Annie Lindgren | North Forty News

International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of creating a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. One that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable, and in which differences are valued and celebrated.

I was fortunate to grow up in a rural household where women felt equally capable of achieving all that men could achieve. I grew into an independent woman who owned and managed a farm on her own for over a decade before moving onto a lifestyle of traveling solo and engaging in activities, such as mountain climbing and off-road driving, traditionally held by men. I have never allowed my gender to hold me back in my career path. I will never let my ‘single’ status impact opportunities to experience the world and live life to the fullest.

Through my travels, I experience the most reminders that biases and inequality still exist. People worry about my safety while I am out alone and concerned strangers stop me while I am out to make sure I am not lost or in need. I have visited countries where I needed guides to ensure my safety and changed how I dress and handle myself to fit into the local culture.

Why shouldn’t a woman be as safe traveling solo as a man?

The value in traveling to other countries is understanding that just because we have freedoms and equality in America does not mean women across the world have those same freedoms. When I visited Nepal, I had to wear clothes that covered my shoulders and legs to be respected. I cannot visit some countries alone because it is not safe for women.

The value in my solo travels through America is role-modeling to women that with the proper education, resources, and awareness, it is safe to travel solo. There is a world full of things to explore around us, and no reason to have to wait around for others to feel safe doing it.

Check out my blog or social media sites to learn more about my travels. I am typing this piece from my camper in Sedona, AZ, during a month-long hiatus from Colorado’s winter to work remotely from the desert country. Follow Sunshine Ink on Instagram or Facebook or visit

Originally published in North Forty News, March 8, 2022.