How To Stay Safe While Traveling
After my recent trip through Nashville, I felt inspired to write this article for women travelers (or anyone wanting to keep safe on a travel journey).
A mistake I made when arriving in the big city of Nashville was allowing my gas light to come on and ignore it while searching for a place to sleep in the van for the night. I soon found myself in a not so good part of town – my GPS stopped working and there were no fuel stations in site. If you ever find yourself in this situation, don’t be scared to roll down the window and ask for help, just ask the right people. On this night, I asked a taxi driver and a paramedic for directions to the closest gas station. Keeping enough gas in your vehicle always needs to be a top priority, whether you’re in a city or out exploring the wild…
Have caution when talking with others – I intuitively feel people out when having conversations; sometimes I know it’s totally safe to say I am on a journey traveling with my toddler and other times I’ll keep the conversation short and don’t give any details about what I am up to. I haven’t done this myself, but I have talked with other lady travelers who’ve said they tell people they are traveling with their dad or boyfriend and that he is asleep in the van….
I personally don’t like violence whatsoever, but when traveling and venturing in the wilderness, having a good knife, or some pepper spray, gives me a confidence boost. Remember most states have different gun laws, so think about that when crossing state lines if you want to keep a firearm.
When having my car checked by a mechanic – I’ve said, to them, “I am trying to get to friends in this city …” versus, “I live out of my car and have been traveling all over the place….” That way they don’t assume you have a bunch of money! It’s really important to maintain your vehicle and don’t ignore any problems that may come up. Also, know how to check your tire pressure and keep up with making sure your tires are balanced while on the road. I also always look up auto shop reviews or talk to an auto part store about trusted mechanics in the area.
My intuition has been my best friend while traveling – I have stopped at a campground, but for example, didn’t feel safe because others weren’t around and we were visible from the highway. It made me feel vulnerable if passerby’s saw me alone with my son at a vacant campground so I chose to go somewhere else…
It’s never a good idea to get drunk or high when you’re on your own – keep a sober and clear state of consciousness <3
Have confidence – carry yourself with an energy of strength and believe you’re always protected and divinely guided. So keep your intuition strong and mental clarity on point – do this by maintaining a healthy diet, getting plenty of rest, drinking more than enough water, taking time to mediate, and exercise (stretching and nice walks are great) even if you get lost or have an issue on the road, don’t panic – take a moment to breathe and then reach out to the right person for help. I’ve always found I’ve had an abundance of support whenever I needed It and never needed to worry about half the things I did.
When stopping at a rest stop or in a place that might be a bit more ‘sketchy’, don’t put off a fearful vibe… pay attention to who’s around you. I’ve learned from being on the road that you can definitely never judge someone simply by their appearance. There have been individuals whom most might assume negatively about, but were actually incredibly kind and helpful – I’m not saying you need to become best friends with everyone out there, but don’t project assumptions onto others and put negative energy toward someone – like automatically thinking someone is dangerous, a thief, or up to no good – see the divinity in everyone but maintain healthy boundaries.
It’s great to meet new friends while exploring new cities and places, but be safe by hanging out in well-lit, popular areas versus going off to their place or into any unknown territory. These days, almost everyone is on social media, so inquire into their page and check out their friends and photos if you plan to hang out again… I’m not saying this a full proof way to make sure someone is legit, but it definitely helps and can be reassuring!
Never push yourself past your limits when driving, especially when it comes to sleep and exhaustion… Finding a place to sleep is not that difficult and I am never really concerned about sleeping where I “shouldn’t”. For instance, if I’ve been in a city, I have pulled into the parking lot of a higher-end hotel to sleep. I figured if any security ever wakes me to say something, I will share the truth of traveling and being tired and needing a safe place to sleep for the night – the worst case scenario would be told to move! Wal-Mart parking lots are always an option too, although I have never slept in one… Just remember to park in an area or neighborhood that is well-lit and gives you good vibes!
I hope this article didn’t put you into any fear – it is always just good to take pre-cautions! I have been traveling for three years and have always met way more good people than anyone who made me nervous or uncomfortable