Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Being a Smart Solo Traveler

There are many myths and stereotypes about female solo traveling. People make pretty much everything to be unsafe for women, which means that women have to always have their guard up and protect themselves from trouble.  One needs to be aware of the dos and don’ts of traveling alone.  Anything can happen to you anywhere at anytime, therefore people should not stereotype certain areas more unsafe than other parts of the world. 
When it comes down to the word safety, it really just depends on the woman.  As women, we are blessed with the gift of female intuition.  If something or someone gives you a strange feeling in your gut then walk the other way. Being a good judge of character, as it is my career to analyze people, I am quickly able to identify those who are dishonest and lying.  Lately when I feel someone is lying to me, I just completely disengage and walk away.  This is the best way because it avoids confrontation. 

It is important to acknowledge the communication barrier.  I find that I can not logically explain to someone my decision, why I do not believe them, or what they are saying that is wrong information.  It is best to just completely disengage from the situation.  I just completely disengage and say “Okay Thank you.” Kill them with kindness-being kind is never a disrespectful thing and will not be perceived as disrespectful if you do it the right way.

Once I receive this intuitive feeling or I am able to judge the negative character, I just run with the feeling-literally.  Overtime, I have learned to listen to myself and it is beneficial after. 

Traveling around it seems that many places seem to get negative stereotypes for being unsafe places for female travelers when that clearly may not be the case.  One traveler may ruin it for the whole bunch.  The only person that is responsible for her choices is the woman-not the bus driver, not the hotel owner, not the couch surfer, not her friend- it is the woman solely responsible.  Therefore, sometimes women do not make the right decisions creating negative situations.  For instance,  a woman may get raped when walking around on the streets at night by herself.  The next day- the city is marked and scarred with the rape of this woman leading to a stereotype being created.  Obviously, there are places that have legitimate safety hazards, but there is irresponsibility from women that requires proper acknowledgement as well. 

As a woman solo traveler, I take risks and I do not always follow the rules.  Most of the time I am home after it gets dark.  I take rides at night sometimes.  I always take government buses and lately I take them at night.  I do not listen to suggestions of unsafe areas etc.  With the breaking of the solo travel code, I am fully aware that if something happens to me it is my fault for being irresponsible.  It is important to have awareness into the decisions you are making and who they are impacting.  Leading a pretty much independent life, I do not worry about who my decisions impact because at the end of the day It really is just me and my higher power,  but again I take responsibility for my own life choices.  If I make an irresponsible choice, it is not the communities fault rather it lies on my shoulders and I have to grant acceptance over my flawful decision. 
Stay safe when traveling ladies!

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