Guide to traveling alone - XX Chromosomes

Ads Top

As you may know, or may not know, I traveled to more than 30 countries. I experienced a lot of good things, but a lot of bad things also. There is a lot that you should know if you are planning to travel alone, especially if you are a girl. I dealt with a lot of unwanted attention.
I won't lie, it's dangerous to travel alone if you are a woman. Still, it's a life changer. You should do it at least once in your life. It makes you feel alive and when you get back home you will be a different person.
One of my biggest inspirations to travel alone is Cheryl Strayed's book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Read it before doing it.
In this post I will try to share all of my experience and give you some advice.

  Photo by Train Chartering & Private Rail Cars

Avoid traveling alone to the Middle East and India

As someone who has a lot of experience traveling, I don't advice you to go to the Middle East and India alone. Sorry, no matter what kind of tips I give you, it will never be safe there being a woman solo traveler.
No matter what you wear, how you wear it, how you act, you will get harassed.
It's about the culture in the Middle East and India. The men view the woman as lower than them, their view as their property. You will be sexually harassed with comments mostly and maybe some grabbing.
I apologize in advance to anyone who had a different experience with these parts of the world.
If you still really want to do it, my advice is to be assertive, don't tolerate anyone who's rude to you.

General safety

Always keep some money and document copies in several places. You don't want to lose all your money and documents at once.
Be aware of stranger giving you advice. There are a lot of people out there trying to scam tourists. While traveling to Europe try to avoid the begging gypsy kids. If some of them approach you, he's likely to want money from you or try to steal them. Europe has a huge problem with all of these gypsy gangs.
Never get distracted in busy places. These are the places that you are most likely to get robbed.

Cabs

Negotiate the price before getting in the cab. A lot of cab drivers gonna try to scam you if you don't pay attention. I am originally from Bulgaria and we had these cab drivers that will wait for tourists at the airport and charge them $80 for 2 kilometers.
Always sit in the back of the cabs.

Male strangers 

No native male stranger want to "just be your friend". Your best chance of finding friends is the hostel. And no, the hostels doesn't really look like the one from "Hostel". Hostels are cheap and full with friendly people traveling alone, just like you. I met a lot of my friends there.
The nice and friendly men on the bus and on the street most likely just wants to have sex with you. There are expectations, but it's really not worth risking.

Avoid protests

If you see a protest of any kind, don't join. Just walk away. The worst case scenario for you is to get arrested as a foreigner on a protest in a country you visit. You don't know what's gonna happen on the protest, what the police is going to do and what they will think you are doing there if the arrest you.
Avoid and don't get political.

Loneliness

The loneliness while solo traveling can be a real challenge. Prepare to talk to new people a lot if you want to avoid it. If you are shy and socially awkward, I can guarantee you that you will get back home much more confident and communicative. Try to meet many people as possible, but always be careful. You are never alone unless you want to be. Loneliness is a part of leaving your comfort zone. Fight it.

Safety when you are out

If you are lost, ask for directions from other females, families or shop owners.
Try to always appear confident even if you are confused. If you look lost, there's a big chance of getting advice from someone who's trying to scam you.
Do not travel on local trains at night.
Don’t hitchhike. Seriously, that's too obvious. Why would you do that?

Keep in touch with your family

Try to update your family about your plans regularly. You should not be the only person knowing where you're going. Ever watched "Taken"? Unless your dad is Liam Neeson, your best bet of your family finding you if something happens, is to update them regularly.

Don't be scared

Plan your trip carefully and you won't have any problems. I traveled alone for years and most of the time everything was okay. Don't listen to all of these horror stories for people being kidnapped, murdered or raped while traveling. Most of it is just a media propaganda. Plan your trip and do it. Be smart, be ready, be cautious, listen to your instincts.

It's a "finding yourself" trip. I found myself while traveling alone, I met tons of awesome new people, I changed myself for better. It's the best way to experience life.


Share your experience of traveling alone! I'd love to read all of your responses.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.