If we were to ask you, why do you like to travel, what would you tell us?
You probably have a few common answers in mind - to escape from the sameness of everyday life, to stop thinking about work-life balance, to experience something new, to just live a little, and so on.
Basically, to pause the world which constantly reminds you of the next EMI due date and the looming work deadlines.
It’s natural to think these reasons would remain common across all genders. After all, travel is travel. Why would gender have a role in it? Well, the truth is, we don’t live in an ideal world, do we?
With unspoken existing restrictions on women even in the most progressive families, and male privilege sometimes being taken for granted, we can’t help but wonder whether gender influences the motivation to travel.
Makes you think, right? Hold your thoughts, we are about to delve into interesting insights!
In an article that explored this thought, the author highlighted how most women in comparison to men used words like ‘freedom’, ‘sense of self, and ‘happiness’ when asked about the benefits of travel. Even when women gave answers like ‘adventure’, ‘outlook’, ‘perspectives’, the fundamental theme remained the same - freedom. A respondent to the survey framed this difference quite well - women travel inwards, and men travel outwards.
In fact, a 2018 study on the influence of gender on travel motivation confirmed her statement. While parameters like freedom, fun, learning from new experiences, exposure and adaptability to new lifestyles, and relaxation remained common across genders, factors like self-realization, fulfillment, and exploration were chosen more by women.
This is because, all these years, women were bound to their stereotypical household responsibilities and female traveling was looked down upon. Now, their placement in society is being upgraded slowly and women have taken it upon themselves to find their true selves via travel, where they are away from whatever they are typically expected to do. The study positively concludes how more women are realizing the fact that nurturing their selves is crucial to nurture their families.
Interestingly, we saw a similar pattern when we asked the same question - ‘why do you travel’ on social media. Leaving aside the common answers given by men and women, we saw specific traits and a certain depth in the answers given by women.
Our favorite one was the answer given by a mother who likes to travel because it gives her an opportunity to rest ‘guilt-free’. Yes, in today’s times, we are all programmed to be productive and rest is the nemesis of the ‘hustle culture’. But for working mothers, the stakes of resting without feeling guilty are higher. So the chance to be away from family for some time and be relieved from the invisible heavyweight of responsibilities is welcomed. This similar sentiment of needing some space from family sometimes was also expressed by a 27-year-old woman working in the IT sector.
While the exploration of new cultures was a common answer, we were in awe of one young female writer’s answer. She said she likes to travel because it helps her develop tolerance towards different perspectives, people, and their lives.For another digital marketing associate, travel reminds her of the humbling thought that, we all seem different, but we are still the same.
We don’t think it’s necessary to mention this explicitly, but for the sake of this blog, we will. Women choose to travel because they find it liberating. Not like how a male respondent mentioned they feel a sense of freedom to do anything during the trip. But freedom in the sense they can shed their masks and live beyond the world which constantly tries to dictate them. One of the female respondents also mentioned how travel helps her identify herself, when all she has is her familiar self, in a totally unfamiliar setting.
Now, of course, we know this is not the story of all men or all women who choose to travel. There were women respondents who told us they travelled for the fun of it. There was a male respondent who travelled to cope with his social anxiety issues.
It’s relieving to know gender has started to have a lesser impact on motivation to travel. But we are aware we still have a long way to go before it becomes non-existent. We encourage women to come out of the chaotic cocoon the world presents them with before they lose their sense of identity. Before they forget the kind of women they are meant to be.
We at The Flapper Life would love to host you or your group of female friends, help you lose the daily-life shackles that pull you down, and find yourself once again.
Freelance Content Writer & Copywriter
After a short stint as a software engineer at Capgemini, she decided to go back to her first love - writing. She started her journey as a content writer in 2019 and considers it one of the best decisions of her life. Today, she cannot imagine doing something else for a living than coming up with the right words that will justify and bring to life her clients’ ideas. While her agency experience gave her exposure to writing for multiple sectors, her heart lies in topics related to women, mental health, career counseling, employee wellbeing, travel, personal development, and lifestyle. If she's not staring at the blank Google doc waiting for inspiration to strike, you'll either find her lost in a book or practicing for her next dance routine!