Pass the mozzie spray: Lise Hand on the rise and origins of the solo female traveller

Women have been setting off alone for centuries despite the disapproval of polite society, but now their numbers are fast multiplying as many more discover the joy of following their own path

Solo women travellers are on the march – last year Google Trends reported a 70 per cent increase in the search term during 2021

“On my tenth birthday a bicycle and an atlas coincided as gifts, and a few days later I decided to cycle to India...However, I was a cunning child so I kept my ambition to myself, thus avoiding the tolerant amusement it would have provoked among my elders” - Dervla Murphy, author, cyclist and explorer.

After two summers of nothing-doing, the summer skies are once more scored with the vaporous noughts-and-crosses of cruising aircraft. Beach holidays, ...