Almost every time I check in for an international flight, the gate agent is surprised that I’m checking in solo traveling style.
“Just you?” they ask with a confused facial expression.
I always smile back with the biggest grin and respond, “Yes, just me ready for another adventure!”
Traveling teaches us more about life than anything else. It is the hardest, but most rewarding “job” I’ve ever had (and there are so many logistics to coordinate). Travel helps us to discover the life and culture around us on a deeper level.
More than anything, it helps us to gain insight into ourselves: who we are as people, women, daughters, partners, sisters, lovers, friends.
I started traveling alone at the age of 19. I traveled to India, a place that I had always read about and dreamed to see in person. It shaped how I saw myself as a woman, while working on grassroots development projects with women living in the slums.
I witnessed extreme poverty, but found more happiness and beauty than I ever imagined. We shared ideas, stories, and together opened our minds and hearts to seeing the world differently from east to west.
Since then, I haven’t stopped traveling alone. I’ve filled my passport with visas and stamps from the jungles of Colombia, to the castles of Slovenia, to the mystical temples of Cambodia. I’ve experienced the shamans of Peru, the geysers of Iceland, and the national parks of the United States.
I’ve covered over half of the countries in the world, and have learned so much about myself and what it means to be a woman in a time when women can travel alone.
I tell all women who want to travel solo: do not fear solo travel, rather embrace it with all your heart.
Is it safe to travel alone as a woman?
This is the most common question I am asked. There’s a lot of fear projected out there for women who want to travel alone, but as a survivor of sexual assault, I travel to serve as a reminder that traveling can be used as a tool for healing and transformation.
Living as a woman anywhere, we have to use our intuition. But don’t be afraid, there are more good people out there than we’ll ever have the chance to know.
Don’t be afraid of the world—go discover it.
Traveling is what has helped to heal me. It helped me become a little less afraid of the world around me. I’ve discovered so much kindness and gratitude in every single country I’ve stepped foot in.
Traveling gives us the space to create and reshape ourselves. It’s full of wonder and discovery. It challenges us to grow, but it can be beautiful if we let it organically happen every step along the journey.
Every woman deserves to take this journey in honor of her own heart and in honor of all women worldwide. We come together knowing who we are at our core. We take back our heart, our body, our mind, and our dignity.
Traveling empowers us.
It allows us the space and time to just live in the moment. No one can take what we learn and experience from travel away. It will stay with us for a lifetime. We learn to let go of societal expectations and be proud of the women we’ve grown into.
We tune into our hearts and let our dreams run wild.
I don’t travel alone because it’s easy—actually, quite the opposite. I travel alone because it’s what my heart and soul need to reconnect deep down.
Can it be lonely? Yes. Can it be frustrating? Yes. Can it be beautiful and life changing? Absolutely.
I travel alone because it changes me for the better. I will never be the same person, because I now know myself more than ever before, and I know how amazingly resilient I am. I know how resilient we all are when we take the time to listen to our stories of struggle, of survival, of transformation, and whole-hearted healing.
I’ve witnessed mind-blowing, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises east to west. Rode hundreds of miles on my mountain bike across canyons and mountains. Taught yoga in every place I’ve stepped foot in. Hiked for miles from the desert to the rainforest. Drank hundreds of cups of tea.
But most importantly, in these moments I learned how to fall in love with myself over and over again.
When we travel, all we have is time. Traveling helps us to create space to discover the authentic creative, loving, wild women we are. The woman we all have deep inside of us, waiting to be embraced.
I travel alone because I have become a more compassionate person. A woman who truly knows herself, and in these moments I have found a great sense of inner peace and love for life again.
To all the women out there—travel alone to grow deeper in your heart. You are worth a world of travel.
Author: Ruth Krug
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Kenni Linden
Copy/Social Editor: Travis May