We’ve all seen the movie Taken and have been reminded by our loved ones to ALWAYS buddy up when travelling. But sometimes in life we find ourselves alone, just flying solo for a bit.
People are all at different levels of anxiety in their fear of ‘travelling solo.’ My friend Kaitlyn was just expressing to me her fears of travelling by herself and was scared she would miss her first connecting flight in ATL, while my friend in Chile was having fears of staying in a hostal by herself.
So here are the most common fears you face as a solo female traveler
(and how to overcome them)
Unwanted attention from men:
Not to single out anyone on here, but I am… Italians are the worst (and if an Italian man is reading this I’m sorry but you are, and you know it, and oddly enough probably proud of it).
Sometimes men can be pushy or aggressive, whether they want you to eat at the restaurant their promoting or asking you to club later. Be firm and confident when declining, they will usually go the other way, or bug someone else.
If you find yourself on a side street, and notice your being followed, walk toward a more public area immediately. Even better toward the nearest police station.
One of the biggest fears everyone faces is the fear of being unsafe. The key is to not look like your lost, even when your lost, ha. If you are fiddling with your map or cellphone this gives criminals a chance to act. Don’t get distracting, and always be aware of your surroundings.
Keep your belongings close or even better underneath your clothing, if you can.
Sometimes people feel embarrassed to take themselves out to eat, but I think it’s just another opportunity to meet the locals, get to know other tourist, put yourself out there and learn the hot spots.
Never sling your satchel over the back of your chair, always keep it wrapped around one of your ankles and between your legs on the floor.
Always watch your drink being made, too!
Missed your train? Hopped on the wrong bus? Did you pass out in a park for a few hours, wake up and not know where you were? No wifi, and lost while biking around at midnight… been there guys. And let me tell you that… you. will. live.
Well maybe you won’t, if your not prepared…
Always make sure you have a backup plan, and know your next step in emergency situations. I recommend you make copies of your passport and id…. actually just copy everything in your wallet. Photo below is me with the most remarkable women (beautiful inside and out) that found my wallet on a busy street, after it had been stolen at my first day of Spanish School see lessons learned blog.
Being homesick is a common feeling, but we are lucky to have today’s technology and know home is just a click away. Plan out specific times to Skype the fam or get WhatsApp so you can phone home.
But know you are never really completely alone, you have fellow hostal kiddos, the locals, embassy workers, and you always have God!
You may travel to a country where they speak a different language, but don’t worry everyone has fear of being out of their comfort zone, someone has been in your shoes. Be resourceful. Use what you have. Do what you can – You’ll be ok!