Solo Travel in Europe: Why You Don’t Need a Man to Take You Out
Back in 2010, when I first began working abroad I knew that I would meet a lot of new and interesting people and experience many exciting and incredible things for the first time. What I didn’t know was just how much I would change and just how much I would discover about myself.
When I was 18 years old, I was absolutely terrified of eating in a restaurant or going to the movies alone. The very thought of sitting next to an empty seat had seemed absurd to me. What would I do all by myself with no one to talk to? Twenty countries and five years later, things are different.
“I would love to travel,” they say, “but I could never leave my boyfriend…”
As a solo traveler wandering from place to place as a horse rider and trainer, I’m often amazed by how many people I meet think the same as I did at 18 years old. Often times people are amazed by my confidence when I talk about traveling solo, especially in such countries as India, Egypt and Mongolia. “I would love to travel,” they say, “but I could never leave my boyfriend…”
And this is what I have to say to that:
Europe is an amazing place to be a single woman traveler. Not only is it clean, safe and friendly (use common sense here) but it’s the absolute best place to date…yourself. That’s right–I said it. Because you don’t need a man to go out on a date and have a good time. Back when I worked in Italy, I took myself on a romantic date. I wore my best heels, jeans and a dash of lip gloss and I was off! I wandered the streets, and soaked in the magic of Sicily. A man stopped me and took me to a nearby restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean and moonlight. I thanked the man before sending him on his way. (I was already on a date).
Later in Romania I took myself to the movies where I shamelessly enjoyed a romantic chick flick. I didn’t even need to hide as I wiped my tears because there was no one there to judge me.
I thanked the man before sending him on his way. (I was already on a date).
More recently I had an affair with the city of Paris. The wonderful thing about dating yourself is that there is no pressure. I can eat that double chocolate lava cake guilt-free for dinner, or I can sit and watch the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower for hours. I can go home when I like, I can change my plans on a whim and I can get to know the real me without trying to please others or compromise myself.
Taking yourself out gives you the rare opportunity to clear your head, reflect on your life and regain your balance so you can regroup and take on new challenges. It will test your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll get lost and discover new roads you didn’t know existed. You’ll learn to trust yourself. And you’ll never end a date by feeling miserable or wondering the age-old question, “Is he going to call me?”
And if a nice man just so happens to interrupt your date, give him your number and tell him to take you out on your next date.
Traveling Solo in Europe: Why You Don’t Need a Man to Take You Out
Have you traveled solo in Europe? How was your trip? Email us at [email protected] for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.
Traveling Solo in Europe: Why You Don’t Need a Man to Take You Out photo credits Jessica Shen.