How to Stay Safe While Traveling

How to Stay Safe While Traveling

This is my post that was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Admit it.

How to stay safe while traveling may be on your mind. Right? With attacks happening at popular destinations, you may be too scared to travel. But don’t allow fear to ground you. Don’t allow others to take away your power.

Traveling the world or even throughout your own country is a great way to enhance your life. You can meet new people. Learn new things and immerse yourself within rich cultural experiences.

Let’s face it; the world is a wonky place right now. People are fed up with their lives and maybe even the politics and policies of other countries. Thus, they act out and wreak havoc wherever they go. It’s sad.

Unfortunately, you have no control over the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and actions of others. You can only be responsible for you. If you give into others, you’ll only strengthen their control over you. You don’t want that, do you?

I understand that travel may seem scary to you.

When I told my mom and dad that I was solo traveling to the UK, my dad, who served in the U.S. Army, almost had a heart attack. He didn’t want me traveling alone. Why? Because if something happened, he felt that I wouldn’t be able to handle it. After all, he served in the U.S. Army and I didn’t.

While I appreciated my dad’s concern, I knew I would be okay. Why? Because I have street and books smarts.

But my dad traveled with me to the UK. It was the first and only trip we took together. But that’s for another blog post about traveling with family.

Read on to discover how you can stay safe while traveling. You don’t have to remain at home in bed with the covers thrown over you. You can experience safe travels!

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The Day the Lights Went Out in a Glasgow Hotel

The Day the Lights Went Out in a Glasgow Hotel

The year was 1997 and I decided to solo travel to the UK, specifically England, Wales and Scotland (Great Britain). I didn’t know it then, but I was in for a trip of a lifetime!

When I told my parents I wanted to travel to the UK, my mom was all for it. She said the experience would be good for me. That it would help me to grow as a person and become more confident and responsible.

My father on the other hand wasn’t thrilled about the idea. His exact words were, “What are you trying to do? Give me a heart attack and kill me!” My dad gave me a lecture about how he served in the U.S. Army and that he, not I, would be prepared if a disaster happened.

I thanked him for his concern but was determined to travel, no matter what my parents or anyone else thought. You only have only life, and I was going to live mine to the fullest.

The next day I researched local travel agencies and made an appointment to speak with a travel agent. My meeting went well and I booked my trip.

I went home and told my parents.

My dad flipped out!

Long story short, he ended up coming with me on my trip. It was our first and last one we took together. But that’s another story about how to survive traveling with family.

I was excited about taking an international trip to the side of the world I read and learned about in my art, English, history and literature classes [love Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and other British authors and poets].

What could go wrong?

You have no idea!

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10 Reasons Why Women Need to Solo Travel

10 Reasons Why Women Need to Solo Travel

This is my post that was published on The Huffington Post.

In August 2007, I sent myself to Edinburgh, Scotland as a graduation (I graduated with a Master of Science, Management degree) and birthday gift. This wasn’t my first time to Edinburgh, but it was my first time as a solo traveler. Was I nervous? Yes, I was. And it surprised me.

I stayed in a hostel, and some of my work colleagues teased me about it because of a horror film about a group of people who were terrorized while staying in a hostel. Plus, I don’t think they believed I would travel by myself to another country.

Solo travel is a great way for women to break free of codependency and strengthen communication skills. You have to walk up to people and ask for directions to a museum, restaurant or store. Your family and friends can’t help you navigate to your hotel or the airport. You are responsible for you.

My trip to Edinburgh was fabulous! I met many people from around the world, like China and Australia, and blended in so well that a retail service rep from a fashion store asked me if I wanted to open a credit card. I said, “Thank you, but I’m from The States.”

Below are 10 reasons women need to solo travel. Don’t be afraid to travel alone. You can learn about others and yourself at the same time. And you can release any prejudices and preconceived notions you may have about a country and its people.

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