5 Tips for Women Traveling Abroad Alone
The world can be a scary place
The world can be a very, very scary place. Especially when you venture off to unknown territory. It can be quite intimidating to find yourself in a place unfamiliar to you, where you don't know anyone or can't speak the language but when you're a woman and you find yourself in such a position it can be even more terrifying! Today in the news and media, we are bombarded with horrific stories of crimes against our fellow man. If you add to those stories all of the tragic things that happen to people in their own countries let alone people traveling abroad. It's enough to make you never want to leave your house. And with all of the stories we hear about sex trafficking and organ harvesting, there's no wonder why people don't get out and travel more. I mean, I used to be afraid too until I awakened to the fact that life happens. There. I said it. Stuff just happens. There's no way to prepare for them and often times, there's no way to stop bad things from happening. They just do. We have no control over what happens to us in this life by no fault of our own. The only thing we can do is be prepared. Being prepared is not the same thing as being fearful or expecting something bad to happen. Being prepared simply means being ready to take action just in case something does arrive beyond our control. Being prepared makes you better equipped to handle an emergency situation. You must grasp the fact that you have everything in you to protect yourself. Don't continue to spend your life in what-if moments, defy them and live. One of my favorite quotes is by Anthony Hopkins, and it simply states "None of us are getting out of here alive. So please stop treating yourself like an afterthought. Eat delicious food. Walk in the sunshine. Jump in the ocean. Say the truth that you're carrying in your heart like a hidden treasure. Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There is no time for anything else". So I say why not spend it traveling.
Self image is key
How do you view yourself? Are you a victim? How we view ourselves has a lot to do with the circumstances we find ourselves in. It could also determine how we get ourselves out of certain situations. As a woman who has traveled abroad alone, I can tell you how unsettling it is to be an American in a foreign country. I've been where there aren't any police officers to call in an emergency. Being in that type of situation somehow makes me feel stronger in many other aspects of my life. If you are afraid to venture off to another city, state, country or continent alone then it would be a good idea to learn how to defend yourself. Now I'm not saying that you'll ever get to use any of the tactics you learn, but having some form of self-defense training could mean the difference between life and death. It would be a good idea to look into classes that teach you how to fight well enough to escape a captor. You can usually find self-defense classes at your local YMCA or even community colleges in your area. It would also be a good idea to take a few exercise or weight training classes to build cardio and strength. Your health plays a major role in your ability to fend off an attacker. It makes no sense that you should be caught and possibly assaulted because you ran out of breath while trying to escape. So please listen to your body and make improvements where necessary. Believe it or not, learning to defend yourself will give you an air of confidence that you never had before. You will feel better about yourself in general and possibly build your self-confidence. Then you can travel anywhere alone.
Take self defense classes
Develop a photographic memory
It would also help to learn or do memory exercises. Memory exercises can not only help you to remember letters and numbers, but it can also help you to remember certain features about people as well as their style of clothes and hair color among other things. You never know when you may need to make an incident report or to identify an assailant, so it would be beneficial to brush up on your memory as well. There are many sites on the web that offer memory learning techniques to help retrain your brain. Having a good memory is an advantage that can benefit you in many ways throughout your life. Give your brain a boost and learn some memory boosting brain training exercises.
Be aware of your surroundings
It's imperative that you are aware of your surroundings at all times, not just while traveling. You need to be aware of people hanging out on street corners or in groups. You should make note of any individuals that seem to be out of place and steer clear of them. Your intuition is a great tool to rely on in such cases. Just because someone seems nice and befriends you, doesn't mean that they have your best intentions at heart. Try not to put yourself in situations where you are alone with an individual that you don't know. Also, make it a rule not to accept food or drinks from people you don't know. Never eat or drink anything while traveling that you did not see being made right in front of you. People can put things in your food or drinks in an effort to gain physical control over you. So be aware of what's going on around you before you let your guard down.
Dont talk to strangers
You've been hearing it since you were 5 years old and it is still good advice to follow today. Never talk to strangers. You don't have to be rude or anything but you should set boundaries with people right away. Especially in a new country meeting new people. You don't want to appear to be a helpless victim because that is just what you will become if you don't have the proper boundaries in place. You should let people know right away what your limits are. People will engage you in a conversation just to rob you, so make it a rule not to talk to strangers. Even if you are staying at the hotels or resorts and such. You must be careful whom you conversate with. There are numerous cases of hotel/resort employees assaulting or violating their guest. You must also be extremely vigilant when traveling alone in taxi cabs abroad. You have to be ready to become a stunt woman just in case the driver starts acting funny or you may need to make an emergency exit. Can you say tuck & roll? Lol! Oh sure, you'll have some bruises but you will be alive. So remember to keep the chat to a minimum when traveling abroad. Don't talk to people that you don't know.
Don't bring anything of value
Please leave your bling-bling and your nice things at home because you won't need them. You don't want to be in an unfamiliar country wearing all of your nice things because the words P-O-V-E-R-T-Y are spelled out in a white film across many faces and lips. You will be robbed there aren't any if, and's or but's about it. There are a lot of hungry people out there, some are even at the point of no return. They will hurt you in an effort to take whatever you may have of value to them. So if you must wear jewelry, opt for the more inexpensive items, things you don't mind giving up. That includes clothes, shoes, and wigs too! You don't want to wear your best britches only to get them taken from you in a robbery. Ladies, do I have to mention purses and bags? Don't bring your biggest or best handbag or you're likely to get it taken. Stick to something smaller like a clutch purse or a cross-body bag. Forget trying to be cute, there ain't nothing cute about being assaulted.