When you solo travel, especially as a female, you usually want to blend in as much as possible so that you don’t get hustled, robbed, or like, kidnapped or something, right? We’ve all seen Taken.
Well, my blonde hair and blue eyes might not exactly blend in in most places, but there are certain things I’ve learned to do that make me seem like a local anyway! I discovered these while solo traveling in Sydney when I was wondering why everyone thought I lived there. Other tourists would even ask me for directions or places to go!
I felt really cool, but more importantly, I felt confident to walk around by myself in Sydney, and venture out around its surrounding areas. Plus the locals aren’t too keen on tourists, so if you want to blend in in Sydney, follow these tips.
1. Research what’s in style
As with any place I travel to, I always social media stalk and Google search to find out what’s in style in the area. Many people don’t realize that what’s popular where they live isn’t always what’s popular somewhere else, so if you don’t acknowledge that, you’re going to end up sticking out.
When I went to Sydney, the “hipster” look was in style. I hate that term, and I hate what the “hipster” kids in LA wear, but according the the people in Sydney, it was mostly just skinny jeans with flat boots and sweaters.
It was also freezing when I went, so I had to wear that anyway, but I think I blended in pretty well besides my freshly burnt face from not wearing sunscreen in Thailand the week before.
2. Don’t hold a map
This should be obvious, but there were still times when I couldn’t get service on my iPhone so would have to look at a paper map to see where the hell I was in downtown Sydney. To avoid holding it, I folded it up really small, and would hide it in my purse when looking at it.
3. Don’t talk
I don’t mean pretend like you’re mute, but just don’t go around blabbing in your distinct non-Aussie accent. They even said they think it’s annoying when Americans talk loudly, so if you’re trying to nonchalantly blend in, keep quiet unless someone talks to you. There were multiple times (actually all of them) when someone would say hi or ask me something, and were shocked when I responded with an American Accent.
4. Stay in local areas
The first place you’ll probably look when figuring out where to stay in Sydney, is the popular downtown area. Although they have many hostels and hotels, zero locals live there or like to be there other than for work. Stay in a more local area like Bondi Beach which is just outside of downtown Sydney, but where many young locals live, work, and play.
5. Walk with purpose
Before I’d go anywhere in Sydney, I’d look up where it was and how to get ther so I wouldn’t have to pull out my map. Then I would walk quickly yet casually, as if I made the walk every day, mostly because I hate looking like I’m lost, or like I’m a solo girl wandering around aimlessly. Act like you know where you’re going, and own it. Everyone will believe you.