An article from an experienced solo traveler Angelina from the USA, in which she reveals some of the intricacies of traveling alone.
“Over the past 14 months I have made a solo journey from Mexico to Argentina. People around were surprised by a lonely girl wandering through the expanses of Latin America. I have often been asked what precautions I take to make my journey safe. So, I will give simple but effective tips on how to behave when traveling alone:
Make and send them to your mail, or to the mail of someone from your family. If you lose your passport, you can get a new one faster if you have the above copies.
Always keep the one where you are going when planning to arrive at your destination. Upon arrival, inform this person.
. If someone starts a conversation with you and you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to sound rude. I often ignored suspicious faces, the appearance of which made me feel “out of my element.” She just continued to walk forward, as if not noticing them. Perhaps this is not always justified and you can offend a person, but it is better to play it safe.
. When friendliness emanates from you, those around you feel it and will come to your aid. A simple smile once saved me from a theft. I gave up my seat on the bus to a pregnant woman, while two other suspicious passengers next to me were talking about something about me. This woman overheard their conversation and gave me a look at the potential danger.
Public transport is a haven for pickpockets. Never keep important items in the back pocket of a backpack that is out of your line of sight. A swindler is not always an inconspicuous young man. Sometimes it can even be a group of women who “accidentally” hit you or accidentally squeeze around you on the bus.
On intercity buses, I always introduce myself to the driver and tell the station where I am going. It may sound strange, but most drivers, when approaching their destination, say my name and pull my luggage out first, passing it from hand to hand.
It’s not that I try to seem like a local resident (too many subtleties that I don’t know), but I try to look like a person who has lived in this territory for a long time and knows what’s what. I do this so that the thieves will take me for an immigrant and switch to someone who is easier to rob.
I have a very shabby bag that I carry over my shoulder. When moving, I transport netbooks, Ipods, as well as a SLR camera in it. But the bag has such a nondescript look that you would never think of expensive things inside it. The bag has been torn many times, patched and shows no sign of expensive items inside.
When checking into a hostel, I go to the reception with a map of the city and ask to mark dangerous areas in which it is better not to appear. I’m also interested in possible known scammers in the city.
A few final words
If traveling alone (alone), you find yourself in a situation where people want to get something from you that you have, it’s better to give it to them. After all, there are many poor people in the world who do bad things, one of which is stealing. But this does not mean at all that they can offend you physically.