Solo female travel
I found the recommendations in Rick Steves’ article (“Traveling solo empowering for women,” Dec. 23) lacking in feminine insight as I do not believe our only concerns while traveling are pick pocketing and how to avoid being hit on. I can’t even count the number of times someone has called me “brave” for traveling solo. I internally roll my eyes when asked how it feels to eat alone and what I do to combat loneliness.
Preparation and planning are of the utmost importance. My number one rule was to arrive and depart during daylight hours to avoid the vulnerability and stress of carrying all of my possessions around in the dark. I also mapped out literally every step from my accommodations to the airport and vice versa before I left to avoid any surprises. The most important thing is your passport, which I slept with once or twice.
In Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Australia I went out alone at night sans fake wedding ring and had no dangerous encounters -sure, some men hollered at me and stopped to talk to me but I paid them no attention and walked on confidently. My thoughts were occupied with decisions about where to eat, what to do next, and how I felt about what I had experienced -- not about the fact that I was alone. Travelling solo is not for the fainthearted. It can be stressful and even traumatizing if something goes wrong. I would do it again without a doubt as it made me a stronger person. Maria Voorhees Maydan Maitland