04/03/2012 07:13 am ET Updated Jun 03, 2012

9 Tips for the Solo Female Traveller (PHOTOS)

The most frequently asked question I get is how I afford to travel. The second? My tips for solo female travel.

I reluctantly did my first solo trip in 2007 to Zacatecas, Mexico.  I had just moved to Monterrey, Mexico to start a new teaching job the month before, and was already anxious to begin exploring the rest of the country. Zacatecas, a five-hour bus journey away, was the perfect weekend trip and a great opportunity to get myself better acquainted with the country.

After searching for a travel partner and coming up empty-handed, I did something I never imagined I would do: I booked a ticket... for one.

I haven't looked back

No longer a slave to others' schedules, finances and indecision about just whether they wanted to travel with me or not, what's followed since are a slew of solo journeys that have taken me to the literal and figurative hot spots of Central and South America, through Europe, and down to Australia.

I have learned that I enjoy travelling by myself and that, more importantly, I am confident travelling by myself -- though I never compromise my safety.

What's more, you are not a "loser"for rolling solo; quite the contrary in fact. Being able to travel alone signals a certain self-assuredness and a desire do to more and see more on one's own terms. Travelling solo is freeing and helps you to become more aware, both of yourself and of your surroundings.

Here are my 9 tips for solo travel if you're a girl: