Quotes to Inspire Solo Female Travelers

I might be biased here but solo female travelers are some of the most bad ass women you’ll ever meet. Female travelers repeatedly prove themselves capable of challenging the status quo through their kindness, confidence and independence.

When you’re traveling, you’re constantly required to make positive first impressions, you’re forced outside of your comfort zone and turn into a problem-solver. You become more flexible and more self-assured.

It breaks my heart when I hear other women believe that they cannot travel alone. The world becomes smaller and more welcoming when you embrace it.

Although being by yourself can seem lonely and intimidating, in reality, it is empowering. I was lucky to have an older sister who embraced some of the more culturally diverse countries – such as India and Japan. Countries that are polar opposite from where we grew up in the suburbs of California. Seeing other women who thrive in the face of independent travel is the best encouragement available.

Thus, I sought out advice from the women I know – my own personal network of solo female travelers.

Why did you decide to travel by yourself?

“A strong stubborn streak. Since I was very, very young I was always insistent that I could “do it by myself,” regardless of what “it” was. So, when I hit 17/18 and wanted to travel, of course I could do it alone. As it turns out, few things have filled me with as much joy as adventuring solo.”

Toby Israel | 25 | USA

“It never really occurred to me that I couldn’t or shouldn’t. Maybe it was how I was brought up – knowing that I could do anything I wanted to do – but the thought of ‘needing’ someone else to be able to travel or traveling solo being ‘dangerous’ didn’t even cross my mind. I just knew I wanted to go, so I did.”

Alex Lillie | 25| Britain

“I was supposed to travel for 2 months with a friend. After two weeks it became obvious we were looking for different experiences and I felt comfortable enough at that point to go it alone. We went our separate ways and I ended up staying for an extra five weeks.”

Becky Hutton | 32 | England

“Even if other people had asked me to come, I would have said no. I did not want to make compromises, I wanted to do my own thing. That was really important to me. And anyways, you meet enough people.”

Salome Schwartzer | 32 | Switzerland

“A few different things:

1. Because it rained for 31 days and I was fed up so I bought a flight spontaneously,

2. To regain inspiration, independence and creativity,

3. To have the freedom of doing whatever pleases me at whatever time,

4. To know I could do this by myself and live every emotion to the fullest.”

Elise (Lily) Dionne | 24 | Canada

“I left my job and I was about to go back to school for my Master. I had always wanted to travel by myself, I wanted to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. And finally, to meet new people from around the world.”

Marie-Pier Mercier | 26 | Canada

“Traveling solo wasn’t a conscious decision – I began travelling for my job in the creative arts when I often had to tour in order to get work and then a few years in, a colleague gave me some excellent advice: always keep a few days for yourself, otherwise all you’ve seen in the inside of your hotel room. It’s very true – so every time I travel (whether for work or not), I spend a few days sightseeing.”

Faith Roswell | 29 | England 

“I like to be able to do what I want, when I want. Solo travel is more catered to your own likes than someone else’s. I found its easier to find people who have the same interests as you when you’re by yourself.”

Courtney Small | 27 | USA

“Because I love travel. My father and my mother are artisanos. Before I was born, my mother traveled by herself and then she started traveling with me. Even after my brothers and I started school we would travel, we all have the spirit of travel.”

Maria Manuela Nowensztern | 30 | Argentina

“I made the decision to travel by myself because I always wanted to try it out and I didn’t expect I will be so great! I wanted to meet a lot of new people from all around the globe and it is easy as soon as you travel by yourself. Another good point is your independence while traveling alone. You can do whatever you want at anytime you want – this is really cool!”

Steffi Aggstaller | 24 | Germany

“Although a lot of my friends wanted to travel, trying to wait for someone to want to go to the same places as me, at the same time and have the money to go would have meant waiting forever. In the end, it was more important that I go than go with someone. To be honest, as much as I love my friends I think if I’d have spent four months nonstop with them, I would have killed them. Also one of my good friends went around Southeast Asia the year before me on her own, so that was encouraging.”

Lucie Heyworth |25 | England

“I was sick of waiting around for other people to commit to traveling with me. So, I booked myself a ticket to see the world and loved it. I’ve never looked back and I love traveling solo.”

Emma Caldwell | 30 | Australia

“The destinations I was interested in didn’t interest many of my friends. Traveling free also gives you more freedom to choose all of the locations yourself.”

Raisa Haapala | 33 | Finland 

“As a child, I had the desire to travel. It all started when I was 18 years old and went away to college. New to the area, I wanted to start exploring various locations in driving distance. I got frustrated waiting on others to plan my adventures. One day, I bit the bullet and went solo. It was love at first travel. I loved planning my adventures without compromising.”

