It's natural to be afraid of traveling alone, particularly if you're a woman. Some don't even feel safe in their own home countries. So how are they expected to have any dreams of going on an adventure? In many places in the world, women grow up inside a bubble of inequality, abuse, and fear, which is almost impossible to burst. Nonetheless, there are also women out there who take daring journeys on their own. The most common question they get is "Are you ever afraid of being in a foreign country on your own?" Many women feel afraid at the beginning, but once they give themselves the chance to have the experience, they realize that things are simpler and funnier than they thought.
Many of us still have a ways to go in terms of traveling. Instagrammer Rachel Brock has been traveling solo for two years now. This experience has turned her into an expert on destination recommendations and travel finance. She is determined to continue her long travels safely and without having to spend much. These are some her most important tips for those women who are planning on traveling alone.
Trust your gut
You must not give in to fear. The experience of arriving at a new place can be overwhelming due to cultural shock. But remember, we are all humans sharing the same planet. When you finally overcome your fear, you'll realize that traveling alone is safe and easy. This doesn't mean you should lower your guard, of course. If you don't agree with something or feel uncomfortable about a situation just say it. Don't stay silent just because you don't want to come across as rude. Set boundaries and don't let anyone get past them.
Ask which places to avoid
Hostels are usually the salvation of unexperienced travelers. There you can find people who are going through your same situation and will help you. If possible, try to keep in touch with them, although some people may not want to establish contact to get the complete experience of solo traveling. If you feel you are somewhere unsafe, call someone right away. If for any reason you end up in a place people told you to avoid, don't display fear. Just call someone, and even if no one answers, just pretend you're talking with someone you're about to meet in a few minutes while you find a way out of that situation.
Have the right tools at hand
One of the first tips you'll get will be to download MAPS.ME. You can download all the maps of the places you are planning to visit and use them afterwards without a Wi-Fi connection. This won't just save you from getting lost, but also help you notice when a taxi driver tries to con you, since this app lets you set routes. Also, don't forget to always carry with you other maps you might need, as well as translation apps, and copies of all important documents.
Begin your trip with the most popular hangouts
Perhaps you were dreaming of visiting highly exotic places. India, for example, is one of the most amazing countries of the world. However, tourism culture has yet to be improved and going into a country with thousand millions of people is not easy. If it's your first time traveling alone, you're better off starting with Europe, Australia, or Thailand. These places are used to having visitors from all over the world, so you can easily get around speaking English.
After a few days traveling you'll realize your Internet search was useless. Those around you can provide the best advice on picking out hostels, schedules, monuments, as well as the best regions to travel to. Rachel lived some of the best experiences hiking, taking walks, doing couchsurfing, having dinner, or discovering secret beaches that are only known by locals. She would only make sure she carried enough money and her cell phone was fully charged. Then, it was all about having fun.
You can find these same tips and more in Rachel's Instagram page @thisisbackpacking.
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