I’ve written before about women of a certain age traveling alone:
It’s something they do well into middle-age and perhaps beyond, usually going to exotic locations where they talk in lofty terms about spirituality (while scoffing at anything which even hints at formal religion). There must be a pretty big market for this: reasonably wealthy women who have nothing else to do during their annual holidays but jet off somewhere exotic for a few weeks or months of “finding themselves”.
Like most self-assured young women with a global take on life, Indian-born, American-educated yoga teacher, media personality and Columbia Business School MBA graduate Ira Trivedi, 30, doesn’t think twice about going away on her own.
That fast-moving ratchet sound you can hear is a number of boxes being ticked in quick succession.
The first journey I made truly alone was when I was about 23. I’d just finished business school in the US and was finally properly independent – financially, mentally, emotionally. I spent a month in Bali by myself – no friends, no family, no work reason to be there. Just me by myself doing some soul searching.
Okay, there’s a pic of her in a bikini on the beach, and she’s pretty cute. If she wanted company, I’m sure she could find it if she took a taxi into Kuta and walked up to a bunch of Queenslanders in NRL singlets and flip-flops. Let’s be honest, a half-decent looking 23 year old woman is going to enjoy herself no matter where she goes, provided she doesn’t run into jihadists in the Atlas Mountains. But she’s now 30:
I’ve come back to Bali regularly since then for self-contemplation, when I need time to be on my own.
If she’s taking the same holidays at 30 that she did at 23 fresh out of college, it doesn’t sound as though she’s developed much as a person. Are there any relationships to speak of?
A spot of solo soul-searching a la Trivedi’s near annual ritual is now one of the most popular travel trends for 2019, particularly among women over 55 looking to travel either alone or in small groups of like-minded people.
The title of the article is “Why more women are choosing to travel alone?” I think that may be begging the question somewhat.
So popular in fact that the Australian high-end tour operator Captain’s Choice has, for the first time in its near three-decade history, put a “women only” trip on its 2019 itinerary – to be led by Trivedi.
Titled Harmony in the Himalayas, the 10-day journey in September includes five days at luxurious tented Chamba Camp Thiksey in Ladakh, northern India, during which time the group of no more than 20 women will spend “five days at altitude, nourishing mind, body and soul”, according to the marketing spiel.
Women only, eh? Was that on purpose, or was it just that no men signed up?
“Our solo travellers are really important to us…” says Lou Tandy, a director at Captain’s Choice.”
Priced from $16,850 per person…
Roughly one in four Americans said they would travel solo in 2018, according to a survey of 2300 people conducted in late 2017 by US marketing firm MMGY Global, which specialises in the travel and hospitality industries. And while that attitude was as prevalent among Millennials as it was among Baby Boomers, women were the clear trend drivers across all age groups.
Well, yes. What we’re seeing is the result of social engineering which has produced millions of middle-aged women who have impressive job titles and lots of money but are bereft of spiritual happiness, the sort which is more traditionally supplied by a partner, family, or going to church. How many of these women shelling out almost seventeen grand on “nourishing mind, body and soul” with a bunch of other women in Ladakh would prefer to be on a beach holiday with a man with whom they have a stable, loving relationship?
Google Trends also shows interest in solo travel has grown steadily over the past 10 years, but reports increased searches for “female solo travel” have only gained traction since 2013. The average monthly search volume for the term “solo female travel” grew by 52 per cent between 2016 and 2017.
As I said in my original post:
I’ve noticed you don’t see many middle-aged men going “travelling”, it’s nearly always women, and always alone. One possible answer for the latter is all their friends are tied-down with family and can’t take the time away, but most middle-aged single women have a whole rugby team who are in the same situation, so why don’t they go in a group? I suspect the reason they go on holiday alone and the reason they are single are one and the same: they’re either nuts or simply not much fun to be around.
What would be fun is seeing how many women on these group tours actually form lasting friendships with those they meet. I expect it’s very few.
And this amused (emphasis mine):
As for Trivedi, she’s looking forward to channelling plenty of lady power. “Women usually have the experience of little girl groups when we’re young; girls love to congregate,” she says. “As we get older, we lose that. Often we lose it to men, our partners – and then to children.
“So reconnecting to women you don’t know when you’re older is very powerful. Sharing stories is powerful and there’s no judgment. It’s about connectivity.”
This sounds for all the world like a holiday where divorced women come to bitch about their ex-husbands. Little wonder no men signed up.