LaToya McGee-Willis | 34 | USA 

“Most of my friends and family prefer a lazy beach vacation to immersing themselves in a new culture. While I certainly enjoy lounging on the beach with a mojito in hand, I like to explore new cultures as well. More importantly, if I had to wait for my schedule to line up with a friend’s schedule, I’d never go anywhere.”

Nicole Meekins | 32 | USA 

“When I travel with friends or family I always have to plan everything that we are going to do. So the whole trip is about pleasing others and not about enjoying it myself.”

Jackie Arruda | 24 | Brazil

“You can do whatever you want, when you want. When I traveled with friends, it was too difficult because everyone has different interests. One of the big reasons why I wanted to solo travel was so I could make more friends. I found that more people are likely to approach you when you’re solo vs. when you’re in a huge group. Huge groups are intimidating!”

Kelly Vong | 24 | USA

“I have been on the road alone or together with my boyfriend. We have visited over 25 countries together and alone I have seen around 35 countries or more. Traveling together is beautiful and one of my favorite things in the world. Traveling alone puts you totally out of your comfort zone until you find peace and tranquility with yourself. That feeling of being absolutely on your own, deciding where to go, who to meet, what to eat etc., is a very unique experience that is important to have felt at least once in your life.”

Lizette Hart | 27 | Netherlands

“You learn so much about everything including yourself but the most important thing is the people you meet, it’s a treasure! Traveling alone is a gift of life.”

Léa Sapin | 24 | France

“I didn’t so much decide to go alone, as I decided to go. I went, and no one came with me, and that was fine. I went because I wanted to. I heard person after person telling me not to go alone because women are far more likely to be the victims of vicious crime or be targeted for harassment, however, I’ve been on many solo weekend adventures in the backcountry areas near my home and never encountered any such treatment.

I didn’t want to let my being a woman get in the way of doing what I wanted. After all, I didn’t choose to be a woman, but if I could go back and change it, I wouldn’t.”

Ginger Berryman | 26 | USA

The best way to really immerse yourself in a country and culture is by experiencing it alone. Having friends around was never really an option because I knew it would limit what I would do and who I would talk to.”

Rachelle Penners | 20 | Netherlands 

“I traveled solo because my friend ended up not being able to go with me. After much thought and many worries, I came to the conclusion that:
1. I’m single. I might always be single. I didn’t want to miss out on traveling just because I didn’t have someone to go with.
2. I’m smart and cautious. Just because I would be in a different country didn’t mean I would become careless.
3. I would experience complete independence for the first time in my life.
4. If I was miserable I could book a flight to the UK to visit my family there. Worst case, I could book an earlier flight home. If it was that bad I wouldn’t be concerned with money.
5. I would discover whether I liked traveling solo or not. If I didn’t like it, I never had to do it again.”

Michelle Lueck | 34 | Canada

“I decided to stop waiting for other people to do the things I want to do in life. There are always be some kind of excuse to hold you back and you could end up with a pile of regrets!”

Stephanie Riley | 24 | Britain

“My children are grown; my business is at a place where I have more free time. I traveled Europe for three months by Eurail when I was a teenager. I decided to explore – and write about – the U.S. by rail as well.”

Jill Dutton | 53 | USA 

Solo travel is, for me, a form of walking meditation. I observe and reflect on a deeper level, and with the freedom that comes from having no hard-set agenda or expectations – other than the hope to connect with someone whose life experiences may differ from mine, for a shared moment, meal, or conversation.”

Liz Slipko | 38 | USA

Traveling alone is the best way for meditative silence, the best way to hear yourself with no interruption and the best way to easily make new friends in foreign places. It’s the best of everything. Oftentimes it’s inner evolution I’m attempting to catalyze by throwing myself into places with only myself to rely on. I like to plan, but I like to wander whenever the inspiration strikes and it’s never clear what any day in a new place will bring. When we are alone we can allow our hearts to guide us and remain open to whatever experiences might come our way.”

Liz Hartman | 29 | USA

“I went to Australia back in 2005 because my husband and I had started to drift apart and I went to get some space and work things out in my own head. That trip gave me the confidence to end things and to do more traveling.”

Gill Morris | 48 | Britain 

“I have two friends who travel solo all the time and they were my influences. They would book sale airline tickets without planning. Then my relationship with my ex was turning rocky so I tried solo travel. I loved it ever since.”

Liz Ranola | 35 | Philippines

“I like the freedom of setting my own agenda, and also making time for writing and reading, which are solitary activities.”

