Over the course of our travels, I have made many a solo trip and also traveled with just the kids when my husband has been tied up with work commitments. While we have never thought twice about doing this, the reactions at times from complete strangers have been priceless. Here are a few things we have heard when traveling without male company.
- During a trip to Tokyo, I took a day tour of the city. I happened to be seated next to a guy who given our common Indian heritage started up a conversation. He asked how long I was in the city and when my husband’s work in Tokyo would be complete. When I told him I was not here with my husband, he proceeded to ask me if I was married. When I answered in the affirmative, he skeptically asked what I was doing by myself in Tokyo and if my husband approved of my solo travels.
- I accompanied my father on a business trip to China and as he worked, I went about Beijing solo. As I sat at the Summer Palace taking in the views, an elderly couple smiled and after a conversation mostly in expressions, proceeded to tell me how leaving my husband and kids and taking a trip was not right.
- At my dream destination Istanbul, it got a bit hairy for me and my daughters with some unwanted male attention. On our first night, as we walked through the old city, a prospecting restaurateur yelled to my girls and me ….”You Kardashians, want to sit and eat with us?” Yet another guy just followed us and decided that propositioning was the way to go.
- In Egypt, we were applauded for being incredibly brave for venturing out to Alexandria without a tour guide or a male member of the family.
So in geographic locales where people may culturally not be accustomed to solo female travelers, we now have a standard answer. Yes we are traveling with my husband/the father. He is busy with work and we are keeping ourselves occupied while he is working. Beyond a few questions on what work he does, most people are happy to accept that answer and we can continue our travels without raising eyebrows.
We would love to hear if our female readers have encountered similar questions. Please write in and let us know if you’ve been in similar situations and how you ward off these questions.