Shocking reasons women travel. To get away from routine or boredom. Many women travel to reaffirm independence.  Many women travel to learn.  Even more travel to avoid loneliness.

Who doesn’t like to get away from routine and miserable weather? Going South in winter is a welcome break.  However, that women travel break can also include going to a beach alone with no one to hold your wallet.  It can include trying to enjoy dinner amongst talkative families. My first trip to Ixtapan Spa in Mexico was alone (admittedly at the invitation of the owner.) After a day of travel, I arrived at 2PM, went to the room and promptly fell asleep. At 4PM, I was awake, starving and feeling unsure. I did not want to take advantage of a personal invitation.  Shyly I asked about food: and staff prepared a wonderful Mexican lunch. Ladies, ask, accept a NO politely and accept a YES with graciousness. Plan ahead, I should have read the hotel’s dining information and packed snacks. Exhaustion made the whole experience worse.  A good night’s sleep white washes everything. Then you are happy you did not cancel your trip.

At writing, we are housebound; many of us canceled our trips.  Those of us who love women travel for its excitement,  are watching and waiting the right time to plan trips. Travel gives us the sizzle that shopping does for others. Unknowns overseas for us are surprises like ‘what is behind Door Number 1’. Many of us travel simply to add some thrill. Oddly Victorian women did much the same. 

Women holiday travel with The Women's Travel Group to Paris to see Monet's waterlilies.
Women’s Travel Group in Paris for Christmas

It is intriguing to compare our mindset to those of Victorian women travelers. Women had narrow lives in the 19c; some had education but did not work. Some like brilliant Gertrude Bell ‘earned’ a university degree with top grades but saw no future. In 1892 young single Bell visited her diplomat uncle in Tehran. She literally never ‘went home’ but traveled much of her life in the Middle East. Later, she drew the actual borders of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia. Who out there went overseas because a friend or sister invited them?  And who fell in love with travel’s surprises on that very first trip? 

Another Victorian example is Isabella Bird.  Although a sickly child, Bird explored for excitement, learned to mountain climb, study nature and write professionally. In 1889 age 60ish, she chose a trip to India from where she continued to Persia,Tibet, China and Korea.  Today we also travel to learn; the world as our classroom is fun, some say more so than adult ed classes.  Many of us come home with new ideas or hobbies: cooking is coming in handy right now!

Deciding to take a first trip away from home is difficult but it helps your sense of independence. Last year, I signed up for a solo woman vacation for golf academy in North Carolina-pretty unadventurous. I bought women’s travel gear for golf. I am a veteran traveler, lived abroad and traveled extensively. Of the approximately 25 participants, there was one other woman solo. She lived nearby and knew the staff.  The 6 night gig found me as a woman eating alone among younger and more experienced male golfers. I was left solo for dinner in an enormous ball room.  

Women travel in India with a solo women's travel group and small group touring
Women travel in India with

By Day 3, I avoided the ballroom and ate equally good meals at the bar with friendlier neighbors. Slights in service in favor of corporate male groups had upset me.  I mentioned my impressions to management with immediate results.  I learned a bunch about golf but more about myself on a singles vacation. 

How can you learn independence and self confidence from traveling solo as a woman? The first step for women travels is to do research with reviews, facebook comments and BBB notes. Then list what you physically can and cannot do. Now next  choose your female only trip matching daily events to your levels. Look in the mirror and say: I can do this and I will take my first singles trip. Go back to your phone or computer and book.  Go it as a woman solo vacation, but in a women’s travel group for your first attempt.  Then don’t cancel your trip.

Departure day is kindergarten all over again.  Come to kindergarten with The Women’s Travel Group at