Saturday, 12 September 2009

Does Gender Matter when Travelling?

Yesterday, I read in the newspaper about Keiichi Iwasaki - a guy who has been travelling around the world on his bicycle. Whenever I read about a story like it, it's amazing and inspiring, and a part of me feels that I would love to do that. But I know I would never do something like that, because there is another, cautious voice in my head. A voice that prefers secure, safe travel.

I realised, while thinking about this that all the stories that I have read about adventerous travellers, setting out alone with little or no money and vague plans, are men. That is not to say that no women ever do it, just that all the ones I seem to read about it in paper or hear on the news, concern men. Logically, it makes sense.

I love equality of gender as much as the next person, but I do feel that it is easier to just strike out on such adventures if you are a man. While there are always dangers of being robbed or attacked, one of the feared dangers for women is that of uninvited male attention. I think few men face that particular danger. That one aspect makes a lot of difference, regards to where you can stay, with whom you can associate.

It is not to undermine good nature of humanity, because I know there are plenty of very kind, helpful people out in the world. But I suppose it's a question of how much of a risk it seems. In my opinion, the risk is slightly higher for women.

What do you think?


  1. Sadly, I have to agree with you. When I begin my travels (hopefully this summer or even spring) I'd love nothing more than to hop on a bike and keep pedaling. Especially because I don't see well enough to drive. (Do you think good vision plays a large role in successful travel?)

    Another problem women have, as you brushed upon, is camping; lodging. I've always loved the great outdoors-especially how inexpensive they are compared to a hotel or even hostel-but they sure do not come with guaranteed safety. I suppose that's the entire world for anyone really, but I'd have to agree that it's more so for women.

    Just started your blog, really love it so far. If you haven't posted already about it, I'd love to hear some about India.

    Might be helpful:

    Thank you, and may you have safe, continued traveling success,