Allison Payne | 28 | USA

“One of the best things about college is the constant social interaction. You move into a dorm with 40 other students and wave to your peers as you walk through the campus, the library, the dining hall. As fulfilling as it is to always be surrounded by the warm comfort of others, it left me feeling as though I was in a glass box. A bad day is easily displayed, as are bad decisions, and that personal dilemma that’s been eating away at you, ends up not being so personal after all.

During my last year of college, it became extremely apparent to me that a significant portion of my personal happiness was determined by external forces. Particularly, my friends. The way that they acted towards me became the way that I perceived and valued myself. I also became very aware of how my actions affected others, and could see all the feelings that I was trying to bottle up bouncing around every room I walked into.

I felt trapped.

Thus, the decision to travel alone came easy. I was very aware that I was going through a significant transitional period in my life, and I knew that when I came out on the other side I wanted to be influenced by my own character and not be an image of what others would want.  I wanted to be responsible for myself and myself alone. I wanted to be able to make mistakes without them having any repercussions on others. I wanted to explore my emotions instead of pushing them aside. I wanted to be sad and angry without feeling like I was bringing anyone down; and when I was happy, I wanted my own happiness to be enough for me.”

Rianna Somogyi | 23 | USA

What is one piece of advice you would give another solo female traveler?

“Talk to everyone. On buses, in cafes, sidewalks. When we travel with others, we sometimes stay too insulated. Our world is so populated, and yet somehow so many feel lonely.

Take the time to share in the knowledge and life experiences of the new faces around you. My favorite part of travel: engaging a stranger in conversation and watching their face light up when they tell me about their favorite restaurant, music venue, or tree lined street.”

Liz Slipko | 38 | USA

“Be safe. Always do your research and always trust your gut. Women’s intuition is a real thing and has saved me from uncomfortable situations more than once.

If you do your research before you travel, and you respect cultural norms, traveling abroad is no more dangerous than exploring a city at home.

Nicole Meekins | 32 | USA 

“Trust your gut. Did you know, the gut actually has brain cells in it? There is truth behind the vibrations your intuition is sending you.

If a free ride into town from a guy you just met while exploring the outskirts feels right to you – do it, make a new friend! But if something feels even a little off, trust yourself. Our instincts are intelligent, they steer us the right way when we listen.

Liz Hartman | 29 | USA

“Use your time for meeting people of different cultures, take time to think, do everything, live, eat, enjoy!

Juana Ortiz Basso | 30 | Argentina

I hear about others’ friends and family not being supportive of traveling by yourself, especially if you are female. Don’t let these people discourage you. Listen to yourself and follow your dreams

…and don’t be afraid,

…and don’t pack too much.”

Salome Schwartzer | 32 | Switzerland

“There’s a difference between being a savvy traveler and being overly cautious. Get out there and enjoy your experiences – the more you travel, the savvier you get and the more you’ll learn about yourself and how you like to travel.”

Emma Caldwell | 30 | Australia

“Traveling alone made me feel more powerful than anything else I’ve ever done. For the rest of my life, I will never have to question whether I am smart, capable, or resourceful because I have proven to myself that I am.

Traveling alone enabled me to fine tune my intuition, and learn to trust my instincts. Being by myself was also an amazing way to meet people. I was able to present myself independently and create my own plans in a way that I would never have been able to if I was with someone else.

I learned that being a woman is an invaluable asset. I do not believe it is anti-feminist to say that being a woman made it very easy for me to find help and assistance along my way. I feel incredibly empowered by my ability to navigate the world alone, and believe that it is an adventure that women should not feel hindered in taking.”

Rianna Somogyi | 23 | USA

“Be confident. Don’t be afraid. The risks are the same for everyone. Show respect to be respected. And value yourself.”

Jackie Arruda | 24 | Brazil

“Don’t be afraid to explore new places by yourself because most of the time you won’t be alone. There are so many other travelers who you will meet and connect with.”

Rachelle Penners | 20 | Netherlands 

“Know your budget. Plan things in pencil, don’t run around trying to squeeze in all the places to see in one day, and be open to whatever changes may happen along the way. Sometimes, the unplanned gives you the best memories!”

Liz Ranola | 35 | Philippines

“Don’t hesitate to do, it’s a life-changing experience. Don’t hesitate because of safety, there’s always a way to be safe, you’ll make friends that you can rely on, you’ll always be surrounded by travelers. Just do it!

Let yourself surprise yourself too!”

Marie-Pier Mercier |26 | Canada

“It’s great to be nice, but, traveling in my 30’s, I finally know that I don’t have to people-please.  If someone is being aggressive toward you, you are free to walk away from any situation. That being said, almost everyone I’ve met has been completely lovely.”

