An adventure has challenges. And there may be additional challenges for solo female travelers. Whether I was backpacking weeks at a time high in mountains, road bicycling hundreds of miles across parts of the USA, or driving thousands of miles in my van to visit new places, I know my adventures some days left me thinking, isn’t there an easier way to accomplish what I am trying to do?
My desire to travel solo has always been for a sense of accomplishment and discovery. The joy in solving challenges, meeting unknowns, and discovering all that may be new. They have allowed me to be more patient, hopeful, aware of the small things in life, and accepting of the kindness of others.
The books to read; adventures ahead:
But this post is not about me. I had been motivated to solo travel since the 1970’s because while having my own adventures I read a book of a woman who trekked across the Australian desert at the same time I was backpacking in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. There she was with 4 camels and her dog in an area of the world I would someday hope to see. She treks from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean. Would either of us quit our solo adventure? No. The book I encourage you to read is:
Tracks: One Woman’s Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson
Another book about a woman hiking the Appalachian Trail in the 1950’s is a must read too. I have hiked sections of the two thousand fifty mile Appalachian Trail. But in this woman’s day, the trail was not so well-established as it is now and she hikes it in entirety. She really had her work cut out for her. Sections were not cleared or even connecting to other sections. Recently I had also seen Ohio’s Buckeye Trail which was established with her help. Did she quit her solo adventure? No, plus she had accomplished that hike more than once! The book I encourage you to read is:
Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery
Recently I read of another woman’s adventure in the 1950’s!! She was riding her horse from Maine to California while her dog ran along side for many of the miles. During this decade our current highway system was being constructed. She needed smaller, quiet roads for safe travel, but had to maneuver highway and bridge challenges. Did she quit her solo adventure? No. While today I can be happy for the highways and bridges as I drive across this country, I cannot imagine traveling only 15 – 25 miles on horse per day. The book I encourage you to read is:
The Ride of Her Life by Elizabeth Letts
What struck me about two of the three solo female adventurers, I mentioned here, was they were older women, living at times when women were expected to be in the home caring for family, not working in the world, let alone out on their own! All the more reason for me to admire them and their accomplished solo adventures!
Why would she not quit her adventure? I suspect it is for the same reason many women take on solo travel adventures … a goal is to be accomplished! Of course, one needs to have hope, confidence, a positive state of mind, courage, a willingness to learn, know her own capabilities and that of her equipment, and the ability to live with oneself no matter what happens during the adventure. Fortunately, solo travelers often discover so many new experiences thus providing interest in seeing what is next around the bend … kindness of people, an awesome sight, or a realization and appreciation of what one has accomplished … as a solo female traveler. For all those reasons I too will continue solo travel for as long as I can. Please consider reading those books, especially if you are an adventurer or even an armchair traveler. You will be impressed with their accomplishments!