The world can be changed by your example, not your opinion.
Travel more. Always explore. Chose your next location. Book the tickets. Check the map. Plan your route. Pack. Go. Run. Life is too short to sit at home. World is too amazing to not be explored.
Don’t be scared. Go solo. Woman up.
How many girls you know that are hungry for exploration but don’t travel. Don’t explore. Because they are scared to go alone. Because it is dangerous. Apparently.
“What you mean you’re going alone? That’s not very smart. I’m really worried about you. Don’t go alone. What if something happens to you.”
What if something happens to me? Sure, because some creep will spend weeks sitting under a bush waiting for some me to run around him so he can rape me, kill me, steal my nutrition from me. Very possible scenario. You can get hurt while crossing a busy street in Central London. But it doesn’t mean you will stay at home being scared of the big wild world.
Is it because our Central London is seen by Londoners as safe ground? How very ironic. When you go abroad, the terrain is new and unknown. It doesn’t mean it is dangerous though. I’ve traveled a bit last year. Passing small groups on the trail by, I always got the same looks. Surprised. And full of judgment. Not many words of approval.
Why people judge you? You are sharing the same beautiful environment. They are in a group so they feel safe. You are small girl (aged 33!) in running skirt, trainers with a small backpack. They don’t know you already ran 30k and have 20k to go. They think you are irresponsible going solo, wearing trainers rather than hiking boots. Don’t even let them started on the running skirt instead of long trousers. If you happen to run in foreign country, it will be the tourists with all the gear and no skills that will judge you. I happen to speak five languages so if they say something behind my back, I usually reply.
What they don’t know is what’s inside. That you have prepared not only physically but also mentally for this journey. That you’ve marked the path you are on, on a map. That you know what is (or is not) on the way to your destination. That you know how much calories you consume per hour. That you have thermal blanket and first aid kit. That you are qualified first aider. That in that little running backpack you can find enough food for 2 people, head torch -even when it’s 11am right now, waterproof jacket, all the layers, bus timetables and enough money to get you -if needed – where you are trying to get on foot. It is inside what counts. Always.
I think the fact girls don’t travel alone is not because we are scared. It is because we were told to be scared. It is because we are being judged for being brave. As we are not seen as brave. We are seen as crazy. Foolish.
Small frame doesn’t mean we are weak. This is ntot boxing, 53 kilos won’t put you in lightweight category. So don’t be afraid of the judgment. Go there. Go solo. And come back stronger. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone. That only person that matters already appreciates what you are doing. That person is you.