Testimonial: hiking and traveling solo when you are a woman
The past fifteen years have seen a rise in popularity of female travelers making the decision to wander solo .
A study by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) shows that the possibility of doing what you want during your trip is the main reason for traveling solo (76% of respondents ). Travelers no longer want to wait to find the ideal partner and no longer want to have to compromise on their areas of interest.
Solo travel: a self-imposed love story
It was in 2014, during her studies at CEGEP, that Rose seized the unique opportunity of a four-month exchange in Liège, Belgium . Everyone is surprised by her decision, she is the first to have never considered herself an adventurer. It must be said that the trip is not very encouraged in his family.
At the time, Rose was experiencing significant performance anxiety . A lot of stress overwhelms her at the idea of going on an adventure to Belgium, but her intuition tells her that this is what she absolutely must do!
She returns from this stay satisfied to have dared to go abroad, wants to continue traveling and above all does not want to fall back into her old habits. “It was the first time in my life that I felt really free to do what I liked,” she says. It was the most impactful trip of my life – despite the more western destination – and everything changed for me from that moment on! »
“One small step in front of the other on the Camino de Santiago, I realized that I was under no obligation to meet the demands of others. I realized that I am in control of my life and that I can be confident in my own choices . »
Towards the end of the first month on the Compostela trail, Rose challenges herself to walk for a week without spending a penny, a nod to voluntary simplicity … And it works!
She can’t believe all the food she receives and the accommodations and showers she is offered almost solely by word of mouth. Other walkers talk about it among themselves and want to support his approach. Some slightly older traveling companions tell him that they admire his thirst for travel and his quest for meaning at only 22 years old .
Travel as a way of life
Rose pursues a college education in education for a year, then puts her program on hiatus to continue traveling solo . She shares with me that at that time, she thinks she is disappointing her father, for whom success means going to school and getting good results. But the latter will end up joining her abroad twice and he will have no choice but to realize that his daughter is exactly where she needs to be!
From now on, Rose works in a community organization, but as a contractor, always with the aim of being able to leave as she sees fit.
In the past two years, Rose has also traveled with her family and loved the experience. But she realizes that it was really her solo travels that transformed her life and that are still an integral part of her essence. She occasionally takes the initiative to go on a hike alone for a few days to find herself and manage her anxiety.
The discovery of long-distance hiking
From the young woman who was hesitant to experiment new things alone and clung to routine, she became the woman who walked alone on the Appalachian trail in the United States in 2019: 3000 km in four months and half!
Quite a challenge since the terrain is rugged, but the experience must be done independently. His pace is slower than other very experienced hikers, but it is consistent. She also makes the decision to take only one day off during this journey.
“ I have never experienced such strong emotions as completing this long hike on Mount Kathadin. Everyone hunkered down so I was alone with the sign at the top. One step at a time, one after another, that’s my motto! »
From Italy to New Zealand, via China
It was in 2018 that Italy, China and New Zealand challenged him during a journey of about three months. It is in particular that Italy dazzles him at the highest point!
Go on an adventure to love each other more
Solo travel has allowed Rose to know herself better, to believe in her potential and to love herself more. Rose gains more and more confidence with each journey and develops her resourcefulness. The small victories resulting from having to take the initiative to organize and do things your way, bring an indescribable feeling”, raises the seasoned traveler.
Rose’s tips for a first solo trip:
Start by staying in youth hostels , in order to more easily meet other travelers in the common areas and collect some tips (more comfortable private rooms are also now available);
Go gradually in the choice of the destination of the chosen trip, the activity or even the hike alone. Possibly, undertake a short stay at home in Quebec to start!