Black Women Reflect On How Solo Travel Taught Them To Enjoy Their Own Company
Photo Credit: Photo credit: Jermaine Ulinwa

Photo Credit: Photo credit: Jermaine Ulinwa

Black Women Reflect On How Solo Travel Taught Them To Enjoy Their Own Company

Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Jul 24, 2023

More than ten years ago, Jamie Ballentine Dolby was forced into going on her first solo travel experience. Initially, she was embarking on a group trip to Las Vegas. However, when everyone backed out at the last minute, Dolby decided to still make the voyage on her own. 

“Not my most extravagant trip or even near, but it was a time when I learned I could travel alone, dine alone, have fun alone and leave with new memories and friends,” Dolby said. 

Black women all over the world have discovered the beauty in solo travel. Dolby, now 43, makes sure she takes a solo trip at least once a year. Despite running a business and being a wife and mother, her self-care always comes first. 

“I was forced because my friends backed out,” she said. “Now, I do it as an escape and reward, both in which I deserve and feel no guilt about saying.”

Finding Self In Solitude 

solo travel
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While there isn’t data available to show how many Black women are traveling alone, more women are seeking solo travel compared to men, according to data from travel agents. More than ever, women are embracing exploring the world alone on their own terms, and they aren’t letting fear stand in their way. 

After plans for a group trip fell through, traveler Mareshia Henderson learned how to enjoy her own company while traveling to Cancun alone. Instead of canceling her trip, the St. Louis mom realized how powerful she was navigating and experiencing a foreign country on her own terms. 

“Traveling alone taught me that you can really enjoy yourself by yourself, you can be your own friend, your own supporter, and  have your own party,” Henderson said.

Moving At Their Own Pace

solo travel
Photo credit: Sora Shimazaki

Shameka Johnson had a similar experience when she traveled to Las Vegas alone. At the time, she was struggling with postpartum depression. The trip was a push present from her boyfriend, and the time alone helped her realize her own company was all she needed. Johnson said Black women have been conditioned to travel in groups, so solo travel may seem taboo still. 

“Every woman should take a solo trip because with all the stress of love this is one of the most freeing things you will feel,” Johnson said. “It’s like a breath of fresh air.”

Being attached to a group of travelers can be overwhelming when on vacation. However, Henderson believes some women still avoid solo travel out of fear. She encourages women to remain aware while traveling but not to allow uncertainty to hold them back. 

“Once you get over that fear you will always want to take more solo trips,” she said. “It’s so refreshing not having to plan and be responsible for others. Sometimes, [it’s] just enjoying you and you being able to do what you want and being able to move at your own pace.”

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