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Thread: Traveling alone

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    Default Traveling alone

    Should I go to Jamaica by myself? I've never traveled that far from home alone before (I live in the States). I don't consciously feel afraid, but am debating the wisdom of it as a single woman. I reaallllly need to get away from winter....

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    Scary. I would try somewhere safer first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enmity View Post
    Scary. I would try somewhere safer first.
    Yeah, I wouldn't be backpacking around by myself. I'd be heading to a resort and not venturing out of it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily View Post
    Should I go to Jamaica by myself? I've never traveled that far from home alone before (I live in the States). I don't consciously feel afraid, but am debating the wisdom of it as a single woman. I reaallllly need to get away from winter....
    Florida looks pretty warm and it's as safe as any US state. Although as a destination, it's not my first choice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Strange View Post
    Florida looks pretty warm and it's as safe as any US state. Although as a destination, it's not my first choice.
    It's not mine, either, but it would definitely be warm and less adventurous in general. Hmmm, I keep looking at the ticket and stalling, I just need to make a decision or go to bed

    My EIE friend is encouraging me to go for it because, in her words, "I want to live my life without having to be concerned about safety"! I feel like every EIE I've ever known has encouraged me to go for it, no matter what "it" is...

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    f.k.a Oprah sbbds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily View Post
    Yeah, I wouldn't be backpacking around by myself. I'd be heading to a resort and not venturing out of it...
    You will be safe then in this case. If you are really concerned then just pick up a pocket wifi router at the airport. Bring a USB battery charger pack with you and that everywhere you go. Bring a smartphone where you can roam with 4G in case of emergency. Plan your itinerary beforehand and get someone experienced to help.

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    I've traveled alone quite a bit and it really feels like the safest time for women to travel on their own. Of course you need to research your travel location in advance and apply basic safety precautions like no hitchhiking. Watch YouTube videos, join subreddits, facebook groups, and forums for the location beforehand, where people will discuss their own travel experience and give tips to anyone planning to visit. Sometimes other solo travelers will give their itinerary and seek travel buddies to hit up local places together. It's also a good idea to register with the US embassy letting them know about your trip and contact details in case of an emergency.

    I'd say the only drawback to traveling alone to an unsafe country like Jamaica is that you'll be confined to the resort and tourist hotpots and likely won't make much contact with locals. Given a choice I'd prefer to submerse myself in the whole experience of another country, and those tourist resorts don't offer much of this kind of experience.

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    Go to so cal... la or San Diego is really fun on your own. Plenty to do and the locals are super friendly

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    What languages do you speak?

    In the off-chance that you speak Spanish, Paraguay is a cheap, relatively safe country, and you'd be able to go outside at night in most areas.
    Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse. - Cervantes

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    @Andreas, I don't think Emily is concerned about her "right to travel" so much as her physical safety.
    Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse. - Cervantes

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    Quote Originally Posted by sbbds View Post
    You will be safe then in this case. If you are really concerned then just pick up a pocket wifi router at the airport. Bring a USB battery charger pack with you and that everywhere you go. Bring a smartphone where you can roam with 4G in case of emergency. Plan your itinerary beforehand and get someone experienced to help.
    Great thoughts @sbbds, thanks. My EIE friend stayed at a resort in Mexico with her husband and told me she would have felt safe being by herself. I can confirm the USB charger pack is a LIFESAVER, too! Gotta remember the roaming thing...that's one of those "details" that would easily slip my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silke View Post
    I've traveled alone quite a bit and it really feels like the safest time for women to travel on their own. Of course you need to research your travel location in advance and apply basic safety precautions like no hitchhiking. Watch YouTube videos, join subreddits, facebook groups, and forums for the location beforehand, where people will discuss their own travel experience and give tips to anyone planning to visit. Sometimes other solo travelers will give their itinerary and seek travel buddies to hit up local places together. It's also a good idea to register with the US embassy letting them know about your trip and contact details in case of an emergency.

