As Albert Einstein rightly puts it,
" The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before."
He is correct in more ways than one. Female Solo Travelers will completely agree. My conservative companions will have had a heart attack reading this. The elderly would be seen squeezing the bridge of their nose and letting out an exasperated sigh. Female SOLO travelling???? It is looked down upon. Sadly, the sentiment shared by the Indian society generally, is
"A single woman traveling alone is highly risky. In a foreign country, it is downright foolish."
Next starts the outpouring of uncomfortable questions and concerns about issues such as rape, assaults, attacks and various other crimes. They will go in details describing to you consequences of ladies wandering unsupervised. Cannot these people hear themselves talking? Unsupervised?? A lady carries the responsibilities of the world on her shoulders and does it in an elegant manner, making it look like a piece of cake. She does not need supervision. Female Security is understandable. But following certain tips and common sense can easily safeguard the women against it. The general amount of risk will always be there, of course. But, it is present there even when you are sitting in your home. It is there for the men too. It exists in your own city. You cannot stop living in the dread of the unknown,the might be happening misdeeds.Take precautions and smell the perfumed sky. The general guidelines can be:
- Research your Destination
Know the dodgy places to be avoided, where to go, what are the safety guards, what is recommended and what is not.
- Pack Accordingly
Wearing short skirts and knickers in Saudi Arabia is definitely a no-no. Pack accordingly to the place and the atmosphere there. It is advisable to avoid sexy dresses and hot pants at certain questionable places that might attract the wrong crowd.
- Create Boundaries
Meeting strangers and striking up a conversation, getting to know their lifestyle and opinions is a part of travel, agreed. But set certain boundaries. Let the person know if you are uncomfortable with some gesture or approach on their part. Or simply leave.
- Follow your Instincts
Women have been given a certain gut feeling by the grace of god in an impending danger or risky situation. Follow your instincts. Do what you think is right and connect or disconnect with the person your gut is telling you to. It is mostly correct for all girls worldwide.
- Create a Scene
Don't bother thinking about drawing attention to yourself and feeling embarrassed. If in a tight situation, call out for help or create a scene, so that the passer-by knows you need help and somebody comes to your rescue.
For all the girls and women who dream of making it big or creating a name for themselves, keep this quote in mind,
" Never did the world make a Queen of a girl who hides in houses and dreams without travelling"
It happens only in story books and movies. Believe me, Travel will irreversibly alter your heart.Be the protagonist of your own story and enjoy this beautiful world god has created with open minded indulgence.