I have heard comments from a lot of people about how crazy I am or how worried they are about me, thinking I am unaware that the world is not perfect. “It’s not safe over there, there are kidnappings and lots of crime.” “Terrorism.” “Don’t go there.” “Don’t go by yourself.” “Be careful.” I get questions like “Are you sure you want to go there?” or “Are you insane?” The list could go on.
Don’t worry, I am very aware. I do an EXTENSIVE amount of research before going anywhere. I realize I have limitations on me due to being a small white girl, but if I can find a safe way to go to certain places, then I am going to. I know there are times and places that people shouldn’t be alone…so I’m not. If bad things can happen anywhere, then what makes you think you are safe where you are? I am not just going to sit locked up in my own hometown out of fear that things happen elsewhere when they could just as easily happen here, or because others are scared for me. That is part of the reason I travel the way I do…to set people straight on how things really are rather than what they hear from the media or whatever.
I hate how the media depicts, well, pretty much everything. From body image to world events. Thats material for another post. They only mostly present the bad things, completely bypassing the positives. Stuff happens around where I live and where you live, but that doesn’t mean the entire country or even city is bad. Don’t just listen to what others have to say. Do your own research, be safe and go see the amazing parts for yourself! More often than not, you’ll find that the media and others were wrong. You’ll find hidden gems of the world that most people don’t even know exist because they are to afraid to even try to go. I’m not like that. I am going places, but I also know how to be safe. I am in tune with my surroundings, have developed good instincts, am vigilant, and make friends everywhere I go.
I am not saying I am never scared. I am not saying I am always prepared for absolutely everything. Both of those things are impossible for anyone to fully achieve. However, I am not going to let fear obstruct me from an experience of a lifetime. I learned that the hard way when my family didn’t get to go on the London Eye because I was too afraid of heights, and I have regretted taking that experience away from them ever since.
For safety, there are many ways to be proactive! There are some things you can’t predict or control, and therefore cannot fully prepare for, but there are many things you can do. I will elaborate in a separate post, but here are a few things that can be helpful:
Prior to traveling and even planning on traveling somewhere, I research what is going on over there-health and safety advisories, areas with higher crime rates, and world events. Supplemental research involves reading experiences from other travelers like me who have been there, as they will often have a much more unbiased and truly informational take on life and travel there. When I am out and about traveling, I use a hidden money belt with RFID blockers in the lining so people can’t scan my information, I have a backpack that has stainless steel in the lining so people can’t slash and run with it, I constantly scan my surroundings, and don’t go to places alone when I have even an inkling of self doubt (formed by research, instincts and good judgment). I will make a separate post with what I actually take with me, but I wanted to clear up the idea that I “don’t have a fear in the world and that nothing ever goes wrong.” I am cautious and conscientious, and I am indeed aware that things go wrong. Things could go wrong all the time regardless of where you are and what you are doing. Being self-aware is an important quality to have regardless of where you are and what you are doing, but it is definitely something put into practice particularly when traveling.
Any other travelers have thoughts on this?