Last night I was at dinner with an international and well-traveled group of friends. I love having these sorts of people in my life because they have lived all over the world, have had all kinds of amazing experiences, have fabulous globe-trotting stories and continue to make travel and exploration of different cultures a priority in their lives. I also lived in Europe for two years of my life and have traveled quite a bit internationally (mostly Europe. some Asia), but these folks have traveled more extensively and adventurously than I. And I love to live vicariously through their tales.
One of the women was born in Russia, grew up in New York, lived in France for some time (she speaks fluent French) and continues to travel internationally at least a few times a year. Another couple has spent a lot of time in South America – even two trips to Machu Picchu (and talk of another soon!). Another man was from Spain. One of the topics of dinner conversation was where we should all go on holiday together next. Yes!
Generally I am not afraid to travel alone but the idea of going somewhere more adventurous with a group does appeal to me. I am not sure I would be cool with traveling to Peru, Ecuador even Argentina or Brazil on my own. Good news is that if you don’t have a group of globe-trotting friends but have wanderlust yourself, there are lots of groups that organize travel for women.
According to CondeNast Travel, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations says that 68 percent of their female travelers in 2016 took a trip without a companion, while Country Walkers says 87 percent of its female participants were single (that’s about 3.3 single women to every male traveler). “Women tend to be more adventurous than men in regards to international travel and perhaps even joining groups alone,” says Jamen Yeaton-Masi, vice president of worldwide product for Country Walkers & CW Safaris. “Women are becoming more financially independent and thus more apt to travel; you could argue that this also gives women more confidence to pursue more adventurous travel.”
I also just read an article in the New York Times about a new company called the Alix Experience. For a membership fee, you have access to a concierge who will help you find restaurants ideal for solo dining, a manicurist or hairstylist or even a yoga class in a new city and meet-ups with other like-minded women for cocktail hour or a private museum tour. So far, they have service available in London and New York City but are adding Paris and San Francisco in the Fall. I think those cities are all fairly easy to navigate as a single woman traveler (maybe even with the help of meeting someone on Tinder in advance! I actually do recommend this and can tell you how to navigate that app safely!). But I’d love to see Alix expand to more daring travel destinations like South America, Asia and the Middle East – that’s where I want some help!
You may love to travel in groups. You may love to travel alone. The point is to travel and experience the world!