3 Things I learned as female solo traveler

Cancun Mexico

It is widely believed that it is dangerous for a woman to travel alone. It is scary and not safe. And this is certainly the reaction I have had in the past. I once had a female companion back out of a trip to Mexico, and I decided to go by myself. Even my closest friends disagreed with me and told me not to go. I ignored their pleas and I went to Mexico alone, and I learnt a lot from that and subsequent trips abroad.

Follow your instincts: I learned to navigate and figure out how to do things alone without asking for help. I learned never to immediately trust someone you meet. That first time in Mexico I was looking to meet people, and was thrilled to meet a group of friends from San Diego. I was especially friendly with one boy, but he clearly had intentions. He told his friends, without me knowing, that he was going back to my hotel. He escorted me back, but in the taxi he became very rude and I had to forcefully make him leave before getting to the hotel. If you are alone and don’t feel safe, you have the right to walk away.

Walking away is OK: Another time I was by myself in bar in Rome and met a couple guys from Spain. One of them started fondling my hair, so I told him and his friend to leave. I did not feel comfortable at all, and although they walked away, the other then came back and began doing the same thing. I walked out. If you are not comfortable, or are even slightly unsure, follow your guts and walk away.

Florence Italy

Do’s and Don’ts while traveling alone: DO NOT walk late at night no matter how safe you feel; DO take a taxi home. If you are planning to drink, DO make sure you stay sober enough to get home safely. Before leaving a restaurant or any public place, DO make sure you have everything in your bag. If you want to make new friends, plan your trip so that you are staying close to the bars and nightclubs. DO NOT volunteer personal information, like name, age, or even phone number, until you are confident that the person can be trusted and you feel 100% safe.

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