I’ve ventured through 17+ solo expeditions in a variety of country conditions. I have been called everything from crazy to overly ambitious to inspiring. All of which may be true, but ultimately I do it because it is what I love. I learn SO much about myself with each trip and wouldn’t be who I am today as a result. So I want to share with you what I do when I get to a new destination to make sure I am as safe as can be and positioned to have the most fun! Look for another post coming about my pre-travel + planning tips.
- Make friends.
When you get there, make friends. Be it locals or other travelers at your hotel or hostel. Meeting new people is always fun and an opportunity for a perspective shift. I’ve also maintained contact with many of them and now have an international network of beautiful people I can connect with and tap as a resource.
- Get lost and find your landmarks.
You want to have a basic idea of directions and a layout of the city, wander around and get your bearings. Look for landmarks that can help clue you into where you are staying, how far out from home base you are, where a pharmacy is, etc. Getting oriented as quickly as possible at the beginning of your stay makes reading maps and taking public transportation that much easier.
Also, it helps you know if your cab is going in the wrong direction which could potentially be very dangerous or lesser scam to get more money. Regardless if you know that’s not the right way because you’ve got your bearing you can speak your mind or jump out of the cab.
- Be open with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Don’t not make friends while you travel! In my own experience the vast majority of people I have encountered traveling I can trust, but I also don’t leave my bag lying around in the hostel while I am out for the day because there are bad eggs. I also usually keep stuff that I absolutely cannot lose on me and double and triple check its there throughout the day. But I have been known to meet someone for 5 minutes and decide to grab dinner and go out drinking with them for the rest of the night. Know your exits, have an escape plan always, and have fun. But be smart.
- Take some time out of your days to reflect.
Think about where you are, what you’ve learned, and where you want to go next. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of travel but you will have so much more a rewarding experience when you aren’t completely worn down. My favorite thing is to take a couple hours before dinner to rest my feet and look at my map and list of what I wanted to do, then do a yoga flow, and grab some food because all that walking makes me wildly hungry.
- There’s an unspoken traveler’s code. Follow it.
I think this is why I have not met shitty people in hostels and most of the fellow travelers I have met have been so stellar. But its also about respecting the fact that you are a guest in your host country and should give it the utmost respect. I am going to speak some of the large ones I have picked up on:
– don’t sully your host country, that includes trash or saying something bad about it.
– respect the cultural differences- if you’re in the middle east dress on the more conservative side, booty shorts and crops tops are not going to go over well in Cairo.
– respect your fellow traveler, their knowledge, perspective, and stuff.
– help out if you see someone in a sticky situation
– generally don’t be a dick, if they see you later on and you need help you’re a lot more likely to get it if you were nice.
Enjoy your trip most of all. If you have any questions or want to discuss an upcoming trip shoot me a message or comment here.