To Those Who Said A Girl Can't Travel Abroad On Her Own, I Did It!!
March 20, 2016 -- by Nada Ossama
“It is in all of us to defy expectations, to go into the world and to be brave, and to want, to need, to hunger for adventures. To embrace the chance and risk so that we may breathe and know what it is to be free.” – Mae Chevrette
If you had asked me two years ago if I would ever travel alone, I would have immediately said, “No way!! I can't do that."
But just last year, I felt like something was missing in my life. I needed adventure, inspiration, some kind of escapism and something worth doing in my life.
It’s 2016, Females have made it through politics, business, technology,..etc and still some people find it impossible for us to travel abroad on our own.
Travelling is one of the most liberating, incredibly rewarding and enlightening experiences. I know that making a decision like this sounds scary, but it’s also exciting because it's a new beginning that awaits you. There is nothing I did that you can't do yourself if you wanted to. Here I'll be answering the most fears and concerns any girl could have and sharing my experience of interning abroad.
My parents won't approve!
Your parents are going to freak-out at first since it's a fact that they want to protect you. They will give you a lot of reasons why you can't travel alone and how dangerous it is. For me I just listened to my parents' concerns then explained that I'm capable of avoiding any specific harm and that I can strike out on my own. And most importantly I assured to them that many girls travelled on their own and they ended up just fine.
I don't think I can make it...
Fear can hold you back from doing something you truly want to do, especially to females since we were often taught to regard the unknown as threatening. But later on you will have the biggest regret of living a conventional life without taking any risks. Sure I had that nervous moment and felt a bit scared to take a step like this, but these worries disappeared as soon as I arrived in a marvelous new place. I never regretted it, and neither will you.
But it's not safe for me since I'm a girl!
We worry about safety most of the time and that’s why we make such a big deal out of a female travelling alone. The world outside can be much safer than back home and despite that, you have survived on earth this long because you have figured out how to keep yourself out of deadly situations. Traveling is just like being at home, you have to understand your surroundings and act accordingly. By taking the right precautions, my internship was safe, enjoyable, and incredibly rewarding.
Won't I be lonely?
Actually alone doesn’t mean lonely. Being alone is a common fear among females but it's really important to learn how to be alone and you might find yourself actually enjoying your own company. You will meet new people along the way who might have the same issue. I had the fear of being alone too but it turned out to be simple and easy.It made me more independent and stronger. And I had to get over my shyness problems, stepped out of my comfort zone and had the chance to meet incredible new friends that turned into families.
What about the culture and the locals?
Living in a whole new culture is an amazing and a unique experience to have. Sure you will get that culture-shock at first but then you will see yourself getting deeply involved in an interesting culture. And about locals, they are always friendly, generous and happy to meet foreigners. Before you realize it, you will find yourself getting invited to someone’s house for dinner. Locals usually have some really cool amusing stories to tell. Some locals even helped me to find less-visited but beautiful places to reach and helped me if I had a trouble along the way.
But I'm an Egyptian who has specific values…
Everyone has his or her own mindset and certain beliefs. You will surprisingly find out how much these people respect who you are, where you come from, your values, your beliefs.. Everything! During my internship we all as foreigners and locals got to know about each other's cultures, values and beliefs. And we treated each other with respect and without crossing the lines. And in the end we became one international diverse family with more than 20 nationalities, languages, beliefs, values. But we all had one thing in common.. We wanted to make the world a better place!
“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