When something inside of your doubtful self says: Uh-oh!
Especially when you’re alone on the road, there are certain situations where something inside of your doubtful self says: Uh-oh! Here are some helpful tips to ensure you stay away from experiences that may lead to danger or discomfort.
1. Take a deep breath, and listen to your heart.
It sounds so cliche, but YOU know when something is wrong and when you’re in a setting which feels wrong. In order to turn off all other signals and distractions, take a deep breath so you can clear the noise. Then, silently ask yourself: Is this right? If the answer is a big fat NO, then find a way out of this situation that isn’t suitable for you.
2. Follow the crowd.
Often when we’re in a foreign place alone, it’s not necessarily the danger but the unknown that makes us nervous. Once you’ve got that “uh-oh” antennas on alert, then follow the crowd. So whichever situation you end up experiencing, at least you’re not alone. Whether it’s being lost or feeling like you’re in a dangerous situation, heading toward where people are is never a bad idea.
3. Learn how to read people well.
This one comes with experience, but it’s tremendously useful when you’re alone and suddenly find yourself engaged in a conversation with strangers. In some countries, locals are quite fond of foreigners like ourselves, so striking up a random or profound conversation is harmless. But in order to determine whether you should go to a bar with a stranger, or spend more time with him/her, read this person. There are details in a person’s behavior that can tell us so much, from how he/she looks at you to how this person makes you feel. Read this person’s motions and what’s behind the gaze can be a true life saver.
4. Use common sense.
This may seem redundant, but it’s something many travelers forget to utilize. Leaving the hotel/hostel with your phone 20% charged, striking up a conversation with whoever gives you an ounce of attention, getting in a cab without the meter running are never good ideas. Using our common sense is a huge factor to avoid getting in problematic situations. So don’t start a fight at a bar, don’t yell too loudly in public places, don’t get so drunk that you don’t know how to get back to your hotel/hostel.
5. Know your tolerance for alcohol.
It’s hard to do when all you want to do is to have a good time. But this is one rule I implement whenever I’m traveling alone. Thankfully, I personally have quite a high tolerance of alcohol, but I also know when to say: STOP! Being so intoxicated to the point of no return (literally, back to your hotel) is only going to blur your intuition. So be sure to know your level of tolerance for alcohol so you don’t live in regret later.