Brave. Whether it was before I left or while on my journey, many used the term brave to describe me. Now I don’t consider myself a brave person, so this word really threw me off when I started to hear it come out of people’s mouth in reference to me.
The word was always used in the same sentence: “You’re so brave.” However, depending on who I was talking to, the tone and facial expression would change dramatically.
The women I discussed my travels with were far more supportive. I would say they had a more cheerful attitude and showed more curiosity. Curiosity about where I was going. What I would see. How I managed to only take one backpack for two months of travel. 😜
For those women that were also traveling whom I met along the way, we discussed our journeys… How we got there. Where we had been. What our plans were after our trips. We would give each other tips. Tell each other funny stories from our journeys so far. It was incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling when I met other female solo travelers because we automatically had a connection.
Some were traveling much longer than I did. They were going to some amazing countries that I hadn’t thought of going to before (those countries are on my list now). For some it was their first solo trip. Others it was their second or so. Some had just finished high school and were traveling for months alone. At 18, I would have never been able to take this trip. Hell, it took me nearly eight years after high school to take the trip I just went on.
I also met women who had been living in a different country than they were originally from. Either studying or working. Some had lived in multiple countries. These women were my age and had already lived in three different countries, if not more. I thought it was incredible. I didn’t even know these women well and I was proud of them.
No matter the reason for our travel, how long we were traveling, or the places we had or planned to visit, every woman supported one another. Genuinely got excited for each other. And, provided any help they could. It was honestly the most supportive I have ever seen women act toward one another.
These women, though they don’t know it, provided me with so much inspiration. Each of them are incredibly strong and powerful. To me, they are the brave ones.