The downside of being a solo female traveller

I have mostly felt pretty safe travelling alone as a female. Sadly, there have been exceptions.

One of those exceptions happened today. There was a staff guy at the hostel where I was staying who said that he “liked” me and would joke that he was “stalking” me, doing things like popping into my dorm room. It was a bit much, but it wasn’t creepy. Until today.

I was sitting in a chair outside my dorm room while my phone was charging. Dude went into my dorm room, and he stayed there. For a while. And then the moaning noises started. Not once or twice, but an extended masturbatory adventure. I wondered how the fuck is this actually happening, and what the hell am I supposed to do about it? And then a female roommate walked into the room and pretty much walked straight back out again. He then comes out after her, and I overheard her saying something like “it didn’t look like you were just sleeping”. Then buddy heads back into my dorm room.

At that point I realized there was no way I’d feel safe staying there, so I started checking other hotels online. Several were full, but I managed to find one with a room available that wasn’t too expensive.

I had told the other guy that was working what had happened, and he didn’t believe me. He was humming and hawing about giving me a refund for the next 3 nights that I’d prepaid for, and his main priority seemed to be just getting me to stop shouting. I decided fuck the refund, I wasn’t willing to put up with another minute of being brushed off as crazy. So I walked out.

So now here I am in my safe private room drinking room temperature Prosecco straight from the bottle. Seems a rather fitting ending to a fucked up day.


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59 thoughts on “The downside of being a solo female traveller

  1. DV says:

    Ewwww! Travelling when you’re depressed is hard enough. That sounds super gross and scary. Glad you’re safe now. And cheers from a fellow traveller who hit the airport bar at 10.30am, after security staff nearly made me cry.

  2. seedsinthewasteland says:

    Ugh god. I’m sorry this happened – dickheads like that just know exactly who to target, don’t they? Sounds like something be probably makes a habit of. What a wonderful man. Good for you for not putting up with that shit and prioritising your safety and comfort.

    • ashleyleia says:

      Funny the other staff guy at the hostel said there had never been complaints about this dude before. Either that was a lie, or I was just the perfect vulnerable target. Groan.

  3. Liz says:

    Sick man. I would not have felt safe, but like you, I would not have gone quiet either. I hope after that, when you was in your hotel room, that you were able to get a good night’s sleep. X

  4. Not Your Average Chick says:

    OMG!! Are you serious? What is wrong with people these days?? Who the fuck masturbates in broad daylight, in someone else’s room?? You are better than me because I would’ve raised all kinds of hell. I would’ve walked in that room and kicked him straight in his ass and then I would have complained. You should’ve run and got the manager guy while he was in the room doing it. UGH! Disgusting. The trip is one for the record books, right?

  5. M.B. Henry says:

    Yikes…!!!! Glad you got out of there and went somewhere safer. And how terrible to be smart mouthed by the other employee as if you hadn’t just suffered enough.

  6. KD says:

    Ffs, the gall. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I can only imagine how unsafe that made you feel. It isn’t too much to expect things like that not to happen. I wish this trip was better for you than it seems like it has been.

    • ashleyleia says:

      Thank you💕. Yeah, I think of it as an isolated creepy incident. It’s more when people ignore me in cafes and stuff that I tend to generalize it to reflect the world at large.

  7. seaofwordsx says:

    I’m glad you find another place to stay. I also didn’t had any problems while traveling alone. I can understand that that situation must be really strange and also scary ughhh. I wish that men will stop doing that kind of stuff. I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself and walking away 💪❤️ I also would have done the same. I’m also angry that when you tell that the staff don’t believe you. There’s still a lot of talking to do. Feminsm all the way.

  8. Marie Abanga says:

    Dear Ashley, I felt so disgusted last night when I read this post, I just thought to sleep over it and hopefully write less furiously with more empathy.

    First and of course, I am truly sorry you had to go through such gross behaviour from both dickheads now. Both the sick guy and the enabler have a big problem. I am glad you raised some small ‘hell’, mine would have been captured on a smart phone and made viral I bet you. That was going to get me take it all out of my system and leave it there before moving on just like you did.

    Really wish you enjoy your final week and then kiss their soil bye bye – should think a real kiss like the pope does will be better than masturbating in retaliation?

  9. howikilledbetty says:

    Urghhh! Poor you … now you’ve just got to have some real fun to make up for that so it doesn’t become a “negative thing” in your head. I had some pretty grim occasions whilst cycling through France for a month and it’s very easy to hang onto them and of course until something happens, we never know how we’re going to react. You’re doing brilliantly! Shoulders back, think “sad f***er” and move on with a giggle at how gross some people are. You’re a superstar so have a superstar day today! Katie xxx

  10. Karen says:

    Oh my god that’s horrendous, you’re definitely better out of there. As if you weren’t struggling enough with aspects of this trip, I hope you can put it out of your mind xx

  11. lavenderandlevity says:

    I’ll be honest, this why I will get the cheapest little hotel room rather than a hostel. Had an experience like that once or twice in my twenties and was just done with shared accommodations. I’d probably have more money if I’d stayed in hostels, but I don’t need even the possibility of more scary people in my life.

  12. Invisibly Me says:

    That’s a pretty fucked up thing to have happen, and shame on the place not taking your complaint about it seriously but I’m glad you walked out (not sure what I would have done without a refund apart from get hugely pissed off!) Stay safe and keep enjoying the prosecco xx

  13. trithisworld says:

    This is horrible! Sad to hear this happened to you. I’ve also travelled a lot solo, and for the most part I love it. I think many of us incur creepy incidents, but our handling of the situations make us all the more aware and stronger! Keep travelling with care x

    • ashleyleia says:

      Yeah most of my experiences have been positive, but I guess that odd creepy character is sort of par for the course. Definitely won’t stop me from travelling though!

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