Ever since 1975, International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world – from the political to the social.
In the world of travel, solo travel is following an upward trend. According to research by TripAdvisor Women Travel Survey 2015, 1 in 5 people have travelled on their own. Interestingly, there are more women traveling alone or these “Wander Women” in 2015.. What’s more is majority (53%) solo traveler is women from Asia. Coming from an Asian background myself, this fact does stun me. I know the difficulty of culture barrier that arises from solo traveling. Friends and families would see that women who do solo travelling is crazy. And as a woman you’re reminded all the time of your responsibility in the society, that is finished school, find a successful guy, get married, have babies, and live happily ever after. However, this fact negates the notion that Asian women don’t travel. It shows traveling gives them freedom of doing anything they like (60%), have the independence and challenge of traveling on their own (45%), and their family or friends don’t have the time to travel with them (32%).
And yet, despite the progress of the female traveller, there are still barriers. In this woman day many challenges still present, despite the changes on safety and popularity on solo traveling, from instances of sexual remarks to the threat of sexual violence. New traveler must know, especially for women, that conservative countries still encourage women to wear fake wedding rings to discourage unwanted attention.
It’s clear there’s still work to be done. However, inspiration in the realm of travel won’t come by staying home. Woman’s voices should be heard from all over the world. To commemorate this year International Women Day, I present to you the earliest female travellers, activist, and writers as a source of future inspiration for women.
The more I traveled the more I realised that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends. – Shirley MacLaine
Adventure is worthwhile in itself. – Amelia Earhart
Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living. – Miriam Beard
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then, take half the clothes and twice the money – Susan Heller
I’ve wondered why men have so absolutely monopolized the field of exploration. Why did women never go to the Arctic, try for one pole or the other, or invade Africa, Tibet, or unknown wildernesses? I’ve never found my sex a hinderment; never faced a difficulty, which a woman, as well as a man, could not surmount; never felt a fear of danger; never lacked courage to protect myself. I’ve been in tight places and have seen harrowing things. – Harriet Chalmers Adams
I can’t understand my men make all this fuss about Everest – Junko Tabei
You do not travel if you’re afraid of the unknown. You travel for the unknown, that reveals you in yourself – Ella Maillart
Are we the same people I wonder when all our surroundings, associations, and acquaintances, are changed? – Gertrude Bell
The real work of an expedition begins when you return – Louise Boyd
Anybody can be an explorer if they want to be. You can be an astronaut if you want. Figure it out what you want to do, and then go do it – Helen Thayer