Paulette Perhach | 34 | USA

“Sometimes you need to trust yourself, its normal to be nervous, especially being a lady you can feel unsafe. You need to feel inside you and know what it is like to feel alone in order to realize it is not as scary as you might think.

It is important to learn the customs and you can be safe in every place. We can’t stop traveling because of  customs. We are strong!”

Maria Manuela Nowensztern | 30 | Argentina

“Talk to other travelers. The more people you talk to the better. Not only will you build friendships, some that will last a lifetime. But it is also a great way to pick up advice and tips which will help you on your journey.”

Becky Hutton | 32 | England

“Trust your first instinct. Trust yourself.”

Léa Sapin | 24 | France

Make an effort to learn the basics anywhere you are. Where’s the nearest place to buy food, what is the emergency services number, how safe is your area (ask someone), and what is the name of your nearest public transport stop?

Eventually, these things will become second nature and it works to make you feel more at home and instantly more streetwise. Knowing where the 24-hour supermarket is has saved my neck before!”

Faith Roswell | 29 | English 

“Embrace the local culture of the destination. Follow your instincts along the way.”

LaToya McGee-Willis | 34 | USA 

Don’t feel down if loneliness is getting to you. There are days where you might not speak to others — especially if you are in a country where you don’t speak the language. Find a way to record your journey and share it online or with people back home.”

Allison Payne | 28 | USA

“Sometimes you’ll feel lonely, especially when getting ill during your trip, but you meet way more people as you open yourself up to the world – literally. It is a great path as you learn more about yourself, your environment and all the power you have inside to manage your own life, alone, without any comfort.

Is traveling different by being a woman? Yes, definitely. However, if you know how to behave, act and protect yourself you will always be safe. It’s just common sense in most situations. Sometimes spending a bit more to have a women’s dorm instead of sleeping with 40 Indian men in a dorm (yes, I did this ’cause the room was $2 cheaper – very stupid and never again!), wearing proper clothing according to the local culture, not being alone at night in dodgy areas, sending messages home to say where you are so they can track your route, and being aware of possible danger that is all over the world.

I recommend everyone, women and men, to travel at least once alone for over a month. Doesn’t really matter where, or how, but spend some time alone in a different place other than home opens your eyes in so many ways – that you’ll find it an educational and wonderful experience!”

Lizette Hart | 27 | Netherlands

What would say to encourage another woman to travel by herself?

“Si se puede! (You can do it!) What encouraged me to travel by myself was seeing another girl do it. She demonstrated her independence through traveling by herself and made me realize I could do it too.”

Courtney Small | 27 | USA

“The world takes care of you. Where ever you travel, the world provides what you need. You’ll find your adventure, even if you don’t know what it’s going to be.”

Lee Chapman | 29 | USA

“Don’t be scared like I was at first about being alone because you’ll never actually be alone! You’ll meet amazing fellow travelers (like Carolyn).”

Morgaine El-Mahdi | 24 | Holland

“Give it a try! You will get to know yourself best while traveling by yourself and afterwards you’re addicted to traveling solo!”

Steffi Aggstaller | 24 | Germany

“You meet so many people while you’re traveling, but even more so when you travel alone. It means you can be a bit more selfish about doing what you want to do, and the whole trip can be as flexible or as organized as you like. It’s an amazing, unforgettable experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone!”

Ilaria Moretti | 24 | Scotland

“I gained so much independence and confidence being on my own. I’ve never been great at being independent and traveling on my own has helped with that. Travelling is addictive 4 months is not enough, next time I plan on doing at least a year.”

Lucie Heyworth  |25 | England

“Do it! Just do it! Don’t be scared! Just plan, be sensible and smile!”

Stephanie Riley | 24 | Britain

“The world is vast and fascinating and beautiful and there is nothing to stop you getting out there and seeing it except you. Sometimes all it takes is the knowledge that you can.”

Alex Lillie | 25| Britan

Thank you for reading! Any questions, comments or thoughts? Let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to hear from you.

11 Comment

  1. Fantastic article Carolyn.

    1. carolynsmurthwaite says: Reply

      Thank you Gill! Glad you were able to be a part of it 🙂

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      I would love to hear your ideas! Thank you for sharing.

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  5. […] ***Check out this cool read by Carolyn Smurthwaite who compiled quotes from female solo travellers.  I’m even quoted in it! http://gapyeargal.com/2017/04/12/quotes-to-inspire-solo-female-travelers/ […]

    1. carolynsmurthwaite says: Reply

      Beautiful article and beautiful quote! I’m glad we were able to connect through the blogging community, you are a great writer!

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