    I'd say the only drawback to traveling alone to an unsafe country like Jamaica is that you'll be confined to the resort and tourist hotpots and likely won't make much contact with locals. Given a choice I'd prefer to submerse myself in the whole experience of another country, and those tourist resorts don't offer much of this kind of experience.
    Thanks @silke. The 5 in my tritype guarantees obsessive research I normally would want to experience more of the culture, too, but this time around I need a true vacation so am okay with not getting out as much. Good call on getting in touch with the embassy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    What languages do you speak?

    In the off-chance that you speak Spanish, Paraguay is a cheap, relatively safe country, and you'd be able to go outside at night in most areas.
    A tiny bit of Spanish and French. Sounds like you've been to Paraguay?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily View Post
    A tiny bit of Spanish and French. Sounds like you've been to Paraguay?
    Yeah. Thinking on it though, it really depends on what you want from traveling. It's fairly out-of-the-way, and there's honestly not very much to see in terms of historical monuments or works of art or anything like that. But it is quiet, the people are generally nice, and the food is good.

    Culinarily it's generally known for, basically, yucca and beef, which while filling and unoffensive might be too bland for the taste of many people. There's also chipa, a kind of cheese bread which you can buy from people selling it in the streets or on buses. Also generally unoffensive, but some also find it bland - YMMV. Worst case, if you're addicted to more complicated meals, you could just eat pizza and Chinese food, lol.

    Your main concerns would be to carry extra cash in case cops/soldiers shake you down (I don't think this is so much a problem as it used to be, but you should be prepared regardless, especially if you cross the border by land into Brazil or Argentina or wherever), and to be aware that outside of cities, an indigenous language called Guaraní is spoken rather than Spanish -- most rural people can speak Spanish if need be, but it isn't the default in much of the countryside. Asuncion, maybe, I wouldn't walk around too much at night (especially as a woman), but there really isn't much violent crime in the country -- mostly just government corruption, petty theft, and so on, as far as crime goes (there's also a genocide being committed by farmers against a subset of its indigenous population, but that wouldn't affect you).

    Otherwise it's a fairly relaxed country. There are Jesuit ruins and a lot of remaining colonial buildings, which might be interesting to you. Plenty of shops that sell artisan crafts, if you like to shop. Again, people are generally friendly, and if they aren't, they're probably just Argentinian シ. It would be great as a trip if your purpose is more or less to relax and absorb a different environment/culture.

    Edit: so I just realized you just said you spoke "a tiny bit" of Spanish, not that you speak Spanish. I was groggy when I wrote the above; I apologize. So, I hear Costa Rica is popular for vacations. Again, low crime, and relatively cheap, but a great portion (most, perhaps?) of the economy is built around tourism. Many Americans go there, so plenty of Costa Ricans will speak English. There's beaches, ziplining, rafting, lots of tropical fruit, coffee, wildlife reserves, hiking -- whatever floats your boat, and it's fairly close to the States. Come to think of it, I might actually recommend you go there if you haven't had much experience traveling outside the States before. Let me know what you want from a vacation, and I can try to sell Costa Rica to you.
    Last edited by FreelancePoliceman; 02-25-2020 at 02:19 AM.
    Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse. - Cervantes

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    Quote Originally Posted by silke View Post
    I've traveled alone quite a bit and it really feels like the safest time for women to travel on their own.
    What are some of the places you've explored?

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    Why is Paraguay even on the table when it has no beaches?

    The Dominican Republic, I hear, can also be a relatively safe destination. Sadly many Americans there are pensioners not really optimal for socializing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rusal View Post
    Why is Paraguay even on the table when it has no beaches?
    Yes! No beaches, no Emily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Yeah. Thinking on it though, it really depends on what you want from traveling. It's fairly out-of-the-way, and there's honestly not very much to see in terms of historical monuments or works of art or anything like that. But it is quiet, the people are generally nice, and the food is good.

    Culinarily it's generally known for, basically, yucca and beef, which while filling and unoffensive might be too bland for the taste of many people. There's also chipa, a kind of cheese bread which you can buy from people selling it in the streets or on buses. Also generally unoffensive, but some also find it bland - YMMV. Worst case, if you're addicted to more complicated meals, you could just eat pizza and Chinese food, lol.

