When you travel the world on a regular basis, it is intriguing what locations will freak people out.
Go to Miami or San Francisco and no one bats an eye. Enjoy a meal in Jerusalem or New York and all your friends worry about terrorist attacks or muggings.
Reality is that while there are different levels of danger depending on your location in the world, the chance of something bad happening to you can happen anywhere.
Evil lurks in every town and the bad guys don’t only live in the cities you hear about on the news.
This doesn’t mean that you should hide in your bunker and never come out and feel the sunshine. The opposite in fact. Getting out and exploring the world is one of the most satisfying things a human can do.
The key is realizing and accepting that nowhere in the world is safe and taking all precautions you can make sure that you are as safe as can be.
Three basic things today to get you started on your journey down the path to developing a safer traveling mindset.
1. Don’t Share Your Location in Real Time
Social media has rewired our minds to feel compelled to share a photo of the amazing meal in front of you or the cool club that you are dancing the night away at. There is nothing wrong with capturing the moment and sharing it with your friends but hit post after you leave the location.
There is no reason to broadcast to the world, “hey look at this group of beautiful young women alone at the hottest restaurant in Istanbul!”
If someone was looking to do harm, you might give them the motivation and location to do so. Be smart and share as you are walking out the door and going someplace else. Your friends won’t know the difference.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Whenever you enter a new location, take a few seconds to look around you. Do you know where all of your exit options are? Does anything look suspicious to you? Does anyone in your immediate area worry you?
Taking the few extra moments to do a scan of a room, marketplace or hotel lobby could prove critical if something goes wrong. It isn’t being paranoid, it is being smart about staying safe. Always keep an eye on the area around you and don’t forget that every time you look down at your phone, you are no longer aware of what is going on around you.
3. Know How To Get Home
In this case, home is the safety of your hotel room.
When you get to your hotel, grab a business card from the front desk. It will always have the address and phone number on it and if you don’t speak the local language it can help in a variety of situations.
Want to be even safer? Grab a card from a nearby hotel and use that so that you don’t have to worry about the taxi driver or waiter you asked for direction following you back to your actual location.
Keep this on your person along with a variety of bills in the local currency. You never want to be caught in a situation where you have to figure out how to pay someone and no matter where you are in the world, cash is still king.
Also, before you venture out get to know the lay of the land around you. Look for major landmarks on a map that you could use to get back to the area round your hotel if you had to. Google Maps is very helpful at allowing you to zoom in and really see what an area looks like.
After a long night out, stumbling back to your room isn’t the best idea, but if you know what is around you, it makes it a bit easier.
For many of us, traveling is part of our lives and it isn’t something to be scared of if you are smart about it.
Accept that there is evil in the world and then make sure you do everything you can to have the skills and mindset to remain safe.