TRAVEL SAFETY TIPS: HOW TO TRAVEL SAFELY- pt 1- ATTITUDE
I’ve been traveling solo since 1998, often by bicycle, often to remote areas of developing countries- to tiny villages, along empty rural back roads, in wild mountains, in Asia’s major cities, on empty undeveloped beaches. And, to date, I’ve never been robbed nor mugged nor pick-pocketed nor assaulted nor raped. I’ve never felt seriously threatened nor my life endangered.
I’ve also never had any major accidents or injuries, despite cycling thousands of miles on major highways and rural roads, hiking in remote mountains and jungles, taking local night trains and buses, sky-diving, scuba diving, para-gliding, bungee jumping, and sleeping in budget accommodation in dozens of countries. I’ve never broken any bones, had a wild animal bite, or any serious wounds.
While I have been sick, dozens of times, from bad food and respiratory illnesses, I’ve never had a major illness. I’ve even had a few very minor surgeries and medical tests- in developing countries (gasp). I didn’t suffer any side effects from them either.
How have I managed to stay safe traveling as a solo white woman out in the wide world?
Do you think I’ve simply been lucky?
Perhaps, but I beg to differ. If ‘luck’ comes into play, I’d call it more accurately a case of ‘making your own luck’.
I believe your safety mainly boils down to yourself: attitude, education, preparation, and wits (awareness).
In my series of ‘Travel Safely’ Tips, I elaborate on each of these important elements of staying safe. In truth, they apply to safety during travels or living at home.
Here’s part 1: Attitude
I believe that a lot of what you do in life and what happens to you in life boils down to your own attitude, particularly your expectations.
Many philosophies believe that ‘You get what you expect.’ That goes for your health, fitness, finances, successes, appearance, relationships, safety, experiences of safety, injuries, accidents, tragedies…
What do you expect to happen to you?
What do you expect to achieve, to find, to experience in your life? Your attitudes will directly affect your actions, your decisions, your demeanor, and your ‘vibe’ that you give off to others. That, in turn, will produce the results you experience. In effect, you will produce/create your experiences.
According to recent theories of Quantum Physics and/or ‘The Secret’, you actually attract into your life whatever it is you expect. Because our mental processes (thoughts) are electrical/ magnetic impulses, each thought exudes electrical waves of a certain frequency.
Their magnetic energy also attracts back what they put out. Therefore, you’re creating your life as you go along by the thoughts you’re emitting. Sound outlandish?
Another way to explain it is that, because of the way the subconscious mind works, whatever you expect, your brain will work night and day to achieve. Because you expect xyz, your mind will cause you to notice things, events, people, situations that will achieve that end. You will come up with ideas, attitudes and habits that will achieve that end result.
You will give off an attitude to those around you that will cause them to treat you in ways that will lead to that end. We humans pick up on each others’ vibes, attitudes, and ideas much more astutely than we realize.
Regardless of Quantum Physics’ theories that you ‘attract what you expect’ via bodily/mental magnetism and electrical energy, it still seems obvious that your expectations lead directly to your attitudes, actions, decisions, demeanor, what you say, and how you interact with people.
In my case, I expect to be safe. Period. Always have, even before I started my world travels. And so I am. I believe that’s the fundamental reason I have been safe through all my world travels to remote villages and mountains, to deserted beaches and late night city streets.
I expect to be safe in this world. Therefore, I exude an air of confidence, strength, in-vulnerability. I appear to be strong, not someone to tinker with. People pick up on that vibe, and they leave me alone. I do not appear an easy target or helpless victim.
I also make decisions that ensure my safety. I go to safe places, stay in safe hotels and hostels. If I get in a situation that seems potentially dangerous, I get out.
Now imagine a different traveler who goes out into the world nervous, scared, worried about their safety.
What kind of body postures, facial expressions, eye expressions, and vibe do you think they’re going to exude?
Do you think people -particularly importantly here ‘bad’ people- are going to pick up on that, either consciously or subconsciously? Of course they are. Will that traveler seem vulnerable, an easy target? Quite likely.
So my very first tip for traveling safely is attitude: expect to be safe.
But, hang on a second here. Presumably you’re reading this article because you’re not sure how to travel safely. Perhaps you have some doubts about your personal safety? Perhaps you don’t honestly always expect to be safe? Then what?
What if you’re actually worried, scared, unsure? Maybe you feel confident about certain safety issues like dealing with traffic and assessing stranger’s character, but you’re concerned about your health or being alone. Then what?
How can you change your attitude to become more confident and honestly expect to be safe?
That’s where education and preparation come in.
Check out part 2 of Traveling Safely: Education
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