We have entered the era of the female traveller. Over the past few years’ women have tipped the scales and form a large section of travellers across categories. Why this rise in women travelling alone? What is the need?
During a tête-à-tête with Shibani Vig, Founder, Wonderful World; she told us about her experiences. She shares her story and talks about why one should travel.
Why is it important to travel? Women owe it to themselves to travel. There is no better expression of freedom than travel. Travel makes a woman recognize herself as her own person. Acknowledge the needs that she has – HER needs and only HERS – something that gets largely ignored when she is taking care of the needs of so many around her.
What inspired you to do this venture? My love for travel and my experiences from my solo travels around the world. Many people would look up to me when they heard my travel stories and so one drunken night when some one asked how I did this; my answer was “Come let me take you”. And that’s when the idea germinated. I launched the company shortly after, got pregnant soon after – but took my protruding belly all over India – to make sure plans didn’t change. Started taking my son with me on research holidays since he was 6 months old and it’s been a fun, roller coaster ride since then!
What motivates you to create a community of women travellers? For me personally it’s my way of fighting patriarchy, so deeply enmeshed in our society. It’s at all levels. The degree varies – but no matter how educated we are – we live in a patriarchal society. At times I have heard statements like – “Wow! Your husband allows you to travel like this – you are very lucky!” Every time I hear this; I get more motivated to build this community so we can fight this mindset. The mindset that says; we need permission to live out our needs and make our own decisions; we are not equal partners – but the weaker sex that needs to be protected, the weaker sex that when “allowed” to do things is fortunate! Travelling with other women allows women to let lose, come into their own. Break free from homes where they are invisible at times.
What was your biggest hurdle as a woman (or as just a person!) in creating your business? Aside from the usual business worries; the biggest hurdle initially was to convince someone that you are trustworthy. But now we have some loyal clients – who spread the word around about us.
Why do you think there is a rise in travelling in groups? You are not alone. While a lot of women are comfortable travelling alone, most feel safer in a group. The experiences and adventures becomes a shared memory. It’s a great way to make new friends – something that becomes a bit hard as one gets older. We have had 60 year olds become good friends with 30 year olds and it’s really heartening to see how everyone supports each other in the group. And traveling with other women means not having to deal with awkward propositions! It’s easier, safer and more fun!
About Wonderful World : Wonderful World is a travel company, which organizes all-women trips. Started in 2013, it has organized more than 25 trips across 18 destinations. The trips are carefully researched and planned and guarantee the travellers a taste of adventure, learning and local interaction. Wonderful Worlds’ endeavour is to hook up with the best places to stay at, explore unknown worlds, savour local flavours & life, experience popular cultural & historical traditions – and to make travel comfortable and safe. Know more about them at www.womenontheirowntrip.com