Nowadays there has been quite a bit of controversy with women solo travel. Besides the typical talks of it being unsafe, there also have been disputes about women empowerment trips becoming a "hype" or a way to run away from every day problems.
However, I think we need to stop for a second and look at the big picture. Traveling, especially on your own can change your life. Why does it matter why we do it?
If you find yourself caught up in the scandals of these debates or maybe at a crossroads, this would be a good time to ask yourself these four questions...It may just be the inspiration you need to help you book your next solo trip.
1. How often do I make time for myself?
As women, we were born to take care of others. It is in our blood. We spend most of our days balancing work, family life, and even the social scene that it becomes more about pleasing those around us than ourselves. During the little bit of time you have alone, it is easier to zone out on Netflix than even consider meditation or working on yourself. When you travel solo you can structure your day and make more of an effort to listen to your own needs and focus on what you want to make your life happy.
2. When will my current situation change?
At home, it is easy to stay in a routine. You settle for living in unhappiness rather than deal with conflict or with the pain of change. However, during solo travel, it is almost as if you have some sort of magical power -- you learn about survival mode. During the process, you are constantly being tested and challenged and you have no other choice than to face it. This experience can make you stronger and result in a shift in your life.
3. How do I create a passion driven career?
At least once a day I am told: "Wow, you are so lucky to be able to work in your dream job." My response is usually, "I do not think I have any more luck than you, I just make a constant effort to find my truth."
The only way we can find out what makes us thrive is to see what is out there in the world. On the road, it is more apparent and obvious as to what is inspiring to you. There are no other opinions saying what is right or wrong, there is only your own inner voice. While feeling happy and free, we can best visualize our future goals.
4. Who are the people I really want in my life?
Whether you are looking for a partner or long-lasting friendship, solo travel can help you find it. In life, especially as we get older we tend to stay on the safe path. Often this results in staying in a marriage or relationship or even a friendship that is draining or toxic.
Being on the road and in a situation where you must meet new people, you realize the kind of company you enjoy. There are people out there in the world just like you! Although, it may be sad, the more you grow, the better person you become. After returning, you begin to value others that have similar interests and dreams. Traveling alone can help you find your tribe.
In 2006 when I had my first solo adventure to Italy, my entire path shifted. I believe it was because I said "YES" to my life. Being open to what the universe has to offer, gives you the strength to open up the door to the new you.
Even if you are not ready to fully do this on your own, there are many women travel and support groups to help you take a step towards this journey.
If you find yourself still making excuses about getting on the next flight out, just remember what the great Paulo Coelho says in the Alchemist: " People are capable at any time in their lives of doing what they dream of."
Hope to see you in Italy soon!
Cassandra Santoro is the CEO and Founder of Travel Italian Style. As a personal trip planner and luxury small group tour operator, Cassandra is an expert in slow-travel and authentic experiences throughout Italy. Learn more about her at travelitalianstyle.com. You can also follow her on Twitter and Instagram.