Travel Notes

Is Traveling Alone Truly Brave?

Is Traveling Alone Truly Brave?Over and over again on this trip, I’ve had people tell me that I am so brave for traveling alone.

I’m in my own car, in my own country. Familiar with the currency. I speak the language. I have a cell phone – and have signal most of the time.

When I was 21, I moved to Germany with my ex-husband, courtesy of the US Army. I drove all over the place in Southern Germany – where I didn’t speak the language other than the ability to order two beers or some french fries, and to ask how much something cost. We didn’t have cell phones yet. I never thought twice about hopping in the car and going somewhere.

One summer while I lived in Germany, while my husband was deployed to Turkey, I got a Eurorail pass and traveled with a childhood friend around Europe, taking a lot of night trains so we didn’t have to pay for hotel rooms.

That? That was brave. Both my trips around Germany and around Europe. What I’m doing right now? Not so much.

I find it fascinating how much we let fear rule us these days. I think that overall, as a society, we are actually safer than we were 20 years ago. Driving 12,000 miles – so far – doesn’t seem that brave at all to me.

Why is it that people act like if a woman does a road trip like this it is brave, but if a man does it it is no big deal?

There have been moments where I have had to be alert and aware, of course. I’m camping in National Parks. There are bears. I have seen exactly one bear, but that doesn’t mean I’m not staying alert and watching for them. There was the evening I drove across Utah on a 2 lane highway with no cell phone signal. I saw two people walking on the side of the road. A few miles later, I passed their car – they must have been going for gas. I wondered what I would have done if it had been me. I would have pulled over and waited until the morning – in the evening, the road is pretty quiet, but during the day there are a lot of truckers going through. I could have flagged one down to get help sent to me.

Do you have to be smart about it, and pay attention? Of course. But no more than you do in everyday life.

I should add, I do make sure I top off the gas tank a lot more often than I do in Houston. Especially after that night in Utah.

Have you ever traveled alone on a long distance road trip? Did you consider it to be brave?

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

37 replies on “Is Traveling Alone Truly Brave?”

maybe it’s that people are brave about different things…maybe traveling solo isn’t something many women are brave about. Regardless, I think your epic journey is brave…fearless…and a really good example.

Perhaps these people are reflecting their own insecurities? I get lost very, very easily, so I tend not to venture to places I’ve never been before alone. Especially in the woods. I have a big fear of getting lost in the woods alone. I remember when I first flew by myself to Austin for SXSW – I was terrified of traveling and being alone in an unfamiliar city. So maybe that’s why people think you’re brave, because to do it themselves they would have to overcome their own fears and insecurities? I do think as women we have to be more cautious, more prepared, and more aware than men do in this world because sadly, unfortunately women are far more often victims than men.

For the record though, if you were to invite me along for company on one of these epic road trips I would totally go 😀

When I went to NYC last year and explored all by myself a lot of my girlfriends were like, “I can’t believe you went all by yourself. You’re brave. I would never do that alone.” I didn’t think it was brave (except for the night I walked plum across Manhattan at 2am. That was brave). And thought, “Why not do it alone?” I’m not waiting or depending on anyone else to wait to do what I want to do. Meh, we’re just “adventurous” I guess?

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