Traveling solo can be a rewarding experience that broadens your horizons and builds your self-confidence. However, solo travel can be dangerous too. Some people may think it’s almost too dangerous for women to even attempt. Thankfully, that isn’t always true. Women can travel the world to the same extent as their male counterparts. Today, I will introduce you to Korea the ideal locations for traveling solo as a woman.
As a woman, solo travel is a huge challenge. Regardless of where you are in the world, safety will always be on the minds of women more so than for men. That’s not to say that men traveling solo should be careless, but as a woman, we live in constant fear of attack when we’re alone, even in familiar places.
Thankfully, Korea is a little bit different. In this article, I will describe my experiences traveling solo as a woman in Korea, and explain how you can travel as a solo woman too.
Stay Safe During Solo Travel in South Korea
Solo Travel Women-Approved
Let’s start with the main reason women don’t travel solo: safety. My main worry before coming to Korea alone was whether I would be easy prey as both a woman and a foreigner.
I did plenty of research before my trip and it was clear that foreign women felt safe living in Korea. Indeed, I’ve been living in Korea for 3 years now and have never felt unsafe. I am even comfortable staying out until late and walking home alone. Of course, it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you ever do feel uncomfortable, hail a taxi or take refuge in a crowded area.
Solo Travelers Beware: Cameras, Cameras Everywhere!
You might be wondering why so many people claim Korea is way more safe for solo women travelers than the majority of other countries. Well, for one thing, there are cameras everywhere. Criminals are regularly deterred by CCTV cameras, many of which are monitored 24/7! As a result, there’s very little chance that criminals won’t get caught.
While CCTVs are great for reducing crime, private cameras used for malicious purposes are unfortunately quite common. Some of the most common crimes in Korea involve hidden spy cams. These crimes involve taking unsolicited photographs of strangers, mostly women. Some criminals may hide cameras in bathrooms or motel rooms, so it’s best to check these facilities before using them. What’s more, camera criminals are notoriously difficult to apprehend, as their technology is often encrypted to protect their identity. As a woman traveling solo in Korea, hidden spy cameras are the main form of crime you should be aware of.
To report hidden spy cameras and other crimes, call 112.
In case of emergencies, call 119.
Discover Yourself Through Solo Travel
Traveling solo can be a great opportunity to learn more about yourself and what gives you a zest for life. The feeling of total freedom is exhilarating and does wonders for your self-confidence. You will embody the soul of an adventurer, trying new food, sampling a new culture and making memories with new people.
When you first arrive, you may feel nervous. After all, everyone is speaking a different language and nothing is familiar to you. But keep your head high! This experience will push you out of your comfort zone towards exciting opportunities.
You can plan an itinerary that suits you and give whatever tickles your fancy a try. Additionally, don’t worry about people looking at you strangely when eating alone, it is totally normal here! In fact, if you want recommendations for where to eat alone, you can search for ‘혼밥’ (hon-bab) online. Hon-bab is short for ‘hon-ja bab’, which translates to ‘alone meal.’
Meet New People
Solo travel doesn’t mean being alone all the time. In fact, traveling solo is a great way to meet people. When traveling with friends or family, you’re unlikely to reach out to new people, but when traveling solo, you’re far more inclined. In fact, you will get the opportunity to meet adventurous people from all around the world when you’re flying solo.
Korea has many language cafes where you can meet with Koreans who wish to learn English. What’s more, you can meet other expats here too, wanting to study Korean or meet new people like yourself. It is a great way to make new friends, as well as sharing your own culture with native Koreans.
If you’re traveling within Korea, you can also stay at one of the country’s many youth hostels and guesthouses. Not only is it the cheapest form of accommodation, you can meet like minded people who you can go on adventures with. Normally, these types of lodging have a large shared kitchen or dining area which is great for forming friendships. Additionally, owners often organize BBQs or parties which are a blast!
*Note: Social activities may be restricted currently due to the pandemic
Living or traveling in another country is an opportunity for you to try out a different lifestyle from what you are familiar with. I recommend just heading out and immersing yourself in the Korean way of living! Of course, it can be challenging, but its refreshing to change up your routine right?
Coming to Korea? Click Here for essential things you should pack and apps you should download before you start your journey!