As I know from personal experience, walking a long way by yourself is hard work, both mentally and physically. As this article points out, doing so as a woman is even harder, so good on Lea Page for not only walking a thousand miles across Europe, but writing about how the biggest danger is… men.
When I walk alone, the consequences of every good or bad choice I make fall entirely on me: a responsibility and a freedom. As a woman and a mother, I rarely only have to consider what I want and need without having to first attend to other people. I know there are risks, but each time I come out of that “forest”, I feel stronger and more confident. Weighed against the simple daily rhythms of a long-distance walk and the joy and wonder I experience, risk – reasonable risk – becomes a small part of the equation, and one I am willing to accept.
One other time, while walking along a river just outside Colle di Val D’Elsa in Tuscany, I felt that familiar clench of panic. This river, a glacial robin’s-egg blue, meandered and tumbled gently. The gorge was not deep, but a lonely wooded path just outside a city struck me as the perfect place for an ambush. Clearly, men exist everywhere, so it made no sense to be frightened in that one particular place. I knew that, statistically, women are safer out in the world than they are at home, but in that moment, knowledge felt like thin protection. Unable to shake my feelings of dread, I called my husband, and we talked about inconsequential things so I could hear his sleepy voice and keep putting one foot in front of another.
And that’s what women are really talking about when we talk about being afraid. We are talking about men. But there is, I learned, a difference between being afraid and being unsafe.
Source: I walked 1,000 miles alone through Europe – and learned that fear is the price of freedom | The Guardian