If you are someone who experiences the undeniable pull of wanderlust, you will understand why others find traveling such a thrill. Meeting new people, exploring different cultures, broadening your horizons – there are so many reasons to travel. Although for some people, there is nothing better than jetting off with a partner, family or group of friends; for others, travel is an adventure that should be performed solo. Research has shown that women are more likely to travel solo than men, but why is this?
A change in time
For so many years, women were expected to marry, have children and stay at home, cooking, cleaning and keeping the household intact. Thankfully, these shackles have been released (or at the very least, loosened somewhat) and therefore women are using this freedom to explore the world and discover their passions. Of course, there have always been female travelers in history, but their male counterparts have often overshadowed them.
The age at which women are achieving certain life milestones has also changed, leaving them with more time to explore. The average age that women have their first child has been rising since the 1960s, and now in America, it is an average of 26, although, in New York and San Francisco, this number is much higher, at 31. Marriage rates are down to 50% of people ages 18 and over, whereas in 1962 it was 72%. Finally, women are earning more money than they ever have, so this extra income, plus a few additional years before settling down means more time for exploring the world.
Instagram is awash with pictures of solo female travelers, looking candidly at a sunset, or posing stylishly against a graffitied wall in a far off land. Seeing this life empowers other women, sat at home, to want to do the same thing and therefore more women begin to travel and document their adventures.
Men and women
It seems that men generally travel as a pack and are rarely as proactive when it comes to planning as women – broadly speaking. A lot of women like to work on self-improvement and travel is a fantastic way of accomplishing this. When things in life get difficult, or they are dealt a hard blow, a woman is likely to want to make a significant change – look at Eat, Pray, Love for example. These women might be trying to heal a broken heart, or wanting to find themselves, and the popular culture around them suggests that travel is a way to do this.
Whatever the reasons, it’s undeniable that women are traveling solo more than men, and what a fantastic adventure it is. Whether you are someone who pops to Paris to work on your poetry or takes a year off work to backpack around India and learn to teach yoga, there are so many benefits to travel, and many more to traveling on your own. Take a leap and book that trip you’ve always wanted to do, without waiting for someone else to go with you.