Traveling as a broad
RILEY CHERVINSKI, ARTS COLUMNIST
Last week, a friend invited me into a closed Facebook group. Not one for annoying notifications and constant chatter, I hovered my cursor over the ‘leave group’ button.
But something made me stay, and I’m glad I did. The group is called Badass Solo Female Travelers (BSFT), and it’s filled with almost 500 women from around the world who are exactly that.
The group is meant to create a network for solo female travelers to share travel tips, compare routes taken and inspire one another to keep exploring.
No boys allowed.
I’m a proud member of the group, and it’s the only one I’ve ever stayed a part of. Although I haven’t traveled in a while, it’s inspiring to read about brave women embarking on journeys in places like Ecuador, Riyahd and Mumbai — especially while I freeze in -30C temperatures and chisel snow off my car with a credit card.
It also shows a little faith. When my Twitter feed is littered with breaking news of protests and acts of terrorism, it’s easy to be scared of the world. Just this month there were bombings in Jakarta and Istanbul and gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso.
But in the BSFT group, there is no fear. Only excitement.
The group feels like an appropriate representation of our time. Gap years are becoming more and more popular. You’re likely to see young women strapping on backpacks rather than aprons and carrying maps rather than babies. Forget dusty atlases and travel agents — suddenly we’re in a time when a Facebook group is the most valuable resource for a traveler.
My aunt was a rare BSFT of the 70s. She set off to New Zealand at 23 years old and instead of exploring by plane, train or automobile, she bought a horse and rode it around the country.
Pretty badass, if you ask me.
She slept in barns, took back roads and saw a side of the country most people don’t get to. On one stretch of her journey, the back roads were flooded, and she was forced to travel along the highway on horseback. Cars whizzed past her on the wrong side of the road and the low groan of semi trucks spooked her horse. She said it was the longest four hours she’d ever spent.
I can’t help but think that my aunt would have appreciated the BSFT group on her journey years ago. And maybe someone could’ve given her a heads up about those back roads.
Riley Chervinski is a journalism student, soccer player
and reader of cringe-worthy chick-lit.
You can usually find her scrolling through Tumblr,
scoping out recipe blogs or laughing at her own jokes @rileychervinski.