A mere four days after I set off on an adventure to
the other side of the world alone, a woman was killed in her own
town. In my town, actually, metres from her home, a few hundred
Before my trip, people kept telling me that I was
brave for embarking on a solo journey into the unknown as a young
woman. The reality is, I am not brave: I just want to see the
world. I was also told me to be careful, not to travel to new
places at night, arrive when its daylight, keep my wits about me
when Im out drinking, not let strangers buy me drinks and not
wander the streets alone at night.
As a result, I spent the weeks leading up to my
departure anxious feeling anxious about the things I had been told
and all that I should be wary of. Instead of being excited to
experience new things and meet new people, I was scared.
Two weeks in, the fear hasnt left. When I heard
what had happened to Eurydice Dixon, only a year older than me, I
felt sick to my stomach. Only weeks earlier, I had been home, in a
city where I felt safe, walking back to mine from the tram at night
by myself with my headphones in, thinking that something like that
would never happen to me. But to Eurydice Dixon, it did.
I am 21 years old and exploring countries and cities
on the other side of the world renowned for their partying and
crazy nightlife, yet because I am alone and I am a woman, I have
spent most nights back in my hostel before dark. I havent been
drunk or taken drugs. I am wary of most men, hesitant to chat,
especially where there is a language barrier.
In Amsterdam, against my better judgement, I went on
a date to a secluded spot by the wharf with a handsome stranger who
smiled at me on the ferry. As soon as I got there, I immediately
thought of everything that could go wrong and, as result, I didnt
The thing about travelling alone is that you are
forced to make friends with strangers, but that is pretty limiting
when youre taught to be scared of half the population. It makes me
angry, because I dont want to spend four plus months of solo travel
missing out on experiences, drunken adventures, opportunities to
kiss strangers or seeing cities lit up at night in order to feel
The sad reality is though, while for me its just
four months of my life of being alone and permanently feeling like
I need to be on guard, for other women such as those in our
offshore detention centres that feeling can last their whole lives.
For Eurydice Dixon, it was just one night of being al...