It's a huge wide world to explore.
But with more and more reports about sexual assault and abductions in the news, it can seem like an unwise decision for us ladies to adventure alone.
Fear not! Traveling alone is both a thrilling and empowering experience and is not something to shy away from.
These are some essential tips and tricks to help you stay safe while traveling and to prevent your solo voyage from taking an unsavory turn.
Being prepared from A-Z is the best safety/travel tip I can give you.
Make sure you have your phone charged, you hotel addresses and reservation codes saved, your plane tickets printed out, etc... Whatever it is you need to make you feel prepared, take it, make it happen.
Trust me, those two extra minutes of you not wandering around lost because you have Google Maps open on your phone are the two seconds that will make you seem less like a tourist and therefore less like a target.
Cellphones Save Lives
This goes beyond Google Maps and Uber, this is about being able to call 911—or that countries' equivalent—if you need to.
Also, if you are traveling internationally, alternative international phone plan options are a must. Most wireless carriers have international talk, text, and data plans you can sign up for, or you could even get a local SIM card.
Either way, relying on only wifi to use your phone is never a good option. Wifi availability can be inconsistent, and is usually never available when we really need it most—let's be honest here.
Your phone is the most versatile tool that you have, so make sure that it's fully functioning in whatever country you plan to visit.
This one may go without saying, but it's important.
Let's face it, the only way you're going to realize that a person is following you is if you look back and notice it.
This doesn't mean you need to get all paranoid or whatever, but it does mean that you should be actively observing and aware of your environment, especially if you are in an unfamiliar place.
It's way harder to sneak up on someone who is being observant.
Trust Your Instincts
Our senses are more acute than we think.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't go new places and meet new people, I'm saying that if something deep inside of you is telling you that that pub is sketchy...do not go inside.
Or if something in the back of your mind is saying that, that man who offered to buy you a drink is a little creepy... listen to yourself.
More often than not, ladies, our intuition is indicating to us that something is wrong before we even realize it.
Stand Your Ground
Women are statistically less likely to be attacked or assaulted when standing their ground and showing their attackers they aren't afraid, or won't be intimidated.
A sturdy, alert woman is the hardest kind of woman to kidnap, and the kind of woman attackers are likely to avoid.
So be strong, stand tall, and people are significantly less likely to f*$& with you.
Know Your Basics
You don't need to be a kung-fu master, but you might want to consider taking a basic level self-defense class.
Self-defense classes are designed to teach you important and easy steps that you can take to protect yourself in case an altercation does occur.
We all hope that we will never have to use self-defense tactics in our daily life or during our travels, but as we learned in tip number one, we must always be prepared.
Learning where to hit an attacker, how to react if you've been grabbed from behind, or even how to escape a wrist hold are crucial skills that can help you be a survivor, instead of a victim.
One of the most important things learned in self-defense class is that no matter what kind of defensive techniques you are using, the ultimate goal is to get your attackers off of you, so you have time to run away.
Even the three seconds you have after you wrestle your wrist away from the assailant gives you enough time to run.
We are just trying to get the hell away from these creeps, ladies.
It's not as scary as it seems.
Traveling alone is a challenge and can be dangerous, but traveling alone is also an opportunity to open your eyes, mind, and heart to new places; people; cultures; and most importantly: yourself.
So embrace the opportunity to grow both in the world and inside yourself, and don't let the thought of some sicko keep you away from the journey of a lifetime—every time.
Just remember: You got this, girl.