You might think the only reason to choose "woman's only" travel is by default, because you don't have a travel partner, but there are actually many reasons why woman choose "women's only" travel.
1. Women traveling together have a ton of fun
When it comes to traveling in unfamiliar territory, every day facing new experiences, Cyndi Lauper got it right, "girls just want to have fun!" We don't want to compete with ourselves or anybody else. Western culture is competitive, whether in a job setting or a social setting, we often compete and judge each other. On the contrary, when we are on the open road with each other, new and challenging experiences bond us together, like trying guine pig or hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. When we feel supported and part of a group, we are more likely to be vulnerable and try new things, without fear of failure or living up to someone else's expectations. No matter what we do or where we go, we are all in it together and we create support and connection, which always turns into a whole lot of fun.
2. We can just be ourselves
We fill a lot of roles; maybe you're an executive, a business owner, a mother, a wife, an aunt, a partner, a mentor, a friend, or all of the above. Whatever roles we fill there are expectations and responsibilities that come with them and as much as we love being there for others we tend to put everyone else first. When we travel without family we can disconnect from responsibilities, relax, and just be ourselves. We don't have to worry about any of the details or make anything happen. That's what's transformative about travel; it brings us back to ourselves. We can think about our own hopes, desires, joys, or even face our fears. That is what solo travel does but for those of us who don't want to travel alone, traveling with other woman is still an amazing way to discover ourselves again.
3. We Crave Community
The need for community isn't exclusive to women, it's a human need, yet we seem to crave it more than men. To be deeply known and understood is one of the most fulfilling aspects of life. A lack of deep community in our lives can lead to depression, addiction, and even physical ailments.
"A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don't function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick." - Brene Brown, Researcher/Author
As much as we crave it, community doesn't just wander into our lives one day. Like any relationship, it requires work and time. It requires us to seek out likeminded friends and to keep showing up, even when it's not easy. It's hard to join a travel group by yourself or to put yourself in a situation that will challenge you. The wonderful thing about travel though, is it brings together like-minded people seeking adventure and new experiences. Even if you are not a seasoned traveler there is a bond that forms quickly between a group, especially women, traveling together. Many people who join a travel group with Wildland even make lifelong friends who they keep traveling with to different destinations.
4. We can change the world
You don't need to travel at all these days to realize that there is great disparity in our world but it didn't become real for me until I started traveling. I was incredibly lucky to grow up in a supportive family, believing I could be anything I wanted to be. I graduated highschool and got a college education because that's what everyone does right? It was not until I started traveling that I started to realize how much injustice and inequality there is in this world. I didn't know that the majority of woman and girls in the world receive little to no education. I never worried that I might be sold by my family as a child bride because my family couldn't afford to take care of me. Meeting people with vastly different realities and opportunities and hearing their stories first-hand can be heartrenching, but it can also inspire incredible acts of love and philanthropy.
When Sandra Jackson, a Wildland Alumni, returned from her trip with us to Kenya she reprioritized things in her life. Before the
By celebrating and supporting woman around the globe we can make an incredible difference. The book Half the Sky; Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, makes the bold claim that the most effective way to change the world is to invest in women because they have the greatest potential for economic and social development.
"Women's empowerment helps raise economic productivity and reduce infant mortality. It contributes to improved health and nutrition. It increases the chances of education for the next generation." - Nicholas D. Kristof, Author/Journalist
For over thirty years Wildland Adventures has guided travelers through fragile natural and cultural environments, creating innovative ways to support local people in their efforts to protect their culture, environment, and communities. Through authentic cultural exchanges with local women we can gain genuine insight into the history, culture, and people of the region visited. Discerning philanthropists know that personal connections with real people are necessary if global women's issues are ever to be improved. If we really want to change the world we need to see and understand the issues that woman face globally and find real ways to celebrate and support each other.
"Woman's only" travel is not a default option. It's a powerful catalyst for change within us and for change in this world.
Your friendly Wildland Adventurer,