Have you got your copy of: You, Yourself & the World yet?
My debut long term solo travel help and advice book is helping people worldwide prepare for future travels (when It’s safe to again) and become savvy solo travelers before even packing their bags.
You, Yourself & the World takes you in a journey deep into long term solo travel life. It provides you with deep insights, realistic tips, practical advice, and answers to 100+ questions, concerns and fears that could change your life.
If you haven’t got your copy yet, It’s ok. Luckily, you have landed on a sneak peak post where I provide excusive access to two questions and answers from the 3rd section of the book: Solo travel safety concerns
Before you get started if you’ve missed the previous two extracts and would like to read them first you can do here: You, Yourself & the World book extracts.
Solo travel safety is on the top of everybody’s mind before starting a journey. This section of the book answers safety concerns and fears and looks into how you can safeguard yourself in certain situations. Common sense is the buzz word in this section.
This extract post gives you access to two of the questions and answers covered in the book.
Long term solo travel safety concerns
q: IS LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL SAFE?
SHORT: For the most part, yes it is but you need to be responsible for yourself and your belongings, use common sense and be aware of your surroundings.
LONG: Solo travel safety is one of, if not the most common fear, concern, issue anybody has while thinking about long term solo traveling. It’s also probably the biggest factor that stops people from going through with it.
The truth is, and there is no sugar-coating it; It’s as safe or dangerous as your own stupidity allows. No country or region in the world is 100% safe, not even the one you come from. Every country, city, town and area has It’s good and bad spots. However you can keep yourself safe in virtually every country in the word by using your common sense and being aware of your surroundings.
There may be the odd chance, when something unforeseeable happens but more than likely whenever it does go wrong it’s because of something you did or did not do
While you should always remain cautious, have your wits about you and be on guard, there is no need to be overly paranoid. If you are, that can breed nervousness and fear, the fear can stop you from doing things and ultimately ruin your trip. Fear and nervousness also attracts attention.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR SOLO TRAVEL SAFETY
- Listening to people and pay attention to advice, if people say something or an area is unsafe then listen, do not think you know better
- Pay attention to signposts and warnings
- Use your common sense and pay attention to your surroundings
- Learn to listen to and use your instincts, if you think something doesn’t feel right or sounds dangerous then don’t do it
- Don’t be naïve, unfortunately not everybody has got the best intentions for you. If people you don’t know are acting too friendly for no reason, question it
- Even if you’re not, act confident especially in areas where there are touts, beggars and hawkers
- Do research into areas to see if crime is rife
- Do not be gullible and too trusting, especially to strangers, beggars or people who seem dodgy
- If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is
- Don’t flash your cash or valuable belongings around in public because you will get targeted
- Try and blend in, looking like a tourist will attract unwanted attentions and you will get targeted
- Keep your belongings safe and know where they are at all times
- Do not keep all your money in the same place, spread it around your person and bag
- Do not carry too much money on your person
- Be cautious of corrupt police officers in certain countries
- If you rent/buy a vehicle make sure It’s locked up when you leave it
- Don’t leave your vehicle in places where it can attract a break-in
- If you have a vehicle in countries where corruption is rife, hide you money, officers do random spot checks and will try and bribe you
- Without being overly paranoid have an air of caution about you and subtly be on guard at all times. You are most vulnerable when you get overconfident and let your guard down
When It comes to your safety, you are solely responsible for it and that of your belongings, nobody else. You cannot rely on others, or palm it off on others. It doesn’t matter if you make friends, get close to people, It’s all on you. If you entrust somebody else over the safety of your belongings and something goes wrong or missing, it’s not their fault its yours for leaving it in their hands.
Try not to pre-judge a country or region because of the media either. Sometimes they will portray a country to be far worse than it actually is. Of course be cautious, but don’t let it stop you from traveling there if you want to. There are plenty of countries around the world that are perfectly safe for travelers, but people are put off because of the history, their reputation and the way the mainstream media portray it.
