Travelling Solo (Part 2)

© Ocean/Corbis

In my previous article I commented on some precautions and behaviours that one should adopt when travelling alone, here are a few more.

Don’t feel bad if you’re paranoid. I tend to get quite paranoid myself sometimes, and it is definitely something that might put some obstacles in front of you, but a little paranoia when alone in a huge country only helps to keep you safe. You can’t go trusting anyone you meet and a little extra caution at night won’t do you any harm. It’s true that when travelling we are out of our comfort zone and expect interesting things to happen. But interesting things do not happen all the time and they are unplanned, so it is better if you mostly stay safe. If you detest staying in at night and find yourself alone, find accommodation in central places, where it would be easier for you to commute.

Be assertive. Learning this lesson cost me 4,000 rupees, approximately 40 euros, and 5 pieces of clothing which I did not need. When travelling with others and you’re being pestered to buy something or go somewhere, one can just pretend to be discussing with others and walk away. But when alone, you must fend off all the unwanted attention on your own. You can listen to the other person, but in the end if you do not want what the other person is offering just say “thank you but no thank you” and leave. Remember the person selling or offering will make you feel obliged to accept – but you aren’t, so don’t.

Having said all this, common sense and street smarts is what will empower you to really enjoy yourself while keeping you safe and sound.