    Your main concerns would be to carry extra cash in case cops/soldiers shake you down (I don't think this is so much a problem as it used to be, but you should be prepared regardless, especially if you cross the border by land into Brazil or Argentina or wherever), and to be aware that outside of cities, an indigenous language called Guaraní is spoken rather than Spanish -- most rural people can speak Spanish if need be, but it isn't the default in much of the countryside. Asuncion, maybe, I wouldn't walk around too much at night (especially as a woman), but there really isn't much violent crime in the country -- mostly just government corruption, petty theft, and so on, as far as crime goes (there's also a genocide being committed by farmers against a subset of its indigenous population, but that wouldn't affect you).

    Otherwise it's a fairly relaxed country. There are Jesuit ruins and a lot of remaining colonial buildings, which might be interesting to you. Plenty of shops that sell artisan crafts, if you like to shop. Again, people are generally friendly, and if they aren't, they're probably just Argentinian シ. It would be great as a trip if your purpose is more or less to relax and absorb a different environment/culture.

    Edit: so I just realized you just said you spoke "a tiny bit" of Spanish, not that you speak Spanish. I was groggy when I wrote the above; I apologize. So, I hear Costa Rica is popular for vacations. Again, low crime, and relatively cheap, but a great portion (most, perhaps?) of the economy is built around tourism. Many Americans go there, so plenty of Costa Ricans will speak English. There's beaches, ziplining, rafting, lots of tropical fruit, coffee, wildlife reserves, hiking -- whatever floats your boat, and it's fairly close to the States. Come to think of it, I might actually recommend you go there if you haven't had much experience traveling outside the States before. Let me know what you want from a vacation, and I can try to sell Costa Rica to you.
    Thanks for the Paraguay rundown, I'm pretty unfamiliar with it but you seem quite familiar. While a police shake-down does sound exciting, I'm looking for sandy beaches, doing next to nothing, and (probably) getting out of the country. I feel like I haven't stopped working lately and frankly want everything done for me once I get there, since my last trip was great but not restful.

    I'm more than willing to be sold on Costa Rica, @FreelancePoliceman, if you are willing to sell me on it. All the things you mentioned above sound amazing. It seems I've had my "should I travel alone question answered," and this thread has turned a corner to "name your favorite warm weather destination," which I'm all about. Now that you mention it, I know a few couples who went to Costa Rica, my friend on her honeymoon and my parents for their 30th wedding anniversary. They loved it.
    Last edited by Emily; 02-25-2020 at 04:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily View Post
    Thanks for the Paraguay rundown, I'm pretty unfamiliar with it but you seem quite familiar. While a police shake-down does sound exciting, I'm looking for sandy beaches, doing next to nothing, and (probably) getting out of the country. I feel like I haven't stopped working lately and frankly want everything done for me once I get there, since my last trip was great but not restful.

    I'm more than willing to be sold on Costa Rica, @FreelancePoliceman, if you are willing to sell me on it. All the things you mentioned above sound amazing. It seems I've had my "should I travel alone question answered," and this thread has turned a corner to "name your favorite warm weather destination," which I'm all about. Now that you mention it, I know a few couples who went to Costa Rica, my friend on her honeymoon and my parents for their 30th wedding anniversary. They loved it.
    Yeah, I've known people who've gone there too. It's apparently pretty cheap when it comes to finding a place to stay, though as with anywhere, tourist traps (hotels, shops, and restaurants) are quite expensive, so you'll need to exercise some discretion. If the hostel life appeals to you, there are several, and that can probably cut down your expenses even further. There's plenty of sandy beaches there, but also, if you go inland, there's a great deal of natural diversity if that appeals to you. If you like to see animals, there are guided tours which will show you various tropical animals (like sloths!). Oh, and again, there's plentiful tropical fruit there, if you go during the right season -- make sure to try passion fruit, particularly, since they aren't common, for whatever reason, in the States. The national economy is heavily geared toward tourism, so many people speak English (and other languages), so in an emergency it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone to understand you. And guided tours (if you like that sort of thing) will also frequently have an English translation. There are all the activities I mentioned -- again, though, they cost money (except for many beaches, I imagine), but I don't think it's that terribly expensive, generally.

