What to expect as a female solo traveler


I was once belong to this group. Although I’m not anymore, I am eager to share my experience during my few years often traveling alone. Yet, you ladies may have traveled alone more extensively. Please free to chip in!

1. A stranger come to you out of nowhere saying they only want to make friends. Classic pick-up line. You tend to get attention when you are traveling alone, especially in certain places. The fact that some of us have Asian-looking may contribute to the curiosity. And then BAM, suddenly a stranger come to you. He only wants to make friends. Yes, whatever. I normally put a straight face, walk faster, ignore the stranger completely. Some of you may argue that you get this a lot in some places in Jakarta, like in Sabang, Kebon Kacang, and Kampung Bali.

Me – alone in Taal Crater, the Philippines. Credit: Tripod

2. Somebody trying to cheat on you. The fact that you are a female may encourage some people to cheat on you, like a cabbie, tuk-tuk driver, etc. Happened to me in Bangkok when a tuk-tuk driver tried to rip me off and I totally kicked his ass. Also happened in the Philippines. We are female, not dumb! And for God’s sake, we do read Lonely Planet and did some browsing before departing.

Me. Still alone at Kuang Xi Waterfalls, Laos. Credit: Tree branch

3. You get a special treatment. It may vary from a discounted room to free flow coffee and tea. The staff brings your backpack, explaining a lot of things without being asked, fetching you a cup of tea, and those kinds of things.

4. Somebody inviting you for a drink. This is different with point 1. This somebody at least tries to know you a bit before asking you out. A nice-looking Briton sat next to me aboard flight from Luang Prabang to Bangkok. We actually had a lot of chat about many things from work to books to weird in-flight food we had. He finally asked me to join him for a drink in Bangkok politely. I kinda sorry I turned down his invitation. Then-boyfriend (now-husband), look I was being faithful to you!

5. People think you are lonely. And you are like, “I’m so NOT!” They offer this and that, invite you to mingle etc. I had this experience mostly when I traveled within the country. Never occured to locals that I am alone, but not lonely. And that I travel alone because I enjoy so.

After the fourth try. Belitung. Credit: Tripod.

6. You are a writer or on sabbatical phase, like post-divorce or broken heart. A female traveling alone who doesn’t want t mingle must be on one of this phase. That’s what the staff in Tanjung Kelayang Belitung asked me. I’m neither. I just wanted to travel, and I did not care if I did it by myself. It is as much fun as traveling with partner.

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14 thoughts on “What to expect as a female solo traveler”

    1. ya ga selalu seperti itu sih…tapi itu pengalaman-pengalaman yang umum dialami cewek klo lagi jalan2. nikmati aja 😀

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  1. Wow.. what a brave girl.. Gak ngebayangi kalau aku pergi sendiri ke daerah yang aku gak kenal dan hanya berteman tripod. Apalagi membayangkan penculikan dan pengambilan organ tubuh secara paksa. mengerikan Len. Aku memang suka berpetualang, tapi paling sekedar keluar masuk gang di kotaku sendiri da blm pernah aku lewati hehhee…

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    1. Gaaaaa kok gapapa. Kan kita juga nggak sembarangan keluar malam. Biasanya yang jadi korban pemerkosaan itu yang pada minum-minum sampai mabuk, atau yg sembarangan nemplok sama stranger. Sejauh ini aku travel ke beberapa negara aman kok.

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  2. Ke Sumbar sendiri, ketemu sodara2 jauh angkatan nenek gw yg belum pernah gw temuin, yang ada tawaran perjodohan mengalir deras.

    Ke Bali travelling sendiri is still da best. I still think Bali is the best place to get lost, to hide, yet have fun.

    Pasti Brit lad yg nawarin minuman di Bangkok itu ga ganteng deh.

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    1. ganteng lala. cuma tidak cukup ganteng untuk menggagalkan rencanaku getting lost dan blanja-blanji sendirian di suan lum, pratunam dan MBK. above all, aku kan setiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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  3. soon i should brave myself to travel alone… grr!! *lol* synchronizing schedules is a pain and besides, I really do wanna do things as I please, at my pace and time, and see things I really do wanna see 🙂 Soon.. hopefully… Tante Olen… kapan2 yah YM-annya.. xixixixixiii.. perlu belajar nih dari sesama kaki gatel gemana cara menggaruk kaki dengan benar 😉

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