I love this photo because it’s incredibly misleading. While my face looks soft and vulnerable, my hands gently frame my face because I’ve been trained to protect my head during fights in Krav Maga. At the drop of a hat, I know how to get an attacker on the floor and strangle him or her with my favorite Buddhist prayer beads.
I’d like to think that Buddha would have understood my need for excessive violence in certain incidents; because sometimes internal reflection isn’t as persuasive as a punch in the throat.
Even in the 21st century, there are certain precautions that I have to take when traveling alone because of my gender, and nothing more. I try to stay with a pack whenever I can, I like to keep concealed weapons on me “just in case,” and I continue to train because it’s harder to kill people who are in great shape. However, because I love traveling alone, I refuse to be deterred by ghost stories from paranoid people who’ve never left the comforting boarders of their own countries.
Grow up and go out side. It’s gorgeous out here.
I love traveling alone because I’m super interesting and have a lot of important opinions to express… so gazing into nothingness and reflecting on the world around me is one of my favorite pastimes.
Look at that cloud… gotta pay my credit card tomorrow.
Why are pants so uncomfortable?
I wonder what types of natural predators hedgehogs have…. Cars?
There’s a certain sense of ownership that comes with the ability to be alone with your thoughts. To know that you are enough company for you. If you have mastered this, be grateful; because not everyone possesses the same sense of security.
If I went blonde… I wonder how many of these plants are poisonous?
I often choose to travel alone because adding other people to the equation is often more mafan 麻烦(i.e. troublesome) than it’s worth… Where are we going? Where are we staying? How will we get there together? What about his/her food allergies? What will we do if something bad happens?…
How about we just figure it out when we get there?
What non-travelers don’t realize is that the world is filled with good people. If you need help, you will be able to find it. No matter what country you’re in. No matter what language you speak. How is a whole other ball game, but I continue to roam the world without ever thinking, “if I was bleeding on the ground, no one would notice me.” Which has happened and guess what, random people rose to the occasion!
The ER is super duper fun if you haven’t been.
When certain people watch or read the news, they hear whispers of crimes, murders, and rapes in foreign cultures and countries and immediately chastise that community.
“It’s too dangerous,” they will whisper. “It’s not like our country.”
But bad things happen to good people all over the world. In London, you’ll probably get mugged. New York, stabbed. Hong Kong, pickpocketed. Los Angeles, jumped. Rome, sexually harassed. Australia, eaten by a shark. But all these things can happen ANYWHERE at ANY TIME (maybe not the shark attack) so what’s the point of tiptoeing through life to arrive safety at death?
You can thank Ludacris for that piece of advice.
I am not helpless because I am a woman. I am resilient, cunning, empathetic, conscious, protective, and resourceful because I am woman. Don’t try to punish me for it.
And traveling alone doesn’t mean you have to be alone. It’s incredibly easy to meet other wanderers who are on a similar journey at hotels, hostels, or bars. You could attend a community meet-up. You could also meet up with friends of friends. Or even track down your favorite bloggers to say hi!
Point is: you are never alone when you are part of the global travelers network.
We take care of our own out here because we know how fleeting physical things are. Money, luggage, and passports can evaporate into thin air sometimes and it’s not ones fault. But maybe someone speaks enough of the local language to make a police report for you? And another person has some spare cash to “lend” out without the expectation of receiving it back. Maybe someone has an extra shirt to offer and another person, a pair of pants. Because even when disaster strikes, you will have food, water, and clothing. The emergency room isn’t really that scary. Your whole world won’t fall apart if your wallet gets stolen. You are not a helpless infant.
If you choose to strike out on your own, you’re going to have people second-guess your decision and try to hold you back. They’ve chosen to stay in their tiny world with their tiny opinions, but you don’t have too. You are brave, spirited, and capable; and you are not limited to certain boundaries because of your gender.
That’s for damn sure.
I love hearing from my readers! Tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook on photos from your past traveling experiences! I’ll give shout-outs to my favorite ones!
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About Vanessa Elizabeth
Vanessa Elizabeth is a cultural chameleon currently based in London. She enjoys sports (such as CrossFit and dating), cooking, and demolishing her savings account. When she's not busy blogging about her feelings, she works full-time and practices Chinese with her English/German friends.
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