Stephanie Vidergar handles all the marketing for Zephyr Adventures. Prior to joining us, Stephanie worked for 23 years for a number of small active tour companies, including seven years working for two women-only tour companies. Stephanie is not only bringing new marketing skills to Zephyr but also new ideas, including women-only travel.
Often when on vacation with a spouse/partner or family, women find themselves in the same roles as in their everyday lives—caregiver, family-organizer, provider, wife, mom—just in a new location. By traveling only with other women, you gain the precious and genuine opportunity to be your true self and to relish the reward of treating yourself to that experience.
That is a powerful concept. I could leave it at that with enough said. But, there is more.
Women have shared life experiences that connect us in unique ways. Finding yourself in the company of other like-minded women means there’s a good chance you all have a lot in common. From sharing joys and challenges, to comparing ideas and perspectives, the potential for connecting with and relating to other women in an atmosphere full of fun, positive energy is simply magical. I have seen women participate in women-only adventure travel who not only make lifelong friends but also change their own lives in the process.
But while the group dynamic of conversation and companionship creates a strong sense of camaraderie, it also does much more. It leads to empowerment.
Similar to our daily-life roles, even when traveling, men and women tend to fall into gender-specific roles. Women traveling together can challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes, showcasing their own independence, strength, and resilience. Not having men around can be liberating – there’s no gender pressure – and you can make your own decisions and be fully responsible for them.
With the support of your fellow travelers, in a safe and understanding environment, a women-only tour nudges you to want to try new things and take on new challenges. I have seen women blossom with a new confidence and sense of their own capacity after accomplishing a big adventurous activity or navigating a new travel situation. Women acknowledge they become more willing to take risks and push themselves beyond their comfort zone when they feel the nurturing boost from the other women around them.
When it’s just us women, you are also offered the rare opportunity as an adult to let go and just enjoy. You will know a day out on the trail is not a competition! Your guides and fellow travelers are venturing to support and encourage each other, and most of all to have a great time.
Trips that are created for women and led by strong, confident women offer insight that can impact your future perspective and choices. The guide serves as a role model, showcasing that women can excel in physically demanding and adventurous pursuits, demonstrating resilience, determination, and skill. Being led by a woman not only helps the group and those people you encounter to reframe traditional gender roles, but female adventurers will also relish time with a guide who understands their unique needs and experiences. A female guide can provide a safe and inclusive environment—with a nurturing and empathetic approach—providing support and encouraging personal growth that is specific to women.
Adventure as Learning Environment
Adventure itself is of course a catalyst for self-discovery when you explore new places and try new activities. Combining a connection with outdoors and that of community is a super powerful mix. An adventure trip with other women becomes a means to greater self confidence and is a safe place to discover and share your authentic self, which is often not experienced in mixed-gender groups. These experiences help women realize their capabilities and develop a “can-do” attitude that often extends to other areas of their lives after their vacation is over.
Upcoming Women-Only Travel
If you are wondering why I am sharing so much insight regarding this topic, it is because we at Zephyr Adventures are going to add women-only travel to our offerings. We are starting with a Montana: Women’s Beartooth Hiking Adventure from July 30 to August 3, based in our home town of Red Lodge, Montana. This is a great trip that is both challenging with the day hikes and yet comfortable and fun with our stay in Red Lodge. In 2024 we will be offering two women-only tours, with details to come.