    So that's what Costa Rica has going for it, but if your criteria are just "foreign countries with beaches", you could go to quite many places!
    Every man is as God made him, ay, and often worse. - Cervantes

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreelancePoliceman View Post
    Yeah, I've known people who've gone there too. It's apparently pretty cheap when it comes to finding a place to stay, though as with anywhere, tourist traps (hotels, shops, and restaurants) are quite expensive, so you'll need to exercise some discretion. If the hostel life appeals to you, there are several, and that can probably cut down your expenses even further. There's plenty of sandy beaches there, but also, if you go inland, there's a great deal of natural diversity if that appeals to you. If you like to see animals, there are guided tours which will show you various tropical animals (like sloths!). Oh, and again, there's plentiful tropical fruit there, if you go during the right season -- make sure to try passion fruit, particularly, since they aren't common, for whatever reason, in the States. The national economy is heavily geared toward tourism, so many people speak English (and other languages), so in an emergency it shouldn't be too difficult to find someone to understand you. And guided tours (if you like that sort of thing) will also frequently have an English translation. There are all the activities I mentioned -- again, though, they cost money (except for many beaches, I imagine), but I don't think it's that terribly expensive, generally.

    So that's what Costa Rica has going for it, but if your criteria are just "foreign countries with beaches", you could go to quite many places!
    Thanks @FreelancePoliceman, you should look into becoming a travel agent/blogger Yes, looking for "foreign countries with beaches" is kind of like shopping for groceries at Super Target when you're hungry. I'm stalling making a decision but will definitely look more into Costa Rica...

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    I hear you about winter. I used to tolerate the cold a lot better, but every year I hate it more and more. I also don't like people who say 'well the cold doesn't make you sick- staying inside in winter is what causes the sickness.' It's technically true perhaps, but also a gross oversimplification. I go out in winter and still feel like shit.

    I mean just use your brain. There is a reason nice and warm places are often crowded and not many people live or want to live in Antarctica.

    It was a lot warmer today, spring is definitely coming... and I also felt a lot better health wise because of it. The warmer air, the smells, the energy. It is why in heat there is life and things happening and warmth and when there is cold there is just death and snow and sadism. It is common sense. Since life and heat = people... tho ironically the bad thing I don't like about the warmer months, there is more people out and about and I'm sooo shy and it triggers my people phobia a lot. =( I love the sun and warmth I just want it all narcissistically to myself.

    But yeah I wouldn't go to some weird foreign country just for that lol ... uhhh its cool to travel but you should probably take 'baby steps' and not do such a big trip like that maybe and see how you feel doing something else and then work your way up. As somebody who has suffered from severe social anxiety and general anxiety disorder- I fail hard trying to do something really big like that all at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Emily View Post
    What are some of the places you've explored?
    A few cities in Eastern Europe, which was easy since I'm familiar the the languages, a short trip to the Western Europe, 1/3rd of the states in the US, and as of recent I've been exploring some locales in the far east, namely South Korea, Japan, and Vladivostok region. Latin America might be next as I've only been to Mexico and having a few housemates from Brazil, who were amazing people, I sorta want to visit there. I'm not really looking for sandy beaches as I travel but rather a local experience.

    Regarding the sandy beaches, given the coronavirus breakout and the public panic out there, you might want to take the advice above and travel within the US if traveling this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silke View Post
    South Korea, Japan, and Vladivostok region.
    How do you like this area? I've been wanting to go for a few years but haven't committed yet. Anything that you think is a must see? Also wanting to check out the Nordic countries & New Zealand.

    My favorite areas are Cluj Napoca and Amsterdam. The internet in Romania is faster than 80% of the USA and 1/10th the cost. It's insane.

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