- FREEDOM! You can go anywhere and do anything! You don’t have to compromise at all.
- It’s easier to Couchsurf and do Workaway: People are more likely to host you Couchsurfing when you’re only 1 person because it’s just easier. Living in NYC, for example, it would have been tough to squeeze 2 people on a couch in a small room and I wanted my guests to be comfortable.
- In the US, many people think I’m crazy for traveling alone as a girl. Apparently I’m asking to be kidnapped. Of course some places are safer than others but I’m met many girls who travel alone as well. It’s just that most aren’t American. It’s just not part of the culture here.
- You are more open to new experiences: Without a friend from home, you are more likely to be more open to new friends and experiences. And it’s easier to adapt to local culture if you’re not constantly being reminded of your culture at home
- You’re not really alone: You’re going to make friends. You may make them at a hostel and end up traveling with them. You may get a tour of the town with your couchsurfing host. You might meet friends at an excursion. You’re only alone when you want to be.
I’m not the safest, most responsible person and for the most part, haven’t been in many bad situations because:
1. I’m an optimist- people tell me their “terrible stories” and I think to myself that the exact thing happened to me but I didn’t think it was bad at all. 1 time I left my passport at a hostel in Rome. Someone could see this as a nightmare but my hostel roommate from Rome found it. I went to meet up with him in Milan and in spite of the city being lackluster, we had a great time. We just rented a room and had great sex
2. Bad situations don’t happen nearly as often as people think they do. They just make it into the news often
3. I’m a tiny bit street smart: Here are a couple of safety precautions that I actually bother with and can share with you:
- Stash your $$$ in various locationsIn case you lose your cards or any of your belongings, or you get robbed, stash cash all over- just remember where you put it. I’ve put mine in my passport holder behind my passport, in my jacket pocket, pockets in my bags, pants pockets, and in my cell phone case. When I was walking around more dangerous cities I even stashed some in my bra in case I was robbed. Robbers know about $ belts but if a robber was checking my bra, I’d have bigger problems than just money.
- Take a picture of (or scan) important cards and documents and email the photos to yourself. I would use separate emails and if you have, maybe even separate email accounts so that one person can’t find all of your info so easily. But if you lose anything, this will be helpful. Some things to make sure to take pictures of
- Public transportation:
- It costs less than a taxi, is often times safer, and you’ll get a better understanding of the city and its key locations
- Be aware when you are in less safe areas. And hold on to the zipper of your backpack or whatever type of purse closure you may have. People can’t pickpocket you that way
Remember to have fun! I’m sure it’s not a smartest decision to go to lots of random guys places in a foreign country but I’ve never had too bad of an experience and I’ve had lots of great ones. I’ve had sex in a bunch of playgrounds in Europe and walked the empty streets of Colombia alone at night. I was fine and have great memories.