Get out there Girls!

02/05/2018

Get out there Girls!

“Aren’t you scared? There, all alone, at night, in the dark?”
“Aren’t you scared? Picking up hitch hikers?”
“Aren’t you scared? Walking in the mountains on your own?”

I got asked all these questions yesterday by three different people. And the answers? Well, we will get to those in a moment but let’s just stop for a second and think about whether they would have been asked to a man – of course, they wouldn’t! So, why does a woman travelling alone still face these questions and should we be scared?

It’s time to face some facts: 51% of all Brits over 16 are single. 28% of all households are lived in by singletons or single parents, and 42% of marriages in England and Wales now end in divorce.

So, it is very likely that at some point in your life, whether you are a woman or a man, you are going to find yourself on your own without a partner, and quite possibly at a time when most of your friends don’t have either enough time or enough money to go on holiday with you, or they just don’t fancy the kinds of things you want to do.

Depressed? Don’t be! If you are happily coupled-up, keep it going and if you aren’t, it’s time to get out there and have an adventure. Do not let the fact that you might be a solo woman or a group of women deter you. I’m not going to quote any more figures at you but the truth is you are FAR more likely to be attacked or robbed if you stay in your home town, than you are if you venture out to the great unknown.

Some of you will be scoffing at me now as you are well-used to the girls’ trip or going it alone, but for those of you who haven’t struck out on your own yet, keep reading. And if you usually look no further than sun, sand and some great clubs, let me whet your appetite for doing something a bit different.

Adventure is GOOD for you. Yes, it’s been proved by Indiana University. Not only that, but its research team found that just imagining you’re on an adventure, gives your creativity and self-¬‐awareness a boost. To back up these findings, the University of Pittsburgh conducted a study that discovered that those who took less than one trip every two years were more likely to suffer from depression and stress-¬‐related illnesses than those who took at least two trips a year. Holidays help maintain your mental health … fantastic!

That’s the science but how does it actually feel to be out there alone. Is it fun? Honestly, it is. It’s not always comfortable because you have to force yourself to talk to people and to walk into places alone, but you have all the extra excitement of discovering things for yourself, and you can do exactly what you like. The best thing is that you will meet so many more people than you would if you travelled with others. I love travelling alone but I hate eating out on my own, so that has always been a bit of a problem for me.

 

Now, I am just brazen and when I meet cool people during the day I ask them if they would like to share a meal later, or if I haven’t met anyone, I talk to the restaurant and bar staff. Problem solved. Often, it is just about taking a deep breath and going for it.

If you do hate the thought of navigating a trip on your own, find an activity that you like doing and then join a group to do it. You will find that almost everyone else in the group has come along on their own too. The fact you have a shared interest – whether that be hiking, the outdoors, yoga or sketching, or …. anything – means that you will have lots to talk about and lots in common and you will get to share great experiences together.

And wait for it…. we are actually in the MAJORITY of those seeking adventure.
A survey released by the Adventure Travel Trade Association said today's typical adventure traveller was "female and fortyish.” They found that women make up 52 % of adventure travellers. Time to join that majority…

So, back to my questions at the top. I am currently living in an oasis in Morocco on the fringes of the Sahara desert on my own. I came because I wanted to explore and meet the people here. It is the most fantastic and beautiful experience but there IS an element of nervousness.

“Aren’t you scared? There, all alone, at night, in the dark?”
Sometimes I jump if I hear a big noise but then I realise it is only a branch from the date palms in the garden, breaking off. And I know I am in a very safe community, crime rates here are nil.

“Aren’t you scared? Picking up hitch hikers?”
In Morocco most people don’t have cars, so hitch hiking is really normal. Kids hitch hike to school. Women hitch hike to market. I choose who I pick up but the pleasure of doing a good turn and also meeting someone new far outweighs any risk.

“Aren’t you scared? Walking in the mountains on your own?”
A little, but I am far more scared of missing out on the chance to get out there and explore. I let people know where I am going and when I am coming back and I carry a spot satellite tracker. Then I go out and enjoy.

I hope you will too!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
-- Mark Twain

 

With all of this in mind, I have chosen my top 3 picks for experiences adventure if you are looking to travel on your own!

 

FULL CAMINO DE SANTIAGO

Walk this famous route taking in some of the most beautiful landscape in Galicia, from ancient churches and villages nestled in eucalyptus groves to silent side roads and lush forests. You will follow the renowned pilgrimage route of the Camino Path from Astorga to the world-famous city of Santiago de Compostela, where you have ample time to explore the cathedral and the historic old city, a UNESCO world heritage site before continuing on to Finisterre. 

https://whereaboutsholidays.com/walking-holidays/walking-holidays-spain/full-camino-de-santiago

 

TREKING IN MOROCCO 

I of course must mention  my home town Morocco. Known for its exotic culture and dramatic desert and mountain scenery, Morocco holds a very special place in my heart. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, the country has been heavily influenced by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences. The capital Marrakesh is a fascinating city with a large medina and famous Djemaa el-Fna square. The high Atlas Mountains offer many opportunities to explore this unspoilt region, where the Berber people still live a traditional lifestyle. It is the ideal plalce to get our and explore! 

https://whereaboutsholidays.com/adventure-holidays/adventure-holidays-morocco/one-week-mount-toubkal-trek-adventure-holidays

 

 

CLEAR RIVERS MULTI ACTIVITY

This multi-activity adventure holiday takes you along Mreznica River, through Plitvice Lakes National Park and to Una River in Croatia. You will explore this unique area with experienced guides on foot, by bike,  on a stand up paddle board, by kayak and from a raft! So you will have plenty to keep you busy!  Mreznica is considered one of Croatia's finest rivers and is famous for its 93 waterfalls and pools of warm water, perfect for refreshment away from beach crowds. Clear green water, unspoiled woods and magical landscapes make this one of Croatia’s most desirable retreats.

https://whereaboutsholidays.com/adventure-holidays/adventure-holidays-croatia/clear-rivers-multi-activity-multi-activity-holidays

 

Click here to read more about Alice.