Traveling As A Solo Female Traveler

Today we welcome Athena Sternklar from Language of Travel. She’s got a unique, interesting take on solo female travel, and we’re thrilled to share her story.

Athena camping in Malaga Spain
Athena camping in Malaga Spain

I’ve wanted to travel for a very long time. When I finally had the resources to begin my first trip, I heard a lot of different opinions. First of all, I was only 18 when I started, I’m 5’0”, and a girl. People were worried about my safety.

On staying safe as a solo female traveler

Safety is very important when traveling alone as a female, but if you take the right precautions, you’ll be far from danger. It’s essential to research the place you’ll be visiting before you arrive. This will give you background knowledge on the area, current issues you may need to keep in mind, and the people you’ll be around. Your background knowledge will assist you in staying aware, another vital part of safety.

Things won’t always go as planned and that’s okay, learn to go with the flow.

Not everyone has practice in this so you may have to consciously focus on paying attention to your surroundings. Pay attention to the area you’re in, time of day, what kind of people are around you, and how far you are from where you’re staying. Don’t be afraid of asking for help if you’re lost, but trust your gut in who you decide to ask.

Two children in an alleyway in Tsfat Israel
Two children in an alleyway in Tsfat Israel

What does it take to travel solo?

Deciding to travel alone requires strength and ambition. I say this because, like I mentioned, many people will give you negative opinions about traveling alone as a female. It not only takes ambition to do it, but it takes strength to not let people’s opinions control you.

Traveling alone requires the strength to simply be alone, as some people may not be used to it. Through solitude you will come to know yourself better and become more confident.

It also requires physical strength to carry a pack while traveling and being able to push your limits. You don’t only learn to push your limits physically, but also emotionally. Not only by being alone, but by being away from loved ones and forcing yourself to meet new and different kinds of people.

On trusting in the universe

While traveling you learn to trust yourself, others, and the universe. You will surprise yourself, be surprised by friendly locals who are willing to help you, and you will be surprised in the way things will fall into place. You might start worrying about money, or time, etc., but eventually you will learn to trust that these things will work out on their own.

Things won’t always go as planned and that’s okay, learn to go with the flow.

As a girl it can be hard to balance judgement for safety while also being open to people. Over time you will find this balance and learn from people by opening up and trusting your gut.

Houses on a cliffside in Cinque Terre Italy
Houses on a cliff side in Cinque Terre Italy

After about five months of travel so far on my own, I can say that traveling alone was the best decision for me. I’ve learned countless things about myself and the world. I’ve made great friends in several different continents who have all taught me something. If you are willing to push your limits, grow in ways you didn’t even know you needed to, meet new kinds of people, and expand your mind, you too should travel alone.

Don’t be afraid of all the things that could go wrong; be smart, be strong, be open, and be trusting, and your expectations will be exceeded greatly.

Most importantly, you will gain a true understanding of humanity itself, and it is a truly spectacular thing.

About Athena

Athena Sternklar, a 19 year old American, is a solo female traveler. She has now been traveling for about five months and has been to nine countries so far. Throughout her travels she has been documenting her experiences through photography and blog posts. Her photography can be found on her Instagram page, and her blog posts on her website Language of Travel. She hopes to inspire people to follow their dreams, believe in themselves, and of course, travel.

Want to learn more? Check out Athena’s posts on traveling on a budget, or what traveling has taught her about happiness.

Traveling As A Solo Female Traveler