So you’re going travelling? Travelling alone? As a female? Isn’t that dangerous? Will you be safe? Are you sure you want to do that?
YES, YES, YES, NO, YES, YES
I’m sure we’ve all heard one of those questions, if not all of them at one point or another. I know I heard all six, and I still hear them now when people from home find out I’m travelling.
Here are some helpful tips, that have definitely helped me along the way
KEEP YOUR WITS ABOUT YOU
I’m not telling you to be terrified and trust nobody, but be vigilant. Just because you’re abroad and acting like a holiday, it doesn’t mean you’re invincible. When I go to a foreign country, especially alone, I write down the local emergency numbers and local words that can help you in you get lost or injured.
THINK, DRESS AND ACT LIKE A LOCAL
If you’re travelling to South India, make sure you cover your shoulders, chest and knees. If you’re entering a mosque, cover your hair. This really helps if you want to blend in, and avoid the unwanted stares and attention. A lot of the time when you travel you don’t want to look like a tourist, blending in with their clothes etc will definitely help you fit in more.
ARRIVE AT YOUR LOCATION BEFORE NIGHTFALL
This one is mainly for locations like Asia, but not limited to. Getting off the coach in the dead of night on an unlit road with no internet on your phone probably isn’t the safest. I personally always book flights/coaches where I know I’ll be arriving in the day time. Or at least know someone is picking me up from the other end safely.
DON’T BE SCARED ABOUT BEING ALONE
Solo travelling doesn’t mean you’re going to be alone. Whether you’re in a 16 bed dorm or camping on Fraser Island, you’re pretty much always surrounded by people. My mums biggests fear before I started travelling was that I would be alone constantly and that would be dangerous. I don’t think there has been a day where I’ve been completely alone unless out of choice.
TELL SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR TRAVEL PLANS
Before you venture off into the Amazon Rainforest, tell someone, maybe some back home, where you’re going and the rough amount you’ll be gone for. That way, if no one here’s from you, then they can give a rough location of where you were last seen. I know a lot of people like to be care-free and separated from home, but sometimes that isn’t a good idea.
TRUST YOUR GUT
If you feel that something doesn’t seem right, then you’re probably right. If you ever feel uncomfortable in a situation, don’t feel nervous to leave or speak up. Travelling alone can be daunting sometimes, but it doesn’t mean you have to be scared. Don’t leave you luggage unattended, and don’t be too trusting of everyone. Not everybody you meet is going to have good intentions.
ENJOY YOURSELF BUT DON’T GO TOO WILD
This one probably makes me sound like a party pooper, trust me, I’m not trying to be. I’ve seen too many occasions where girls (and guys) drink way too much and end up in sticky situations. Yes have a drink, enjoy yourself, but know your limits, especially when you’re in an unfamiliar foreign country.
But at the end of the day, enjoy yourself. Travelling alone is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Until next time x