10 Harsh Realities Young Female Travelers Face When Traveling Alone

“I choose to listen to my inner voice, not the random opinion of others. I choose to be motivated, not manipulated. I choose to be brave and not to be coward at all. And I choose to live by choice not by chance”

I decided to leave the beautiful island of Siargao to make some changes and somewhat hoped to find a better life in the city. My grandparents offered us (me and my twin sis) a great opportunity we can’t say no. Hey! A better life, good education and an opportunity to travel: what else could you ask for? Honestly, I really miss home a lot. 8 years ago, I took the courage to travel from Mindanao to Luzon by bus and ferries. That time, I know nothing about life. All I know is that, I will try to make a difference even in my own little way. I know, it will never be the same if I go back home. I can say that I changed a lot. The way I talk, dress, and think. Travelling help me to grow, mature and live my life the best I could. It makes me a tough version of being me. Like they said, you must learn the hard way in able to feel your sweet success. Yes! I’m not perfect, I do have lots of failures in life, battles I did not give a damned, I made mistakes a lot, but I learned, bad experiences that help me to whom to trust and not, heartaches, scars and even risked my life 3 times. I owe these whole things in travelling. Here are some common issues you might encounter too (which I did encounter) during your travels.

10. Some people don’t listen and believe you because they think that you are just a 7-year old brat

It’s sad to think that older people don’t listen and believe you, and honestly, I still don’t understand because I’m not like that to other people. When you go to the airport, in a bar, hotels. First they will ask you, even if you’re telling the truth, they still don’t believe you not unless they see your ID or passport. I maybe look like a brat, but believe me, I’m not! And stop treating me like a 7-year-old brat. I’m a grown up now. I’ll be turning twenty this year for goodness sake.

9. Easily TRUST other people

I easily trust other people. Well, I trust them enough, even my life I left up to them. The motorbike driver, pilot, seaman and bus driver, I fully entrust my life to them. I’m a direction challenged lady so whenever I feel that I’m lost I never hesitated to ask other people I met along the way. Yes! I believe them and I trust their information they gave to me. Thank God, I never lost. And by the way, if you just take that trust for granted, damn you! Don’t expect me to trust you again like before.

8. So sick of temporary love affair or “flirtationship”

This one sucks! I want to fall in love not just the thought of being in love. I guess the romantic relationship isn’t meant for me. Whenever I left the place, I know I have someone out there to leave behind. C’mon, they have their own life too, and I have my own. I don’t want them to be stuck in a situation where no one will benefit in the future. I called it “flirtationship”.

7. My singleness is such a big deal for everybody

I still don’t understand that my singleness is such a big deal to my family, friends, co traveler-blogger-musician. They said I’m not that ugly. I’m intelligent, kind, beautiful, independent and everything a man could ask for (this is not a self-loathing post). Okay, once and for all. Maybe right now I’m not into it. I love my freedom very much. I don’t want to have an extra/ heavy baggage with me whenever I go somewhere. I often get lost (lost in an incredible moment) and I want to find myself alone. I like to consider myself an independent woman. Maybe, in the right time and in the right place with the right man (or maybe not).

6. When people think that I’m super rich

This one is so funny. They thought that I was super rich. No, I’m not! I’m neither a daughter of Bill Gates nor a girlfriend of any tycoons, and obviously I’m not a Kardashian. I’m just a simple girl trying to find myself in this amazing world we live in. I get and got the opportunities to travel because of my grandparents and for academics. If I do well in school, they will give me a reward and I often ask a bus/ferry/plane tickets. All expenses are paid by them. That’s why I will always be grateful to my kind and ever supportive grandparents. I also do teach English (exchange languages) and I do volunteering.

5. Asking favor to strangers and co-travelers is such a big deal for me

I don’t usually ask nor beg to other people. As long as I can still handle everything then I’m fine with that. They even recommend a travel site where you don’t have to worry for your stay. I will stay in the local. I appreciate the kind offer but I’m pretty fine even sleeping in a hammock, spend the day in a park or in the beach. They have their own lives too I don’t want to be a burden to them and add to their worries and problems.

4. When people are so kind, loyal, and generous to you that you don’t want to leave them at all

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do, do you know that? It makes me sick to think that the people who accepted me, taught me great things in life, be my second family, even just for a while, the great memories we shared. Oh gosh! It makes me want to cry, I have to leave them behind and move on with my life and head to my next destination where my other home awaits. You learned to love them already and you feel at ease and comfortable around them. And then one day, you’re leaving them.

3. People are so arrogant they don’t even think what they are saying

You cannot please everybody. Some are kind while some are rude. Some have humor while some don’t have. Some are intelligent enough, they respected you while some are so arrogant. Believe me, been there. When they know that you’re single, they will offer you money in exchange for sex. One time, a guy asked me (…many guys already but this one was unbelievable) if I could be his gf and his wife. He offered me his beautiful house, he said I don’t need to work at all, I don’t need to worry about the money and daily living ‘cause he will provide everything. All I have to do is just be his gf and later on maybe his wife. Frankly, I was insulted and humiliated that time. I felt so cheap. Did it turn me on? NO! I want to slap his face, punch him and kick his ass. He thinks he can fool me and blind me with his wealth. Damn him!

2. Losing yourself for a while, then back to the harsh reality of life

Yeah! I maybe had a great time during my travels. Fall in love with the places. Everything was so wonderful and beautiful. But after that, we just have to deal the harsh reality and go back to the life where we have to be serious in life. In able to save money, we have to work hard and work smart and tighten our belt just to save. I have to face my accounting books, wake up early, but sleep so late at night. I have to study for my exams, report, recitation and everything about the stressful matters in school.

  1. That don’t-worry-I-will-be-okay thing

Homesick. I don’t know what that means until I was drowning in a vast sea, almost die in a ferry, had a typhoid fever and diarrhea, dengue fever and starve myself to death. I don’t have a cell phone until now. And yeah, I got used to it (whether you believe it or not. Well, you have no choice but to believe it ‘cause I’m telling the truth nothing but the truth). They only get information about me when I already home. I always have with me just my laptop, camera, watch, backpack, and necessary things I need for my travels. But don’t worry, I will be okay. I’ll have fun, I promise!

Originally published at paradiseofstrangers.wordpress.com on April 20, 2015.

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