For anyone familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert’s bestselling novel, “Eat, Pray, Love” or at least, have watched the movie adaptation of it starring Julia Roberts –they will probably understand what it means to be experiencing a strong dose of wanderlust.
Wanderlust refers to the idea of pursuing a somewhat bohemian hedonistic lifestyle achieved through the exploration of exotic foreign places. This is certainly very appealing to many stressed individuals living in the current fast-paced interconnected society.
That is why it is unsurprising that the results of a recent survey conducted by a popular travel website, TripAdvisor, showed that there is a surge in the number of women from Southeast Asia willing to go on trips alone or organizing women-only vacations.
In the report titled Women and the World Travel Survey, a survey of over 600 women from Southeast Asia, it is heartening to note that more women are willing to embrace independent trips and to note the fact that 75% of them reported to be feeling more satisfied with their life and gaining greater awareness of the world through travel.
The survey also found that one in three women travel alone for leisure, while two in five women go on leisure trips with other women. This implies that the tourism market could possibly expand even more should they tailor and target to the needs and supply of the female consumers.
For me, travelling has always been a luxury as much as it is a learning opportunity.
One becomes more open to the kindness of strangers, experiences this sense of heightened sensitivity to our surroundings and gaining fulfillment just from the simplest of movements. We observe what we forget in our daily lives and rediscover what it means to be fully alive.
I remember the last time I travelled – incidentally with two female companions as well, I experienced Hualien, Taiwan, with the wide eyed wonder of a child. Inspired by Jack Keroauc’s “On the Road” (the masculine alternative to “Eat Pray Love” by the way), I recalled how I painstakingly saved up for the trip but I never once regretted a single penny which was spent on it.
On your journey, there is a sense of adventure even in the slightest bit of interaction. You are not a wife or a mother, or someone else’s daughter – you are a traveler of the world.