Solo Female Travel Series – You Are Capable

It has been a loooooong breath-holding minute since I have written anything specifically for my Solo Female Travel Series so I figured it was time to remedy that. In the next installment of my Solo Female Travel Series, I wanted to just encourage you, whoever you are reading this, You Are Capable! Solo anything can be scary and you don’t have to start with traveling to a whole different country. Start small. Start Somewhere. Just Start.

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” 

– Nora Ephron

I love this quote because I waited for so long for someone to save me or give me permission instead of realizing, not only did I not need to be saved by anyone else but I also didn’t need anyone else’s permission but my own.

Coco casually standing in front of a bamboo fence in a garden wearing a shirt that says Girls Do not dress for boys.
Marrakech, Morocco
What Box Are You Breaking Free From?

I grew up in a very conservative environment, my parents were pretty progressive when it came to traditional gender roles but the community I grew up in and the religious organizations I was surrounded with created these mental barriers that closed me into a box. A box that I had no idea I could really break out of until much much later in life.

Many different individuals in authority roles in my life were quick to remind the young women that our ultimate goal and highest honor in life would to become a wife and mother.

Now do not go crazy and take my words out of context. Being a wife and mother is honorable and beautiful and some women certainly are made for that role. More power to them. But when young girls everywhere are told that their whole being rests in that achievement alone… We are missing out on nurturing so many amazingly talented young individuals by shutting them up and shutting them down.

I was basically engaged at 16 to a man that was 21 years old and more often than not he discouraged me, my dreams and my hopes for a bigger future for myself. He was demeaning, condescending, and critical of everything I was and did. I was far too young to know any better but somehow when I left and escaped that boxed life before ever actually marrying him, I found myself even more confused about what life was or what society told me, as a woman, was my role to play. 

Coco standing looking out over  a canyon in Chile at sunset.
San Pedo de Atacama, Chile
Overcoming Limitations

Here is the thing, I ended up going on to become that photographer. I didn’t marry that man but despite the fact that I felt I had taken my freedom and liberty back I still had so many of those roadblocks still set up in my brain. The mind is a strange and powerful place and if we don’t address those ideals that were deeply ingrained in us as children and adolescents then we often find ourselves coming up against those same roadblocks over and over unsure of why we just can’t seem to get past certain thought patterns.

It took me years and lots of mistakes, bad relationships, a painful & abusive marriage & divorce, losing my dad and trying to start my life over multiple times. Some lessons just take so much longer to sink in. It really does take time to rewire our brains and genuinely start to open ourselves up to the greater possibilities out there.

Screw the Stereotypes

There isn’t a ‘role’ or a ’type’ that we, as women have to fill. We don’t have to follow some sort of path that society has laid out for us. We get to decide that all on our own and there is something so invigorating and exciting about that, isn’t there?! You get to set your own limits on what you are capable of!

That is the biggest adventure we can ever set out on. Just think about it, If we could really approach life in a way as if we had never been told what we could or couldn’t do, what we should or shouldn’t be or what we were simply incapable of.

What would you be doing right now, What would you want for yourself? If you could go back to that very first moment you were “put in your place” and what if you could simply decide not to accept it. To not let that moment lead you down a path of limiting belief of your own abilities. 

We, as women can do anything we set our minds to, we can and should travel. We can travel alone and not be scared, we don’t need to feel less than for doing anything alone. We don’t need to accept anything less and we don’t need anyone’s damn permission. 

You are capable of doing anything you choose to pursue. You don’t need anyone’s permission and you sure as shit don’t need anyone’s approval!

Coco's feet at the edge of a frame looking down at a sidewalk painted with 8 colorful koi fish.
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Start Small

That being said doing things solo or going on any sort of solo female travel can be a bit scary or overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. Start small. Take yourself out to coffee solo, take yourself to the movies solo, take yourself to dinner solo. You don’t have to jump headfirst into the deep end of solo female travel to feel you’ve accomplished something. This is not a competition.

This is something you can do all for yourself and by yourself because you are capable. When I first started out I was worried, nervous and I already have an anxiety disorder so I felt I was really pushing the envelope here. I started by going to coffee shops alone and taking a book along.

I went to the movies alone during the daytime, went to lunch alone and gradually started going to dinner alone. It was so uncomfortable so I took a pen and paper and pretended to be a food critic. It sounds silly but we do what we have to push through and make our lives better by facing our fears.

Coco sitting and laughing atop a rock wall at sunset with a lighthouse and the atlantic ocean behind her.
Arranmore Island, Ireland
Surviving vs Thriving

I don’t know about you but some days all I can do is survive but some days when I have a little extra oomph in me, I want to use that to thrive. I don’t want to live my whole life in survival mode. At some point, I am going to start thriving more often than not and I know that you will too because You Are Capable.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

– Maya Angelou
Solo Female Travels – You are Capable

Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.


  1. Elizabeth Aslakson on February 29, 2020 at 11:53 pm

    I feel like we could have a really good chat, lol! I identified with this post so much! I’ve also always had this feeling of wanting to be saved by someone else too. It’s so hard to hear the messages from society about what a women’s role should be. I come from a small midwest town where my current full-time solo travel lifestyle is seen as very uncommon.

    I know exactly what you mean about surviving vs thriving. Today was one of those surviving days where I just had to explore the new place I am in despite my fears. It’s so empowering to break free from stereotypes, fears, etc and travel is one of the best ways to do that!

    • CocoBetty on March 4, 2020 at 1:05 pm

      You are probably right, we could! It’s such an important topic to discuss I think. It’s great to go against the grain and set examples for others along the way. I hope you continue in that direction and thrive! 😀

  2. Traci on March 18, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    This is such a great post! I am looking forward to your conversation tomorrow with Jessie on a Journey on FB tomorrow! I feel like I have done a good job breaking out of the traditional mold that people try to put me in throughout my life, yet the idea of solo travel as a woman is for some reason still a sticking point for me. Obviously I won’t be traveling much anytime soon, but I am considering it in early 2021.

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Coco Betty Travels About Me

Hi Friends!

My full name is Courtney Elizabeth and growing up some of my nicknames were Coco & Betty, thus the name Coco Betty. Feel free to call me Coco, I still answer to it. I empower women to love themselves through travel, one trip at a time.

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