People always ask me if I’m scared to travel alone; my answer is “Not normally.” Sure there have been some crazy taxi rides and I always get a bit nervous when I arrive in a country late at night for the first time; however, overall I’ve never felt like I was in life threatening danger. Some of that might be luck, but I also believe some of it is skill. As a solo traveler, I’ve adapted my personality to avoid dangerous situations and scams.
Basically this means that I trust no one.
This lack of trust in human kind also means that I have to harden my personality in order to pull it off. Kids tugging at my shirt in India – I ignore. Aggressive shop keepers – I don’t even make eye contact. Someone comes to me to ask for something, and I generally don’t help. A nice man offers to buy me a drink – I kindly refuse. It takes a lot to get through the barrier I put up; and for good reason – my safety and sometimes for my sanity.
Yes – this sounds a bit harsh, but I think at times it’s necessary to have to dig deep and find your inner bitch when you travel. Some days that’s easier for me than others. As a traveler (solo or not) you are a target for all kinds of begging, petty theft, and scams. I’ve been exposed to my share of all of these. People simply want your money; some will just take it, and some will try to outsmart you.
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