When I was approached last May by Maria ( A Seat For One) I was thrilled! Thrilled to be apart of a collective story of women solo travelers. "Some of the best nights of my life were spent alone, in a new city. I met a lot of wonderful people on my travels. Surprising enough, every woman, who I met that was traveling on their own as well...I was always met with enthusiastic women who would ask me how my trip was going and just want to know more about me and my travel plans. Each woman I met, I would always wonder. “What was their story?” What made them decide to just leave their life behind at home, for however long their trip was. 2 weeks, 2 months, a year even, and experience traveling solo."
From there A Seat for One blossomed.
Q: What made you want to travel on your own?
A:To challenge myself and to prove to myself that I could actually do it on my own. I grew up in a very strict and traditional gender role household.” A women should never be alone, she needs to be taken care of by a man, etc. ” The rebel that I am I said NO WAY! I’ve always been very independent and outspoken. Travel has allowed me to be who I am.You can be whomever you want to be! Often times, we hold ourselves back from doing what we want to do. We say one day I will do this or I wish I had enough courage to be like this! When you are traveling on your own, no one knows you! No one sees the insecurities you think they do. Myself included tend to take more risks, eating exotic foods, flirt away with boys that back home I would think would be WAY out of my league. Solo travel allows you try new things and makes you realize life is fantastic and that there is a whole world out there ready to be yours for the taking.
Q: What are the places you have been to? Where to next?
A: I’ve been to many of the major cities/states across the US. I’ve traveled to all of Central America, Mexico, Europe, Spain, Italy and France, Vatican City. My next travels plans would include the Middle East and Asia.
Q: What is/was the biggest change you've seen in yourself, or in your life since you returned from your travels or started traveling?
A: I would say that I have a grown to love people and myself. Also that I want to continue searching for more. I’ve really learned to love people, for their differences, for how similar we all are. We are all God’s children and we all face some hard times. I’ve met some great friends along the way, that because of travel, it has literally saved their life. People are also so open to helping you and have kind hearts. I have a running joke that I have to get out to see something at least every 6 months. It’s an addiction and when I don’t get my fix I become depressed, true story!
Q: Any advice for women who may be hesitant on solo travel?
A: DO IT! Stop making excuses and just go. You don’t have to take an international trip right away. Heck, even go to the closest nearby city and do a mini-staycation. Look, we all came to this earth alone, we will all leave this earth alone. Why not take the time to learn about yourself. You are your own best friend. At some point you may be married off have kids or maybe not. Take the time to be a little selfish. Go explore a new world, eat delicious food. This world was meant to be explored!
To read more about Maria and other stories collective travel stories, visit A Seat for One