Solo-travel

Why Women Should Embrace Their Inner Selfishness

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes. I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” – Marilyn Monroe

There’s that word – selfish. It’s every woman’s worst nightmare to be called selfish, right? Well, I’ve decided to beat people to it and label myself as society’s perfect example of ‘a selfish woman.’ So, why am I selfish?

I dream of travel, not kids

Fast-forward five years and I’m not dreaming of walking down the aisle in a big, puffy white dress and sailing off into the sunset with the future father of my children. Instead, when I fantastise, I’m discovering grand castles in Prague and enjoying the amazing street art in Malta.

I’m not content with settling

Given my almost complete lack of responsibility (no partner, no kids, no mortgage), my soul rejoices in knowing that I can leave any situation that doesn’t serve me. Forget about gritting my teeth through that 9am to 5pm job I loathe or playing nice with a boss who respects no one. It’s quite liberating to know you can pull the plug on most situations at any moment.

I have made decisions that impact those around me

I see life as a wonderful cycle of highs and lows. Sometimes, experiences place us in a position that means we have to make difficult decisions that we know will have a negative impact on those around us. You know the kind of choices I’m talking about… the ones that have you tossing and turning at night. The decisions that give you belly rumblings. While I’m not advocating you go out of your way to hurt or impact others, sometimes, we owe it to ourselves to be honest, whatever that honesty entails. Otherwise, we’re doing nothing but lying to ourselves.

I say no to regrets

Anyone who’s lived long enough will be able to pinpoint situations where they could’ve (and probably should’ve) acted differently. However, I promised myself a long time ago that I would make decisions based on how I felt and what I knew at the time: not what surfaces with the benefit of hindsight. I don’t want to look back at my life when I’m 50 and think to myself, ‘I never made anything of myself because I was scared of hurting others’ or, ‘I didn’t believe in myself enough and now, I’m completely empty.’

Sure, these are the kind of things most of us associate with selfishness but here’s my question to you: am I selfish or am I just living my life, my way?

By Sarah Cannata

5 Unique Places To Stay On Vacation

The best thing about websites like Airbnb is that they allow you to find unique accommodation all over the world. People offer travellers their homes, yurts and windmills to stay in, giving the adventurous souls an alternative experience of untouched locations. If you’re lucky, you might even find an entire island to call home (for a few nights at least).

RELATED: Top 5 Unique Trekking Holidays

The Castle – Brittany, France

Live like Marie Antoinette in this 17th century chateau in rural France (pictured above). Relax with a cup of tea in the library, or take a stroll through the surrounding forest and gardens.

5 unique places to stay on holiday

The Houseboat – Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Live like a local on the canals of Amsterdam in a traditional houseboat! It may be a houseboat, but this inside looks like a renovated Manhattan loft. It will certainly be a cherished experience.

5 unique places to stay on holiday

The Bus – Belearic Islands, Spain

Uschi, the restored vintage bus, is located on the secluded Cala Comte beach on Ibiza. Enjoy a beautiful sunset with your significant other, dine at the nearby beachfront restaurants, then retire for a secluded night under the stars. A stay here will definitely make a holiday to remember.

5 unique places to stay on holiday
The Island – near Ottawa, Canada

Taking “lake house” to a new level, this cabin has its own island for you to explore. Take a group of friends this Halloween weekend and have the getaway of your life. What happens on the island, stays on the island, right?

5 unique places to stay on holiday

The Geo Dome – Woodridge, USA

This dome is on a 12-acre property in Woodridge, New York – far beyond the reach of civilization. Having said that, you’ll still get free high speed wifi! You’re welcome to bring a large group and crash all over the large floor (if you provide the mattresses). You can also buy eggs and veggies grown on the site!

5 unique places to stay on holiday

Images via Airbnb

Globetrotting Girls!

“I always travel on my own and my only 2 tips are one, pre-book the first night you arrive in some weird country fresh off the plane so you know where you’re going. And two, scope out a nice bar during the day to hang at in the evening while you lurk for unsuspecting English-speakers!” Jenny.”Only take clothes you really know you will wear. Be ruthless. Nothing is more exhausting than lugging around bags full of things you wish you’d left at home! Limit yourself to what you can carry by yourself: a suitcase (preferably a wheely type), a shoulder bag or backpack, and some kind of money belt.” Caroline.

“Safety for the solo woman traveler is an important issue. It’s really important to be aware of everything that’s going on around you – and I don’t mean just taking in the sights! Try to walk with a purpose and be sure to keep an eye on your surrounds as you go. If you look like you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, you’re less likely to be targeted as a victim.” Julia.

“We’ve all seen the news headlines about girls who have stuff planted in their luggage only to become unwitting ‘mules’ for drug couriers and other scumbags. Keep an eye on your bags at all times and don’t leave your luggage unattended, especially not with the nice young man who just befriended you in the departure lounge!” Christine.

“Travelling solo can lead to some great moments of introspection and reflection. Try keeping a travel journal of your trip, recording not only the sights, sounds and smells of your travels, but also your inner thoughts. Solitude can conjure up all sorts of surprising revelations and a journal is a great memory aid for future years!” Sally.

“Emailing family and friends throughout your journey is a great way of keeping your family and friends up to date with your travel plans. Before you head off, set up a free web based email address that you will use just for your travel emails. You’ll find internet cafes almost everywhere and they are a relatively cheap was to stay in touch (and a lots more reliable than some phone services!) You can research the location of internet cafes around the world at www.cybercafe.com .” Jess.

“Don’t stress about having to write individual emails to all your mates. No one will expect you to write personalised emails every time. It’s a good idea to set up a group email address of friends and maybe a separate one for family so you can send a single email to each group – a no-holds-barred account for your friends and a g-rated version for your folks!” Melonie.

“With no one else to consider, travelling solo means that you can indulge in any daggy activity you desire. Immerse yourself in the culture of your destination by attending at least one event whether it’s a ballet, football, opera, bullfight or sumo wrestling match – whatever! If you can, find out what the locals do for fun, get yourself a ticket and enjoy!” Helen.

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