Also remember, if there any political unrest in the country, or civil fighting, they normally don’t bother with or involve foreigners and travelers. However, you should pay attention to warnings and stay clear of them
Your personal safety also extends to keeping safe while sightseeing, on excursions, hikes, treks, and tours. Be cautious, listen to what you’ve been told, do not interrupt wild animals or fauna. Do not be an idiot. If you are out in the wilderness respect the elements and surroundings around you. If there is extreme weather that you are not used to then do not put yourself in danger or try and brave it.
By using your common sense, listening to advice and paying attention to rules, regulations, customs and laws you shouldn’t have any issues. The issues come when you become over-confident, ignorant, think you know better or just downright stupid.
If you have a genuine concern about your safety while traveling, let people know. Don’t be scared to seek advice or share your concerns. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, talk to people in your accommodation, to the friends you’ve made or to the local authorities. The last thing you need to do is to try and hide it and make the situation worse.
Q: I DON'T WANT TO GET TARGETED, HOW DO I BLEND IN AS A LONG TERM SOLO TRAVELER?
SHORT: The golden rule is always act like you know what you’re doing even if you don’t. Be casual and don’t look or act like a wide-eyed tourist. If you do you will stick out like a sore thumb and easy to target
LONG: It may sound harsh to say this but there are a lot of dumb and naïve and self entitled solo travelers out there who get targeted but are oblivious to why. They get targeted because of the way they dress, act, behave and make the mistake of thinking they are superior to the locals.
There are those who act like they know everything and unwilling to listen to advice. They are oblivious to their surroundings, didn’t have their wits about them and usually have zero common sense. They get targeted, robbed, pickpocketed and mugged and try and be the victim, thinking they did nothing wrong that it wasn’t their fault, and it was an unforeseen act.
Don’t be like this. More experienced long term solo travelers see this happen all the time and can see it happening to those type of people a mile away. But they were unwilling to listen.
The number one thing you need to have is common sense and have some street smartness about you. There is a combination of things you can do to blend in and not be targeted.
Be mindful and street smart
- Don’t go brandishing yourself as a tourist (dress in simpler and plain clothes, you’re traveling long term you don’t need to wear branded clothes or look like you’re on a modelling shoot all the time)
- Do not look like a typical tourist (camera hanging off your neck, money belt, translation book, physical map hanging out your pocket, no idea about local currency wide-eyed and in awe of everything)
- Don’t flash your things around, like your money, phone, tablet or any other valuables
- If you don’t understand how local currency works figure it out in private place not in public
- If you get lost, don’t panic, act like you know where you are, find a quiet place then pull out your map
- When haggling, do not be rude. It’s a game, you have to play your part in it
- Do not be narrow minded towards locals especially if the culture is different to what you’re used to
- Don’t act brash or arrogant, ignorant or think you are better than locals
- Be aware of your belongings but don’t keep touching them, you’re just telling them where to look if you do get targeted
- If you get told to stay away from a certain area then do as you’re told
- If you’re on public transport keep your things in your front pocket, keep your bags safe on the seat not on the floor
- Do as the locals do rather than what tourists do
- Get to know locals, befriend, hang around in local areas, let them get used to your face and get to know them get to know how things work. But use your brain, don’t just trust anybody
- Be aware of your surroundings
As a long term solo traveler, It’s more likely you will travel slower. Don’t be afraid to venture into local areas. Be around locals, do as they do. The more they see you the more you become recognisable and more chance for you to blend in with them too.
just a sneak peak of the solo travel SAFETY SECTION
There is a lot more where that came from the book.
If there are any specific questions you would like answering, drop me a comment below and I will be glad to answer them for you.
Before you leave though, find out what questions are answered throughout the book in my question listing page which can reach from below.
SECTIONS COVERED IN THE BOOK:
1. THINKING ABOUT LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
2. SOLO TRAVEL CONCERNS
3. LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL (PERSONAL) SAFETY CONCERNS
4. LONELINESS/MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH
5. MENTALITY SHIFTS/ SPIRITUALITY
6. MEETING PEOPLE/MAKING FRIENDS
7. BUDGETING & FINANCES FOR LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL
15. MY PERSONAL LONG TERM SOLO TRAVEL ADVICE/TIPS
FIND OUT IF YOUR FEARS, CONCERNS, AND QUESTIONS COVERED IN THE BOOK ON THE FULL QUESTIONS AND SECTION LISTING PAGE
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