probably be happy you did.
5) Get a SIM card.
A SIM card isn’t absolutely necessary, but it personally offers me some peace of mind while traveling solo. It gives me the power to chat with family and friends at home, reach out for help in an emergency, use a map when I’m lost, or Google any questions I have in the moment.
My Favorite Backpacking Essentials for Solo Female Travel in Asia
- Menstrual cup
- Shampoo and conditioner bars
- Packing cubes
- Reusable water bottle + filter
- Cute passport wallet
I know that solo travel isn’t for everyone, but I am a big believer that everyone should try it at least once! Who knows, you might actually love it and become addicted like me! For those interested in more of my guides for budget solo travel in Asia, read more at life of brit.
By Brit of Life of Brit
Brit is a travel blogger, who after two years of teaching English in South Korea, has packed her bags and hit the road. She shares travel inspiration, tips, guides and more for female solo travel in Asia and beyond.