More and more people choose to undertake the solo travel in the Via Francigena. Although this starts to be a trend, when we talk about women traveling alone there are still some questions about it. Is it safe or not? What are the main issues and risks? Here some tips to enjoy this kind of travel and get the best out of your Italian experience.
Solo travel: a valuable life experience
In the last years the solo travel has become more and more popular among travelers worldwide.
Along the Via Francigena, this new trend also started to be “in vogue”.
There are several reasons why people decide to journey alone.
The main reason looks to be related to the sense of freedom and independence that people experiment.
Firstly, because each individual can do what he or she wants to do, how and when they want it. Then, many consider a loss of time to have to wait for others during their trips. Furthermore, an important percentage of travelers is looking for a challenge and for an experience where they can gain self confidence.
Traveling alone requires patience, open mind and capacity to understand your own body and what is trying to tell you.
If you don’t listen to your own needs, this can lead to bad consequences. Once we learn to pay attention to the different messages we receive during this experience, from the inside and the outside world, we will reach a different awareness of ourselves. This means growing up and improving our capacities as human beings.
More solo female than solo male travelers
According to the Solo Travel Society, 65% of US women are choosing this way of traveling. Moreover, a good part of them are young women. In 2017 a survey about female solo travelers revealed that 26 percent of millennial women have already had this experience. In addition to this, a similar percentage of women was thinking to do so in the future.
Apparently, there are more women than man who decide to travel alone and this has been investigated during these last years.
Some theories base this on the modern individualism spread out by the movement “Me Generation” in the ’80s. This is a relatively new concept in the western countries and in part it’s why many people don’t decide to get married as before and therefore can live more experiences alone.
This is also strongly connected with the feminist achievements reached after the ’60s. Women discovered a new opportunity to decide about their own lives. Nowadays they are still fighting for this right to discover who they are in complete freedom and the solo travel is a perfect way to do it.
On top of that, sociological studies revealed that men are more likely to feel lonely than women. As a result men relate more to a group as a whole while women prefer one-to-one relationships.
As a matter of facts, this is an important change that we have to consider. In fact it doesn’t only reveal an increase in women sense of independence with respect to men but also indicates an important role change in our society.
Female strengthening experience
Female solo travelers are exploring not only a new country but also a different knowledge of themselves and their skills.
As always travelers choose a trip for their own reasons and also solo women travelers are looking for their own challenge.
Nonetheless traveling is a beautiful experience, we all know that it can also represent some issues.
For instance, speaking another language or misunderstand some foreign habits far from our own culture.
These difficulties are a good opportunity to improve our confidence when abroad. This is crucial for solo female travelers because unfortunately many women can’t build a strong self confidence for private reasons.
Traveling in general is always an enriching experience, that allows people to discover different realities and improve their consciousness.
Sometimes, solo female travelers are escaping from a bad situation or simply to recharge their energies thorough a fulfilling experience.
As consequence of such a travel, they come back stronger and ready to face the reality in a different way. When they get to know another world, meeting other strong women, seeing that everything is possible, they will make a change in their daily routine too.
Solo female travelers in the Via Francigena
Since there are few questions about this topic, we want to talk about solo female travelers in the Via Francigena.
Italy is one of the most famous country in the world for its tourism and for hosting travelers from all over the world.
The services and hotels are well organized all along the Peninsula and the “Bel Paese” is famous for its warm welcome to travelers since many decades. Traveling in Italy is safe and a beautiful experience especially if you get to know the locals and their traditions.
This is one of the main reasons why solo travelers decide to undertake the pilgrimage on the Via Francigena, and most of them are women. Many pilgrims travel along this route each year and among them there are also some famous ones.
First of all, the walk allows you to cross several remote villages, far from the most touristic destinations. Thus, you will have deeper experience in Italian culture and traditions and get a different feedback
Each route always has many pilgrims and there is no danger that travelers will feel far away because communications work perfectly.
In addition to that, there are different services that connect all the stages and even the smallest villages.
Solo female travelers can find in the Via Francigena routes, a safe and interesting opportunity to explore both the country and themselves.
The two main walks on the Via Francigena are in Tuscany and Lazio. Because of the presence of many pilgrims each year, both of them are a good opportunity to enjoy an incredible holiday in complete safety.
Some tips to enjoy a beautiful experience as solo female traveler
Learn to read the situations
Sometimes what you might do correctly in your country, isn’t exactly the same in another country. The situations can be misunderstood and cause some issues between people of two different countries. This is usually fun and can be an interesting discovery but always keep in mind that there might be some confusion. If you choose to travel with a local guide you won’t have to be worried about that and he/she could explain you what the cultural differences are.
Solo travel doesn’t mean to feel alone
You decided to undertake a solo travel because you want to enjoy your trip doing what you want with your personal times. Even so, this doesn’t mean you have to be alone during the entire trip. You can find some social activities such as cooking class or wine tasting or workshops, where you can meet other people. Solo travelers actually affirmed that for them was easier to socialize because you are more approachable by others when you are alone than when you are in a group.
Contact with other people before your solo trip
To feel a bit safer many women contact with other travelers before reaching their destination just to have a reference abroad and feel more comfortable. Many other solo women have decided to experience the same journey as you so why don’t be there to help each other in case of need?
Switch off! Wifi, cellphone, social networks
This is time for you. Just you. Take a break from technology and the stress of the media. Slow down and find your own pace, enter into the nature and disconnect from the stress and the chaos of the daily routine. The benefits of being out of network are always more relevant when we talk about spending a meaningful time.
Travel with time and during the day
Although the majority of the walkers are traveling along the Via Francigena between late April and beginning of October, when the days are longer, it’s still important to exit with plenty of time. Some of the stages are quite long (29 km) and you need to foresee some rests during the way and some time to enjoy the villages you might want to visit along the road. It’s always recommended to predict some extra stops just to calculate the time without concern. Also it is better to travel with light even if this route is well indicated and full of pilgrims.
Research your location before the arrival
Italy deserves special attention for its history, traditions, gastronomy and culture. You might want to know more about this beautiful country before going there as knowing the origins of the Via Francigena.
Contact with locals!
Italians are famous for being welcoming and very sociable. You will find always some locals willing to help you and to talk to you even though they might only speak italian. Don’t worry they will find the way to connect with you and make you feel at home even if only with a smile or one of their famous gesture.
Book things in advance and trust an expert to help you in the planning
Some villages along the Via Francigena are very small and accommodation can be an issue sometimes.
To fully enjoy this trip and don’t have any other preoccupation along the road, contact with us for a custom-made itinerary. Galiwonders will organize your tour according to your needs and will help you to find your perfect solo travel. We can book all the desired services and you can walk without concern along your route.