Most people believe I am crazy when I tell them, “ so I just booked a trip and I am off backpacking for about a month.” The first question that comes to their mind is, “Alone?” Of course alone, it can be the best way to travel. I can not remember how many times people, especially women have told me that it’s unsafe, can be lonely, scary, and that I am crazy. The fear that runs across their face is always the same; they are worried for me. Although how do women believe and think of this when most of them who tell me this have not traveled solo anywhere. Perhaps it’s the media or just others complaining how dangerous the world is. Well yes, it can be dangerous if you are not aware of your surroundings, and have no idea what to look out for. Yet, as a solo traveller, even if you are new at it there are necessary things that you should keep in mind.
1. Do not draw attention to yourself as a tourist.
2. Trust you own gut feeling; If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
3. Keep you eyes open to your surroundings – public places.
4. Always feel confident and walk like you know where you are going, even if you don’t.
5. Avoid looking like a tourist; camera around your neck
6. Don’t worry about a little lie– that is allowed when it comes to solo-traveling.
7. Always know where your hostel is, have a map on you, or know where the local transportation is located at all times.
I believe solo traveling can give you the chance to indulge yourself completely. You can do exactly what you want to do and take in your surroundings that no one else can. Plus you can meet as many people as you wish. Once you meet people, traveling alone becomes something else entirely. Yes, you are a solo- traveller, but you are surrounded by people who are doing the same thing as you.
So how do backpackers take the fear out of people’s minds about traveling solo or backpacking at all?