The world is a dangerous place, but it is also beautiful, filled with stunning views, awesome people, great food, rad barrels, gorgeous beaches and many more wonderful things. Unfortunately, traveling as a woman presents more risks than traveling as a man. Even though women from all over the world are finally beginning to make their voice heard, we still have a long way to reaching true gender equality.
Whether you’re going on a surf camp or you’re just planning to hit the surf somewhere new, staying safe during your travels is a priority and we hope these tips help to do just that!
10. Commonsensical Things
Before we delve into the tips, let’s spend a moment going over some commonsensical safety travel tips that everyone (man or woman) must follow when traveling abroad, with surfing or no surfing in mind. Let’s start with respecting the country’s culture, don’t get drunk with strangers, don’t drink things that are given to you by strangers, always keep an eye on your baggage, keep money in more than one place, make sure you don’t flash your electronics for others to see, and the list could go on! Do pay attention to these small things as it could save you a lot of trouble.
9. Let Your Friends Know of Your Whereabouts
This tip is very important and it might potentially save your life. Your friends, family, or loved ones need to know where you are at all times, especially when you’re traveling on your own in a foreign country. It doesn’t take away from the freedom of traveling, on the contrary, it gives you more freedom because your mind will be at ease knowing that there are people who have your back, at all times. You don’t have to call them to do this, these days social media is a great medium for informing your friends and family of your whereabouts!
8. Do Some Thorough Research Before You Leave
Every country has its ups and downs, its negatives and its positives; and it’s good that you know about them before you leave your home. As a surfer, you’re bound to visit countries that are accustomed to a large number of tourists, but you should still research the country and see if there is anything that might clash with your beliefs, for example. Also, let’s say you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender; then you must do a research on how LGBT people are viewed and treated in that country. Are you going to be able to show public signs of affections and be safe? These type of things should never be ignored.
7. Don’t Be Intimidated by Locals
Why are you even traveling to a foreign country if you’re going to be intimidated by locals? As a general rule, pretty much wherever you’re going to go, the locals will be nice to you, they’ll want to help and make you feel at home in their country. Sure, there are bad people everywhere in the world, but don’t assume the worst in people. You’ll have to trust strangers, at one point or another in your journey, so don’t be afraid to do it. Keep a level head, have an ounce of doubt, but trust them! Which brings us to our next tip…
6. Apps Can Help You Overcome a Difficult Situation
Technology is really something! Nowadays, pretty much everyone in the West has a powerful smartphone. Why not use that capable tool to keep you safe when you’re traveling? Check out the best 10 free travel apps to have on the road, it’s a list that you might find useful. Now that we’re at it, we’d like to add to that list two more apps: one is called Find Your Embassy which is aimed towards Americans who want to find their closest embassy and the other is !Emergency!, which will give you all the telephone numbers you need in case of an emergency from the country you’re in!
5. Find Like-Minded People
The great thing about surfing is that it has such an awesome community around it! As a surfer, you know that it’s easy to bond with other surfers, especially in the water. We suggest getting to know other surfers, not just as a means to keep you safe, but to have fun and to enjoy your surf vacation to the max! That’s what surfing is all about, the waves, the water, the community!
4. Always Trust Your Gut
No matter where you are, trusting your gut is something you need to do. Although there is no scientific explanation, that feeling that we sometimes get when something feels off, that feeling is real and we must never ignore it, especially when you’re solo female traveler. If anything appears off to you, turn around, refuse the offer, get off the bus, change the route, don’t eat the food, don’t drink the water… Don’t be ashamed of what your gut is telling you, our bodies know best what’s good for us and they’re never going to stop telling us this. It’s up to us to listen!
3. Exude Calmness and Confidence
A calm and confident person will elicit the same qualities in people, most times. When you walk, keep your head up, if you’re lost, don’t let it show (simply find someone and calmly ask them for directions), if you’re desperate, don’t act desperate. The things you do must not betray your inner struggle or confusion. It’s all about being in charge or at least appearing to be in charge. It will not only help you not draw any unwanted attention, but it will also help calm yourself down.
2. Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times
When we’re walking with other people, many of us tend to not pay attention to our surroundings, as if we’re trusting the other person to do it for us. But, when you’re traveling on your own, you have to be extra careful and aware of your surroundings at all times. If you’re the type of person that tends to be swept away by the scenery, you’ll have to constantly remind yourself to watch where you’re going. Keep an eye on the road, on the buildings, on the people around you, on the clock (don’t let nightfall surprise you), on everything around you. Be relaxed, yet vigilant!
1. Don’t Focus on the Negative Things that Could Happen
While it’s good to always be cautious, try not to focus only on the negative things that could happen on your holiday, you’re a positive woman, aren’t you?! This will undoubtedly cause anxiety and an anxious person is a vulnerable person. Yes, bad things can happen to you. It can happen to anyone, for that matter. But if you’re going to spend it thinking only about the bad stuff that can and may happen to you, then you’re not going to enjoy living too much. It’s not easy to get out of the anxious mind frame, but it can be done. If you feel your anxiety and your fears are starting to interfere with you living the life you want to live, seek help! It gets better!
What we suggest is to try to focus on the positive things that happen on your vacation. Things such as the great food you get to eat, the great people you meet, and the wonderful things you get to see!
Now that you know a few tips to keep you safe, how about you check out some awesome surf camps to relax and learn how to surf?