Having traveled with Victor for many months now, I forgot what it’s like to be a solo female traveler. It didn’t take long to be reminded, though. The only thing I had to do was to walk down the street on my own in Chile. It was as simple as that.
It depends on the country, but what mostly happens is that some people comment. And when I say people, I mean men. There seem to be three categories:
1. The ones that don’t comment but just stare.
2. The ones that comment by giving a compliment (e.g. ‘you are beautiful’).
3. The ones that make a noise, a sissing or kissing sound, that in my opinion is more appropriate for a cat or a dog.
Having lived abroad for many years, as a solo female, I got used to getting attention. I actually got so used to it, that I considered it normal. By taking it in a lighthearted way it was fairly easy to deal with. But since I have a tall Dutch guy next to me almost all the time, I forgot all about it.
Until now. And I feel that it’s unjust. Yes – these three categories are all relatively harmless. And yes – traveling abroad does make one feel like an exotic species at times. But no – men do not have the right to comment whatever whenever. And no – it is not ok that women (re: me) start thinking this is normal.