The benefits of travel are many. Traveling can reawaken your creativity, offer you a new perspective on your work — and possibly even be your work if you play your cards right. However, the prospect of traveling alone can be extremely nervous-making, especially for women. But, says travel writer Candace Rardon, it’s well worth the reward to move past your fears and hit the road.
Speaking with blogger Matt Kepnes, Candace explained that, though she had some reservations about traveling overseas by herself, she knew it would be worthwhile to try it, anyway.
“These places really aren’t dangerous,” she says, “but there are these stories. I just sort of felt that I needed to push past these fears, and I knew that the risks would be worth the reward.”
Additionally, says Candace, “I’ve really found that the world looks out for you.” Part of traveling is about engaging with different people – and that includes, at times, letting they help you. If you’re unsure of where you’re going or need some guidance, it’s ok (and safe!) to ask for help. Just be cautious of who you’re asking, and keep your wits about you.
“When I’m traveling, I want to meet people. I want to make those local connections. But then, sometimes, it goes a little bit too far and you start to feel uncomfortable,” she explains. This isn’t uncommon, and the best way to protect yourself is to keep your eyes up (don’t look down at maps or your phone; a low or distracted gaze can leave you much more vulnerable) and be assertive.
Additionally, one important tip for women who are traveling solo: Appear confident.
“If you look like you know where you’re going, people will just assume that you do,” advises travel vlogger Miss Mari. “You can blend in easier.”
The best way to overcome the nerves, says Candace, is to confront what it is that you’re afraid of, and make a plan for how to handle any of the worst-case scenarios. Candace says, at one point, she had a lot of her personal banking information on a slip of paper, which left her vulnerable to theft.
“I’ve had my bank accounts emptied, and the banks said ‘we can’t give it back to you, because you’re at fault.'” But you can’t let those things hold you back…You have to keep weighing the risks with the benefits.”
Instead of worrying about what might happen, make sure that you take precautions (like not writing your PINs on a slip of paper that you could lose, or ensuring that you have money in different accounts). Then, in knowing that you’ve prepared well, you can rest assured that what you’re doing is an investment in the future and in your career.