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5 Ways To Travel Solo Like A Boss

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Group travel is an excellent opportunity to create lifelong memories with the squad while enjoying discounted rates. However, what is often not talked about is how exhausting it is to keep up with the group, look after your friend who got a little too tipsy, and avoid serious side eye when you do say, "Hey girl… I'm going to go off on my own for a little while."


Girl, it is time for you to put solo travel on your future to-do list.

You: A trip? Just me? Are you serious? What will I do?

My Answer: Your thang!

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Traveling alone is a great way to learn about yourself, treat yourself, and work on those social skills that some of us lack without feeling embarrassed around your friends. Solo travel is a unique experience where you get to introduce you to yourself. You really get to dive into you by being in an unfamiliar place alone, where you can be whoever you want to be: fearless, fun, and empowered. Though embarking on such a journey can be anxiety-inducing, especially for us wallflowers and novice travelers that would love to get out of our comfort zones, it does not have to be. With these 5 steps, you will learn how to face the challenge of traveling alone head-on and plan a bomb trip!

Do Your Research And Draft Your Own Schedule

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One of the most important things to do in order to feel comfortable alone in a foreign place, is to do your research beforehand. This is one of the instances that your friends and family will be great assets because you can ask around about places that you are interested in traveling to. You will be surprised how much information you will receive from your tribe, which may have either visited your desired destination firsthand or can refer you to someone who has. For further information, take your research online (pay close attention to Black Platforms), often there are articles and forums with suggestions, travel advisories, and tips to anywhere in the world you want to go.

Also, keep in mind that having a plan takes away the anxiety of not knowing what to do and where to go. Be flexible with that plan because unexpected excitement might pop up, but make sure you are hitting your solo travel bucket list. Look up restaurants, bars, festivals, and outside activities in the area. Schedule as much exploring time as you do downtime to ensure you are relaxation that you deserve.

Link Up

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Use social media and other online platforms to connect with women who have traveled where you want to go so that you aren't blind-sighted. There are plenty of Apps outside of Instagram, like Tourlina, Bumble, and Facebook, where you can engage and even meet up with people in the community that you are visiting. If that is outside of your comfort zone, use the opportunity to visit a friend that lives outside of your area and make plans to meet up at some point. That way you'll have the opportunity to hang out with a familiar face without them permanently crowding your space.

Blend In But Don't Be Afraid To Speak Up

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You don't want to look like a complete tourist because some people will try to take advantage of your unfamiliarity, but try to speak to strangers as frequently as you can. If you are lost, find an open, well lit, and high traffic area to ask someone for directions. While you're at it, ask that stranger what his/her favorite bar or restaurant is located because locals be knowing! Who knows…one of the strangers you bump into on your solo travel adventure could be a great connection to have in your future.

Be Better Safe Than Sorry

Now is not the time to grab a dollar cab, stay at a questionable Airbnb/hotel, get wasted, or eat from a suspect food truck. Splurge and give yourself the best/safest experiences while you are traveling alone.

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If you are doing an R&R trip, splurge on a reasonable hotel so that you can come back to a clean room and a made up bed. If you like hostels and Airbnbs, research the area instead of going for the lowest price you see. If you are trying to get your Stella's Got Her Groove Back on with an out of town cutie, use your head, protection, and your phone to let at least one soul know where you will be for the night. If this means traveling to a destination closer to home opposed to international for the sake of finances, by all means, choose a place where you can afford to be safe.

Pack Clothes You Are Comfortable And Confident In

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This seems like a given but I want women to understand that the solo travel experience is a unique opportunity to be comfortable in your skin. Leave those new 6-inch heels that you haven't broken in at home and pack those cute sandals that you can comfortably walk in. Leave the full lace wig at home and braid up your hair. Many of us use vacation as a time to sport our newest daring outfits and post on Instagram, but if you are insecure about your appearance while traveling alone, you are creating another obstacle for yourself and will likely never leave the room.

Follow these steps and you will embark on an experience that you will never forget. Who knows, it may even become part of your yearly routine. It is perfectly okay to start small and travel to a different state to build up your confidence and finances for a bigger solo trip. Be open to the new experiences that you will likely encounter, and use this opportunity to meet others with similar interests. Make sure to journal and document your trip with pictures or diary entries so that you have memories to look back on.

Trust that you have all that you need to survive and thrive on your own, and enjoy your trip sis.

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When I was ten, my Sunday school teacher put on a brief performance in class that included some of the boys standing in front of the classroom while she stood in front of them holding a heart shaped box of chocolate. One by one, she tells each boy to come and bite a piece of candy and then place the remainder back into the box. After the last boy, she gave the box of now mangled chocolate over to the other Sunday school teacher — who happened to be her real husband — who made a comically puzzled face. She told us that the lesson to be gleaned from this was that if you give your heart away to too many people, once you find “the one,” that your heart would be too damaged. The lesson wasn’t explicitly about sex but the implication was clearly present.

That memory came back to me after a flier went viral last week, advertising an abstinence event titled The Close Your Legs Tour with the specific target demo of teen girls came across my Twitter timeline. The event was met with derision online. Writer, artist, and professor Ashon Crawley said: “We have to refuse shame. it is not yours to hold. legs open or not.” Writer and theologian Candice Marie Benbow said on her Twitter: “Any event where 12-17-year-old girls are being told to ‘keep their legs closed’ is a space where purity culture is being reinforced.”

“Purity culture,” as Benbow referenced, is a culture that teaches primarily girls and women that their value is to be found in their ability to stay chaste and “pure”–as in, non-sexual–for both God and their future husbands.

I grew up in an explicitly evangelical house and church, where I was taught virginity was the best gift a girl can hold on to until she got married. I fortunately never wore a purity ring or had a ceremony where I promised my father I wouldn’t have pre-marital sex. I certainly never even thought of having my hymen examined and the certificate handed over to my father on my wedding day as “proof” that I kept my promise. But the culture was always present. A few years after that chocolate-flavored indoctrination, I was introduced to the fabled car anecdote. “Boys don’t like girls who have been test-driven,” as it goes.

And I believed it for a long time. That to be loved and to be desired by men, it was only right for me to deny myself my own basic human desires, in the hopes of one day meeting a man that would fill all of my fantasies — romantically and sexually. Even if it meant denying my queerness, or even if it meant ignoring how being the only Black and fat girl in a predominantly white Christian space often had me watch all the white girls have their first boyfriends while I didn’t. Something they don’t tell you about purity culture – and that it took me years to learn and unlearn myself – is that there are bodies that are deemed inherently sinful and vulgar. That purity is about the desire to see girls and women shrink themselves, make themselves meek for men.

Purity culture isn’t unlike rape culture which tells young girls in so many ways that their worth can only be found through their bodies. Whether it be through promiscuity or chastity, young girls are instructed on what to do with their bodies before they’ve had time to figure themselves out, separate from a patriarchal lens. That their needs are secondary to that of the men and boys in their lives.

It took me a while —after leaving the church and unlearning the toxic ideals around purity culture rooted in anti-Blackness, fatphobia, heteropatriarchy, and queerphobia — to embrace my body, my sexuality, and my queerness as something that was not only not sinful or dirty, but actually in line with the vision God has over my life. Our bodies don't stop being our temples depending on who we do or who we don’t let in, and our worth isn’t dependent on the width of our legs at any given point.

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