Truth or Dare : Solo Girl Travel


Difficult times they are when a traveler isn't traveling. While I was thinking and preparing a checklist, bro jumped in, “Yaar, you are such a free spirit, must be feeling so nice, no?”

“Umm..yaah..”, Until the question, I was sleeping on the checklist, but he wakes me up. “Feels nice”, his words started making rounds between the heart and the mind. However, normal, his question stuck in between. He is the one always fascinated with my Solo Traveling and Being a Wanderer. 


“Why did he ask such a question?”, I questioned myself. He knows me well and my mindset, my opinions and is aware of the atmosphere around me as well.

It took me little time but found out why little birdie asked me this. Well, it is because of me being a Solo “Girl” Traveler. I smirked at him. He looked at me as if he got to know my reply even without me uttering a word.

Solo “Girl” Traveler - the point to the problem lies in here. It tells a lot about the global society we are. Interestingly, the most powerful media of our times, the Social Media, conveys a “gender biased” message to the people at large by distinctive “Solo Girl Traveler” from “Solo Traveler”.

Recently, I visited Nainital to participate in one of many Bloggers Meet. Although it was strictly for travel bloggers, all sorts of bloggers were there. While I was illustrating my Kerala trip, all eyes were amused and some lips were curving at the cuts. “Solo Girl Travel” faced a few direct and many indirect questions from fellow bloggers.

It was fun maneuvering around their questions and putting “Solo Traveler” in perspective as they couldn't digest that “Girl” part in “Solo Girl Traveler”. However, I was flabbergasted at this difference and myopia. Why can't a girl be recognized as a Solo Traveler? Why she needs to tag her Instagram pictures and Facebook posts with “Solo Girl Traveler”? What do you think we girls are as a ”Solo Traveler"?


You are mistaken if you think this bias is all about India because Solo Girl Traveler tag wasn't created by an Indian. But all isn't dark as night. There was a silver lining too. The Gen Y and Z may understand about the “Girl” in traveling, what is it that brought up this girl? The Gen X?

Nonetheless, this blame-game should have a way out as it won't change the reality-in-motion. My decision, supported by those who matter, shall reaffirm my belief. But, there is a fact on the other side of the perspective too. Girls have to think ten times before taking up the solo journey.

Why?

I know everyone knows the answer, you too are mumbling it - however, my journey from a Solo Travel or Solo Girl Traveler, as you may say, has brought me to these reasons that make it complex:
  • Traveling Alone isn't “Safe” For Girls: Indeed the air has become so polluted due to the global warming that the world isn’t safe enough for the girls to travel. But this cannot stop us from traveling.
  • Girls are not responsible enough: Yup, the whole family cooks every day, goes for grocery shopping every day and maintains the family affairs daily. But she isn't responsible.
  • She can travel if tagged along: Oh yes, travel agents sell weeklong holidays in 5 nights to female counterparts, not male ones. Right?
  • She cannot stand the “real world”: Yes because the above points have given her the strong reasons not to face the real world, it's a taboo!

Google finds 8 out of 10 results related to India when you search “are girls safe for traveling solo”. When you count 10 “positive” results, they are non-Indian pages that speak about “destinations for female travelers”. Do I need to elaborate more on this?

When I asked my Bro and Dad, they replied negatively. When my friends asked their dad about me, they had questions and wanted more explanations.

This generation X, Y, Z may confuse you, but the point is why their perceptions are not aligning with the “Real World? This global debate is endless - with innumerable ifs and buts, this and that - yet prevalent.


Do let me know your views on this debate! 

Comments

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