Does this sound risky? Don’t be fooled by the history of Colombia. It was the perfect long weekend I needed to get over the initial uncomfortable feeling of traveling solo as a female. I guess you can say, I figure out how to swim when thrown in the deep end. I decided on Cartagena, Colombia because I had a flight credit that was expiring within a month and I wanted to go somewhere cheap.
With knowing nothing about Colombia besides the drug issues there in the 80’s and 90’s, I figured it would force me to learn something about a new country. When traveling to any destination as a solo female traveler you need to be aware of your surroundings more than usual. When I landed, I negotiated my taxi rate before getting into the taxi. I pulled up my maps app on my iPhone to be sure we were heading in the right direction.
Once I arrived to my hotel, I decided to catch the last few hours of sun poolside. After a few hours of poolside bliss, I decided to head out to dinner somewhere close to the hotel. Walking as a solo female traveler at night can be intense at first, but again just be aware of your surroundings and like your mother always said “don’t talk to strangers”. I had a quick bite for dinner and headed back to the hotel.
That night I did some research online to see what there was to do in Cartagena besides sitting poolside at my hotel. I came across a free walking tour of the inner walled city for the next morning. To my surprise, during the group tour I met a few others from America and a gentleman from Canada who was traveling solo. I instantly gravitated towards him because he was also traveling solo in South America. After the tour, we decided to grab a drink and a late lunch. He mentioned that he has met another gentleman from Australia earlier in his trip and plans to meet up with him. I was invited along and ended up meeting not only this man from Australia, but his new-found friends which included a woman from Germany and another gentleman from Finland.
Our solo travelers group consisted of us five the remainder of the night and ended the evening at a salsa club with a live band playing. After getting kicked out of the club, it was time for me to rest my eyes to enjoy another day in sunny Cartagena. One thing about traveling solo is you are forced to put yourself out there more and get out of your comfort zone by interacting with strangers who somehow quickly become friends. You learn about other cultures, share stories of travel, and get inspired on where to book your next trip.