I’ve recently returned from a mind blowing solo backpacking trip to Africa. I wanted to prove that it was possible to travel alone as a woman through that part of the world, and challenge misconceptions about the continent. The nature is simply stunning, the locals are genuinely friendly, and once you get out of major cities — Africa is WAY safer than you’d think.
But it’s also important to keep things authentic. With every grand adventure, there are obstacles along the way. And if there’s one common question I haven’t truly discussed: what’s it REALLY like to solo backpack as a woman? And what was that like in Africa?
Honestly? It wasn’t so different from anywhere else in the world. I’ve been extremely fortunate in the majority of my travels to surround myself with respectful, kind individuals. Unfortunately, harassment isn’t an “African” issue as much as a universal one. As a woman who clearly looks foreign, I’ve been grabbed in bars, followed on the streets, and propositioned at gas stations. I’ve been called everything from a “sexy Chinese” to terrible names for rejecting advances... And the kicker? 1. These forms of harassment came from men of all nationalities, creed, and color. 2. This isn’t even bad, compared to what other women go through.
But just because abuse is rampant doesn’t make it okay. Just because something is widespread doesn’t mean we should normalize it. —
The thing is, as women, we should never allow these unfortunate incidents to stop us from traveling. It’s easy to feel afraid. But if we do, then these suckers win. I choose to keep my wits about me, surround myself with good people, and be aware of where I am at all times. And I still carry the hope that new generations will raise men to respect women and treat them as equals. (Until then — I also carry some pepper spray, just incase.)
Calling everyone to share their thoughts below. What can we do to empower women and encourage mutual respect and equality? Ladies, how do you react to inappropriate comments or incidents of harassment? And here’s a huge shoutout to the men who are self proclaimed feminists and fight for equal rights. We love you.
🌏Da Nang, Vietnam
📷@ayda_june «Ba Na Hills Sun World in Da Nang, Vietnam. Tip: Show up early because you won’t see it this empty after 10am.»
See more: Backpackerstory.org
Photo by: @backpacking.pixels
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| Where it all began ✨ |
Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit the beautifully romantic Florence. We had such a perfect weekend exploring this incredible city, taking a trip out to Pisa to see the famous ‘leaning tower’ & of course, sampling plenty of Italian vino!
This trip ended up being far more significant then I would have ever anticipated as it was on the flight home that the idea of New Zealand & the reality that it was something I could finally go for hit home. We are both in love with travelling & seeing more of the world so as a way to pass the time we made a list of the places we, as individuals, had always wanted to go to. New Zealand stuck in my head for the following weeks & one day on a lunch break I decided to see how I would be able to get over there to work & experience a place that was always no.1 on my list; turned out that I only had 18 months left to get the visa I wanted & so the decision was made 🤗
I knew that if I didn’t take the leap then that I’d never do it. In the last decade I’ve always been committed to something; a relationship, a house, a job. This time I had the confidence & drive to not let what society tells you to focus on stop me from doing what I wanted to do. Luckily, after a period of time of uncertainty, I also got the luck of having my best friend decide that the time was right for him also 😍 Life has a funny ol’ way sometimes, I never thought this would be me but here we are 🙌🏼 #10daystogo
Last day in Capetown. Before our flight took of in the evening we hiked up the Lions Head. The hike is easy except for the last bit to the peak. You can either do some climbing or take a longer alternative route but when you made it you will be rewarded with this view⛰