Is it safe to travel alone?
Is it safe to travel alone?
Taking a trip to an interesting, foreign place alone is often seen as a time of self-discovery and enjoyment, however there are actually a lot of places that are deemed unsafe for women to travel through alone, because of things like rape and other forms of violence. This is really unfortunate, because the cities on the list are probably all very beautiful and culturally rich. However, in order to avoid dangers such as sexual harassment, theft, and or even murder, it’s important to keep a few vital pieces of information in mind.
Some of the riskiest cities for women to travel through alone are Bogota, Mexico City, Lima, New Delhi, Jakarta, and Buenos Aires. These cities have been deemed the most dangerous because of factors like high crime rate, history of gang rapes, and a lot of sexist attitudes. Something else that can make a city dangerous for women is the attitude that people in the area have toward gender equality. For example, if the general male population in a specific city has the opinion that they are entitled to women, then that city immediately becomes much more dangerous for women. Before choosing a travel destination, it’s important to keep factors like these in mind.
Even though these dangers definitely exist, it’s important to keep a (reasonably) open mind. Starting off with excessive premonitions may actually be an disadvantage. Harboring too much prejudice might lead to not being able to properly enjoy the trip or rubbing people the wrong way with your rudeness. Don’t forget that you shouldn’t become too trusting of people, even if they are tour guides or other friendly natives, you never really know people’s true intentions. Some good tips are to understand the culture of the area that you’re in, look into travel resources that will connect you with like-minded people, and to be confident in yourself. It would also be useful to plan your daily activities, never hitchhike, and don’t ever be afraid to draw attention to yourself if you are in danger.
Even though there are risks, you should never have to sacrifice the eye-opening experience that traveling alone through a new place truly is. It’s definitely important to understand that occurrences like the ones listed above are not the norm. However, it’s just smart to recognize potential risks and arm yourself with the knowledge to combat such dangers.
Prathusha Yeruva hails from the Great Lake state and is currently a sophomore at Troy Athens High School. She has an interest in biology and journalism, as well as in female empowerment. She founded a She's the First chapter at her high school (an organization that sponsors girls' education in the developing world), and that opportunity has definitely given her a more developed lens on women's issues globally. In addition to writing for Her Culture, she also writes for the women's issues column at She Speaks Media. She challenges herself academically with AP classes, participates in a wide variety of clubs, and values her Indian culture. In her free time, Prathusha drinks an abundance of coffee, listens to indie bands, and uses ampersands & parentheses excessively. She's so excited to be writing for Her Culture!