The Social Pressure of Traveling Alone



A friend said that narrow minded thinking is proliferated through the status quo, or what we consider normal. To me, a seemingly small thing such as questioning a woman’s reasons for traveling alone, is linked to an acceptance of a world in which people think women traveling alone is an abnormality. I find this bothersome and indeed worrisome because this understanding, that women traveling alone is something at which one could raise an eyebrow, serves as a constraint against women’s progress toward social freedom.

My fear is that we eat the propaganda that we are unsafe, and we become our own jailers. Sound familiar? We envy men for running around at night, because we accept that our bodies will be targeted if we dare be female outside the lines.

The general alertness that makes me aware of predators makes me aware of other kinds of watchings, too.

I sense how people might see me as strange: a young, stereotypical pretty, at least normal-looking girl, who does not appear distressed, is all alone.

This fact, my very aloneness, confuses people, and I sense their confusion swirling around my very existence. I think they must wonder, why?

It makes me realize a socially successful woman is expected to be surrounded by friends performing her success in a performatively extroverted manner.

There seems to be an unspoken understanding that a good girl should be rewarded by the constant company of confidantes. By this reasoning, my solitude inspires either mistrust, or pity. I feel people’s projections, things people imagine are wrong with me to lead me to sit here, long acrylic nails and fresh makeup, alone.

I wish it was commonplace for women to travel alone, as commonplace as a woman going to the hair salon. I must ponder what it means that so few of us do it. Are we really so afraid? Why is it still surprising when a woman prefers her own company over that of literally any other soul in this world? Why am I unusual in my solitude?





By justpearlythings

I am a writer, a lover, and a believer in the good things in life. I write about mental health and wellness, along with book reviews and fashion opinions. My blog caters to thoughtful, growth-minded women and men, and offers insights and personal challenges that provide a space for relevant, meaningful connection. The World Wide Web is vast, it contains multitudes, and so do we as people. I believe that through self-awareness and honesty, we create a more loving planet for everyone. Feel free to follow this page and share it with friends and family. Love, Pearl


  1. I am not sure that I share your perspective. If you would go to an airport today you would see hundreds of women traveling alone. I don’t see it as an abnormality at all. Women travel alone for work, for pleasure or to see a friend or an aging parent. I have traveled by car by bus and less frequently by plane alone.


    1. Hi Kate, thank you for your comment. I see what you’re saying. I meant to discuss women traveling alone for an entire solo trip, rather than simply going from point A to point B by themselves. Thanks again for commenting 🙂 Pearl


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