travel alone as a woman
Thread poster: wonita (X)

wonita (X)
Local time: 23:55
Oct 10, 2007

Dear colleagues,

As interpreters we have to travel for jobs. Have you, if you are a woman, ever made a long-distance trip to an alien country for an assignment? Was it a nice experience? What women-specific problems have you encountered?

I have been interpreting mainly in southern Germany. However, I ponder travelling a bit more to take more jobs.

Thank you in advance for your response.



Patricia Colombera
Local time: 23:55
English to Spanish
+ ...
backpacking trip Oct 10, 2007

Hello Bin,
I have never done a work-related trip abroad, but I have done several trips all by myself though.
This year I went backpacking all around Europe, including Eastern Europe and it was great. I thought it could be dangerous but it turned to be totally safe. Actually, when people see you traveling solo, they're even more polite and kind. So, don't be afraid to travel alone if your job asks for it, because there's nothing to fear about.
Good luckicon_wink.gif


Suzette Martin-Johnson
French to English
+ ...
Enjoy Oct 11, 2007

Hi Bin,

I'm actually a translator but have made many work-related trips abroad over the years. It's been fun - don't feel that you have to be limited! It's a nice combination of working and sightseeing.

As usual, take security precautions where you are staying, etc. Trust your instincts. Women travelling alone tend to be targeted by unsavoury persons more than men do.

Good luck!


Irene N
United States
Local time: 21:55
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, and I love it! Oct 11, 2007

When by myself, either on vacation or on work assignment, I obviously miss on a night life unless there are other colleagues with me, but other that that I'm very comfortable even though I do not master any European languages (shame on me:-(, I can understand some French and Italian but aside of greetings and thanks I hide my colloquial "skills" as much as I can from the strangers). English gets me through the entire world without any problems and I appreciate it a lot! Actually I took a midnight bus tour of Paris once right from the hotel door, but normally I'm back in the room around 8, dead tired. I have no problems having breakfast or lunch alone in a street cafe and it's sooooooo good not to be obliged to coordinate every step with anybody else. I walk, sit on a park bench or browse whatever I'm browsing and have my coffee whenever, and for as long as, I want, and I hate shopping with the company:-). I am in free drift for the whole trip or in my free time and it's the best relaxation I can imagine. I like company at home or in resorts but even there I can be all by myself. This normally happens when I'm a 100% saturated with interpreting and my best relaxation would be to shut up completely for a few days, do not process any signals coming my way and listen to the ocean:-) God bless the bordering Mexico!

Watch your purse and enjoy the world!
Good luck


Isabel Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:55
Italian to English
Yes, and it's not always easy Oct 11, 2007

I only translate now and my longest business trip has become from the kitchen to the office upstairs but I did a lot of solo business travelling when I was export manager for a local firm.
It can be scary when you are going to a country you are not familiar with on your own. I was extremely wary and never ventured outside the hotel alone at night (though I was often taken out for dinner by customers anyway).
So don't be put off. I was vigilant, experienced some really interesting places and met some wonderful people and nothing bad ever happened to me.


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:55
Spanish to English
+ ...
No women-specific problems Oct 11, 2007

unless you count interpreting for a group of travelling women who would periodically get lost in the jewellery shops during conference breaks.

I also recall that during training a special session was devoted to culturally-acceptable behaviour in Muslim, Buddhist and other communities. This went for both males AND females. So a little research in that area won't hurt if called for.


Rita Bilancio  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:55
English to Italian
+ ...
I would give it a try! Oct 11, 2007

Hello Bin,
I have been interpreting but didn't have the chance to travel that much: I hope I can do it in the future...
If you would like to, just be positive!!!


Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:55
French to English
+ ...
No, just be aware Oct 11, 2007

I agree with Parrot, it's always wise to research major religious and cultural differences.

The main danger in traveling isn't usually that your destination is any more dangerous than your home, but that you don't know what dangers to avoid. Pay attention to the people around you, if there aren't any children around or any women out on their own, it's probably not a good place for you to be either.


Ritu Bhanot  Identity Verified
Member (2006)
French to Hindi
+ ...
I have Oct 11, 2007

Dear Bin,
Well, I have made several trips out of town and one out of country while working as an interpreter.
As your question is specifically about a trip abroad, I'll just talk about that.
But I was very careful. I met the person and his family (including his wife and children) I was going to interpret for several times before we left. And I had the advantage that I spoke the language of the country where we were going and he didn't.
Anyways, it went off quite well.
I know I might sound over-cautious but I believe in being safe. Hope you have a positive experience.
Best of luck,


Alana Quintyne  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:55
French to English
+ ...
It's fun! Oct 12, 2007

I have had to travel to many places alone and I enjoyed it. After the initial anxiety of the jouney and wondering what the city and the people are going to be like, you settle down to enjoy it even if it is for 2 or 3 days. The thing to remember is, keep your head on and wits about you. Don't do the things you wouldn't normally do at home anyway and you'll be fine. I would also suggest trying to get some reviews about the area you'll be jetting off to...just general info on what/where is best avoided, things to watch out for etc.
Good luck!


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