Updated on January 17th, 2022
Inspiration for Women Travelling Alone Over 40
Are you over forty? Are you considering travelling solo, maybe for the first time? Then you have come to the right place!
I have almost 30 years of independent travel experience, visiting over 70 countries, many of them alone. Back in 2014 I tragically lost my husband & my world was shattered. As a way of coping, I turned to something I was passionate about…travel.
I know I am not the only woman who is 40+ and facing a big shift in her life. This website is for all of those amazing women who are dealing a loss of any kind; divorce or separation, kids growing up & moving away, losing a loved one or just having different priorities from them. I want to help you to have the confidence to take those first tentative steps into solo travel.
What will you find here?
Travelling solo over 40
Loads of practical advice and tips. This space will be your bible of everything you need to know before you embark on your first adventure alone. Why not subscribe to receive regular updates, travel tips, offers & lots more besides. As a thank you, I’ll send you my FREE 201 Travel Bucket List Ideas for inspiration!
Plenty of ideas for what to do and where to go if you don’t want to be alone. Alternatively, these are my top tips on where to go & how to do it if you do! So far, I have learnt Spanish in Cuba, taken part in a sailing regatta in the US Virgin Islands, been cat sitting in the Cayman Islands, celebrated my 50th birthday by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, explored the Galapagos Islands, volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia & been on tours in Peru, Bolivia & Costa Rica.
Guides & Itineraries
Practical first timer’s guides, best things to do in many worldwide locations & insider’s guides from friends who know somewhere really well.
How you can enhance your experience by immersing yourself in everything travel has to offer? Have you considered learning a skill, developing your fitness, offering your expertise with volunteering or taking on an epic hike? Here I gather together loads of ideas from my experience so you can see what you can expect if you fancy doing the same.
Fun collections of my mishaps & scrapes along the journey. Over the years I have got myself into many crazy & sometimes scary situations. Most importantly, I have got myself back out of them again. Here I document my experiences; good, bad, hilarious & terrifying!
Want to know more about my story?
“Not all who wander are lost”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
I have always had a passion for travel since my first trip to Africa at the tender age of 22 (much to the distress of my poor terrified mother!). When I was in my 20s, I started travelling solo around the world. Back then, I used to throw myself with enthusiasm into all opportunities. I had no fear. I met a lot of people my age, with the same attitude as me. Instant connections & many fun memories were made!
I believe travelling has made me the person I am today. By being alone, I faced challenges that I was able to overcome relying on nothing then my ability to handle obstacles. I put myself into situations where I had no choice but to interact with strangers & show my vulnerability. Travelling alone you face challenges every single day & with every single decision you make. By definition, you are totally reliant on yourself. That gave me the confidence that I could do anything!
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face”
– Mike Tyson
By the time I turned 30 I was married & enjoying making the most of my 25 days holiday every year with my husband, Terry. He was the love of my life, my rock & my very faithful travelling companion. I thought I had life sussed with a great job, an amazing husband & the financial security to go wherever I wanted, when I wanted to go there.
Then life punched me in the face.
A few days before Christmas in 2014, after 18 years together, I lost Terry. He went in for heart surgery & never made it back to me. My world was thrust into disarray.
In order to make sense of my new life, I turned to my passion for travel & went on a journey of self-discovery. Who was I now I was fast approaching 50 & on my own again?
In the first year, I had lots of invites from friends and family offering me travelling experiences alongside them. It was a great way of keeping me distracted and refuelling my passion for seeing new places. I will never be more grateful for every one of those opportunities. But I felt that I needed to start experiencing the things that I wanted rather than rely on other people’s agendas.
“I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list”–
I started my Life List of all the things I wanted to achieve. It was basically a bucket list, but “things to do before you die” was a little too close to the bone for me. I began to prioritise the list & work my way through it. It was important to me to reconnect with who I was now I was alone once more after 18 years. Travel gave me the opportunity to get to know myself again. To read more about this journey see my Postcards From Tragedy To Hope.
Travel in your 40’s vs your 20’s
When you embark on the adventure later in life, you bring with you the battle scars & these have their impact on your confidence. There are far fewer people who can relate to how & why you are on your journey. I think it makes us more interesting! I am lucky having the confidence I gained in my twenties, but I want to inspire others to take the plunge & to go solo too. No matter what your age, we do not need to be defined by our situation. I decided to start a travel blog to share ideas on how travelling alone after 40 can be an inspiring & enriching experience. I can’t choose my circumstances, but I have chosen my response to them. It has helped me heal & grieve while having some amazing adventures that most people only dream about. I have a choice, I am eternally grateful for that.
Now I have turned 50, I see a world of opportunities & exciting prospects to grow further. I also want to help inspire you to grab life by the balls & do the same, no matter what your reason is to choose to adventure solo.
What more can I say?
Do it. Go. You’ll learn the strength & power of your capabilities, the importance of feeling vulnerable & how you need to trust strangers. You will grow in ways that you never thought possible. Embrace opportunities & most importantly just go out there and do it. When you decide to take the plunge, you will wonder why on earth you didn’t do it any earlier!
- Solo travel has given me some of my most memorable moments. Often because I have been on my own.
- Being alone in the world is where I have seen the depth of human kindness to strangers.
- Going solo when things have gone wrong, means I have dealt with them myself & my confidence has grown to levels I never thought possible before.
- On my own, I have struggled with vulnerability. However, this is way overshadowed by the feeling of invincibility that comes with every step as you explore your new surroundings, & your own abilities.
- Most of all, I wish you all the best of luck with your amazing journey, as a traveller & as a woman. The world is out there to be experienced & there are lots of adventures to be had. I hope you choose to join me on some of mine & get inspired along the way.
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson
What else you do need to know?
Thank you for your interest in being nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award! The piece posted today (https://www.thefearlessforeigner.com/blog/sunshine-blogger-award/)
I look forward to reading your post and finding out who you nominate. Please let me know when you post your blog and let me know if you have any questions 🙂
Thank you so much Elizabeth for the nomination! I am really honoured & will be in touch once I have completed my post. Thank you so much again! Regards Sue x
I am 83 and a male. I am in pretty good physical condition. I yearn to experience different cultures first hand. Not just 2 hours in a welcoming family home, in an exotic country, but spending several days where I don’t rush to see all the tourist traps, but where I can go and eat where the locals go i.e. in an Scottish pub, drink beer with everyone glued to the tv to watch the favorite football team, or in a village along the Amazon, etc). Can you advise me?
Wow Bob! I’m happy to advise in any way I can & that’s just the way I like to travel. Slow. Less about the sites & more about the experiences & the people. There’s a big difference between a Scottish pub & the Amazon though so I guess it’s about deciding where you would like to start & building from there.