Young American Mom Missing in Turkey Should Not Stop Women From Traveling Alone

missing mom TurkeyAll that 33-year-old Sarai Sierra's family wants is their mother/sister/wife/daughter back. The young New York-based photographer went to Turkey by herself to take photos after a friend backed out at the last minute.

The three-week trip was supposed to end on the 22nd, but when her husband went to the airport to meet her, she wasn't there. All that was left in her hotel room were her passport, some chargers, and personal items.

So what happened to the mother of two pre-teens? And now, is this going to become a warning for all women who wish to travel alone? Are people going to say she asked for something like this?

The reality is, for a woman traveling alone, it's already a scary endeavor. As a young woman, I lived in both Italy and England and I did a lot of traveling while I was abroad. It was a great experience, but I was mostly with someone.

The few times I did travel alone, it was always a bit nerve-wracking. Anything can happen when you are far from home and you have to be extra careful to pay attention to your surroundings. I was lucky and returned home safely.

Even so, I wouldn't trade it for the world. As frightening as the concept might be to some, a woman traveling alone is one of the best, most freeing experiences of her life.

No one knows what happened to Sierra and this story is scary and tragic for her loving family. Her two sons haven't even been told their mom is missing.

My heart breaks for them. I hope this story will not be used as a cautionary tale, though. This is a rare case, which is why it's being so heavily reported. Let's all hope that Sierra is found soon, alive and (hopefully) able to return home with her family.

Does traveling alone scare you?


Image via eva.jane/Flickr



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LoveM... LoveMyKBabies

If it's on the Stir, it's most likely on other news sources.. How are they keeping it from her sons?! Even if they don't use the internet....many people do.

lexis... lexishandRyason

it would not deterred me from traveling over seas

expat... expatalfa

How is it a tragic story? Worrying yes, scary yes but tragic, hopefully not yet. Who knows what happened, people both women and men go missing every day and in every country in the world. I can only hope this story has a happy ending. I read that she had fainted unexpectedly in the past so perhaps she will be found in a hospital suffering from a banal illness - here's hoping.

Katy Khan

I'm a woman travelling alone with my 2 year old son and I don't find it the least bit scary. We've been roaming around Asia for 6 months and I've never once felt uncomfortable. We are headed to Africa soon (hopefully) and I have no concern about going there either.. I don't know what this woman's story is but as with America, most crimes against women in other parts of the world are perpetrated by someone familiar with the victim. I hope she is found safely. I did find it odd when I read in the original story that Turkish police were 'optomistic' that she would be found alive. I would like to know what they know.

MsRkg MsRkg

I'm not afraid at all to travel alone and I did most of my traveling abroad by myself when I was between the ages of 20-28 and I had an incredible time. It's all about being smart and wise in your movements and actions, especially when you are in a foreign country. If I had waited to travel with someone during those years I probably would have been to maybe 2-3 places total  as opposed to the the 15 different countries I went to during those years, because no one would have had the finances. I have never believed in limiting myself or experiences just because I would have to do them alone. I don't beleive in having that kind of fear just because I am a woman.

Shrew2u Shrew2u

I hope the Turkish police are correct and she's found alive soon.  I wonder how much contact the woman had with her husband the day of her flight.  Given what was in her room, it seems she may have been almost done packing when whatever happened happened.  Very strange.

I'm pretty fearless.  I used to travel by public transportation quite a bit as a young woman, and my travels sometimes had me waiting in seedy neighborhoods at night for a connection.  I adopted the attitude of one of my uncles: don't start none, won't be none.  Other than that, I kept aware of my surroundings and kept my keys in hand in case I needed to fight dirty: Hold your keys in your fist, with your sturdiest key poking out between your middle and index fingers; go for the throat or the eye with sharp jabs.

BamaG... BamaGridironGrl

Traveling alone, especially in foreign countries or strange places is scary. I am 37 and my Dad still worries about me every time I leave.  But ya know what, you are right, we can't just sit at home and hide our whole lives.  We have to get out and experience life.  And sometimes in life, bad things happen.  Very sad. My heart breaks for this famiy.  

nonmember avatar skipper

I went to Turkey in 2004. I traveled with my husband, mother-in-law and several students and a tour guide. I was still kind of scared of being in another culture but felt much safer having my husband with me. I would *never* travel abroad alone, though. It does seem too dangerous for me personally.

handy... handy0318

I was single until I was 38 and I traveled alone several times.  Having been there and done that... I wouldn't do so now that I'm married and especially have kids.  I just feel my responsibility to my dh and kids outweighs my desire for going it alone at this time.   

Lauren Callender

what im wondering is, what if her sons somehow read this or other stories about this? hard to keep something viral away from pre teens.

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