Yes I’m female, black in my early twenties and I travel solo, may be its just cos I consider myself an independent person and can find my own fun or my friends are just not willing to travel to my choice destination or the most likely cos of they just are not financially capable but either ways, I travel solo and believe me it’s fun.
There are however safety tips I live by whenever I travel independently.
The world has gone global, making friends with people in other parts of the world has become way easier than it was. Just before I leave for my destination, I make friends wherever it is I am headed. The internet has also helped a lot in that I get to talk to them and video call for little or nothing before I head out to the country or city. There are several apps and social networking sites. There are also specialized ones for travelers and you can easily use them to find that awesome buddy.
Wherever it is I go or find myself, I try as much as possible to blend in. I was in Egypt a couple of weeks ago, Egypt being a predominantly Muslim country most of the women are well covered up. It wasn’t the time to wear skimpy cloths and Yes I wore appropriate clothes, I covered up, even covered my hair sometimes, wore minimal accessories and restrained from wearing flashy colors.
Do not look lost
When traveling alone, because you are by yourself, you are susceptible to danger especially in cities with a very high crime rate or high tourist activity. It’s not a time to wander around looking lost or have your head buried in a guidebook or a map, do your research before leaving your hotel or hostel so even if you have to refer to your map, an occasional glance will do, ensure you walk briskly like someone who has got a purpose. Just Keep moving, if you have to stop, try entering a close by café, get yourself composed and be sure to act normal.
Keep your Phone and Camera away
There is nothing else that screams tourist more than someone with a camera or phone and who is taking a lot of pictures, trust me on this one, it draws attention. Although this is a hard one, try as much as possible to keep them in your backpack or sling bag. Even if you have to take pictures, a few shots will do, also avoid slinging your camera on your neck. I purposely leave my camera sling at home to avoid the temptation of slinging it on my neck.
Everyone gets missing in their cities. Even locals get missing, the fact that you don’t know your way around doesn’t give you up. No one knows everywhere so instead of looking lost and wandering about, ask someone for directions. Even if some people notice your solitariness, they probably don’t care. Most people are too busy thinking about something else in their lives to wonder why you are alone by yourself.
Keep in touch
It’s very easy to get lost in the Euphoria of being in a new place. That’s totally understandable as it happens most times but whatever you do, try as much as possible to keep in touch with your folks or friends back home. I know calling might be expensive, but be sure to mark the register with whoever you decide back home, a whats app or bbm message barely costs anything. Better still Have a friend In the city who you check in with regularly.
I guess this is a hard one but really it’s doable. My first international travel was solo and this was after several weeks of planning with my friend. I was so excited about traveling for the first time and I did not allow her dropping out of the plan affect my disposition. I did it and I got back safe. Believe me there more good people in the world than there are bad ones. Have a positive attitude towards happening, things and event and you’d be perfectly fine.
Follow your guts
Lastly I follow by guts, spending too much time thinking or brooding over it kills the excitement, if you believe you can do it, go ahead. Push your comfort level, whether it is going on a plane half way across the continent or taking a bus to a nearby city.
If no one is willing to go with you, just do it, get that ticket, believe me after spending so much you’d have no choice than to take the trip and yes you’d be totally fine just like I was.