Women travel, and day by day there are many more brave solo travelers. More and more female students take a gap year on their own, and more spiritual travelers go on mindfullness journeys.
This month we celebrate womanhood, just like women, men and transgender people do all around the world. While it seems like people are aware of issues, it is not a solution. Globalization is converging the standards, misconceptions and empowering women to raise for their rights and celebrate freedom all around the world. However, individual travel experiences, especially when traveling to patriarchal regions, may show another scene. CuddlyNest follows and empowers women to travel.
Here we explore the most common trends.
The travel as we know it today finds its roots in journeys by young men around Europe starting the 18th century. On great tours, nobles used to learn about science, culture, and get to know art all around the world. Travel used to be an essential part of young men’s education. Back in the day, however, only the wealthy could go on a discovery trip and culture travel.
But as recognized by UK tourism and hospitality scientists Seow and Brown, gender differences in leisure activities are changing over time. Cultural norms hold major influence. Since the nineteenth century, the golden age of travel, woman have been traveling more and more. Moreover, since the upraise of feminism and change in the social role of women in 1970s travel for women was gaining popularity. Soon after, marketers started to recognize women as independent and capable of traveling solo.
Leisure travel, however, is not without its burdens. Women are still more restricted than men to travel around the world. It is, in terms of society’ s perception of their family responsibilities and the otherwise strict social norms. When going abroad and exploring other cultures, it becomes even more evident.
Today, women in India are still restricted to family responsibilities and social prejudices; women from the developing world are not usually unable to travel because of those prescribed gender roles. Asian women, for example, are considered to risk their family’s reputation by going on a public leisure trip alone. Those who step up and travel, are constrained in their travels and do not fully indulge in their leisure activities.
If you step out from Denmark, Sweden or Estonia, where gender equality is largely not problematic anymore, and enter the world of strongly religious, traditional cultures, where gender roles are highly patriarchal, as a woman born and raised in a free, equal world, then no wonder, problems arise. Violence is constraining both adult women and adolescent girls; women are objectified in the form of sexual harassment, and therefore commonly refrain from traveling to maintain harmony at home, accepting male subordination. This is to be changing, however, as more and more Islamic women are traveling, of all levels of education, income and family states. Halal tourism is on the rise, and millennial women are one of the main segments.
Women travel to attractions. Women buy more souvenirs. And women trust word-of-mouth more than their male counterparts. Yet, women are not alike.
While Japanese women travelers prioritize lifelong learning, relaxation, and escape, Chinese women love to shop. Asian tourist motivations and experiences are different from each other, and even more different from women of Western origin. Dependability versus independence, group, and family versus individuals are just some of the things that matter.
For example, women from France, Italy, UK, and the US are searching self-identity, self-empowerment. They also reported an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. Think Eat Pray Love here. Just like in the iconic German movie, women in the West are willing to escape the routine. They want to put themselves out of their comfort zone.
Women and their travel motivations are diverse depending on region and strongly correlate with their social and economic statuses.
We see women running solo marathons in Islamic states like Iraq. We see hijab travellers discovering the world beyond their cultural space.
What does the future hold? One can expect women to travel more frequently, go further away. We can expect them to step out of their comfort zone even in environments that are not traditionally feminist. Traditional countries as Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan are expected to experience more midi-skirted travellers and accept women without a headscarf to be as equally treated as women in hijabs.
It is not to say that every woman must jump into the adventure. Women will go on wellness getaways, luxurious ocean and river cruises. Apart from leisure, women travel for learning, history and to visit national parks. Culinary adventures and art classes’ getaways are on the edge of the traditional view of women. Therefore, these may appeal to travelers seeking meaningful and calm travel experiences.
We share the excitement with all of you women around the world. Comment below on your best travel experiences so far!