Assumption 2: You’ll miss your creature comforts
Spoiler: not all women care about creature comforts. The less mirrors I have to look in per day, the better. Women may like champagne but we also like bargains. When offered a roof over our heads and breakfast for just £3, the vast majority of us would break into a happy tap dance. People who’ve never stayed in a hostel may have over the top ideas about how terrible they are, and yeah some can be grim, and attract the odd weirdo – this is why TripAdvisor and your instincts exist. Sure, hostels aren’t where you’d want to spend your honeymoon – but they are a lot of fun and where you meet the fellow travellers that make your trip special. Just because a place doesn’t have a Jacuzzi and complimentary dressing gowns doesn’t mean you should stay at home. Just remember to pack earplugs.
Assumption Three: Women only travel to find love.
“Ooooh…hoping to find a hubby?”
“Don’t get pregnant!”
“Long way to go just to find a boyfriend isn’t it?”
These were all actual comments I batted away before I set off. It was as though people genuinely thought I was flying to South America just so I could discover what the penises of men on another continent looked like. Romance was not my priority, but it was certainly a fun slice of the enjoyment pie, and that was no one’s business but my own. I met a man in the Amazon who was so manly he made hearts pour from my eyes. I watched him handle tarantulas and boa constrictors and tried to pass off the expression on my face as terror rather than complete and utter lust. I allowed myself to be swept off my feet by an impossibly handsome Portuguese artist who wanted to read my future. I had a good time.
I wasn’t looking for love. What I was looking for was answers about what I want and need, and those answers came via the medium of scenarios I wouldn’t have been in had I not been travelling. I don’t believe women travel to find love, but by doing so, hopefully all of us can understand what love means to us.