I still remember the first time that I realised that being a female traveller who explores the globe alone is unusual.
I was in Bratislava, the Slovenian capital and itself a weird and wonderful place. Here, white-washed and orange-roofed castles eyeball a monotonous mass of squat, identikit pastel-coloured buildings, the later of which making up a concrete jungle of uniformity that sits across the waters of the Danube, a natural barrier separating the city’s two distinctive halves.
None of my close friends or family had ever visited Bratislava and neither had any of the travellers I’d met the previous few weeks. It was my first solo trip; six weeks of learning what I was made of as I toured Eastern Europe by train.
When I arrived there on a warm day in mid-August, it was the antithesis of Dubrovnik or Budapest; it was nearly empty of other tourists, its streets barely trodden by the camera-wielding hordes of other capitals.
Feeling distinctly alone and looking for a means of seeing Bratislava, I joined my hostel’s bar crawl.
It was there, about the third bar in, that I found myself in the company of three other single female travellers; one European, one Canadian and another heralding from India. It was only when one turned to me and said “I always love to spend my time with other solo female travellers; you don’t really meet many. Those that you do are so ballsy” that I realised how unusual I was, particularly here, in a city that so few others ever seemed to reach.
I couldn’t help but smile; recognising that I’d barely seen many other women who travel alone on my trip and that yes, ballsy was what we were.
That feeling of pride and of having the bravery to travel alone has never left me, particularly during my travels in South America where I’ve been acutely aware of my gender and the impact – often negatively – it has had on my ability to travel to distant, remote and barely-visited places.
How I’ve found ways of connecting with other women who travel alone
It’s not been all plain sailing the past few years travelling alone in South America, but I’ve learned that there are some ways of making an occasionally solitary and isolating experience less so. One of the networks I’ve encountered that has given me the opportunity to meet and talk with other female travellers from across the globe is the women’s-only Wanderful community.
I’ve loved getting to know brave, ballsy and downright kick-ass women through their Facebook group, making me realise that things are changing since when I took that first trip alone in Eastern Europe. Wanderful has shown me that there are so many other ladies out there adventuring alone and looking to empower other women – making others see how they do have the balls to board that plane in the first place.
Basically, Wanderful has been an incredible community for me where I’ve connected with some really badass, inspirational women.
Which brings me onto something even more exciting….
Wanderful’s new homesharing network for kick-ass women
This month, Wanderful are launching something that is so exciting for women who travel alone: their new identity-verified, members-only homesharing network. This platform allows you to offer your spare room or sofa to other community members or take someone else up on the offer of their lodging, all for a small fee.
Just think about it: you arrive into a new city and you’ve already got another member of the Wanderful travelling community waiting to greet you, put you up and show you around their hometown. I can’t think of a better way of getting to know a new destination and the people there.
Even if you don’t need a place to stay, you can meet someone for a coffee through the network and pick their brains for great places to visit or even just for a chat. The choice is yours.
It’s just like couchsurfing though, right?
In a way, it is. But the biggest difference is the fact that it’s a completely female network.
I personally love the idea that it’s just other girls you’ll meet and added to that, you’re more likely to get an offer of a place to stay as you’re part of a community already; you may have interacted with that person on the Facebook group or read one of their articles on the Wanderful website.
What I know is that couchsurfing can be hit and miss sometimes, particularly when you’re trying to avoid the guys who clearly just want to sleep with the girls they’re hosting. Instead, the Wanderful all-female homesharing network is a safer, more friendly and more reliable way of making some friends and really getting to know a new city or destination.
I’d much rather stay with another girl when I’m in a new city and I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. I can’t wait to try it out the homesharing network on my next trip to Buenos Aires and Istanbul in April!
10 FREE subscriptions for Worldly Adventurer readers!
What’s even better is that, as Worldly Adventurer is an official launch partner, I’ve been given ten FREE one-year subscriptions to Wanderful for my wonderful readers, each worth $119!
I’ll be running a flash giveaway over on the Worldly Adventurer Facebook page on Sunday 26th March 2017 at 1pm ET (5pm GMT). Ten women who take this survey about their concerns about travelling in South America will win a year’s FREE subscription to Wanderful.
If you’re not a lucky winner, I’ve also got $15 off memberships by heading over here and using the code WORLDLYADVENTURER. This discount is only available until May 1st, so I suggest you get your hands on it before it disappears!
Remember, by joining Wanderful you’ll get the following:
- Access to the new all-female homesharing network and the global community of women waiting to meet you and show you around their city
- Unlimited access to all Wanderful events around the world, including special member rates for the Women in Travel Summit
- Exclusive admission to all Wanderful trips, such as their visit to Zambia and Botswana in August this year
- Up to 50% off thousands of hotels with their hotel booking partner, HotelStorm
- Affiliate network where you can earn $15 on new member referrals
Join the Wanderful community of kick-ass women who travel alone!
I can’t stress how valuable I’ve already found Wanderful to be and I can’t wait to make the most of their new homesharing network.
Join today or drop me a message in the comments below if you’ve got any further questions. Just make sure you keep your eye on the Worldly Adventurer Facebook page on Sunday 26th March at 1pm ET (5pm GMT) to take part in the giveaway or learn more about the Wanderful community here.
Pin this article so that other kick-ass women can learn more about joining Wanderful!