5 Nights in Istanbul – Return Of The Great White Buffalo!

Cay, cay, cay, it’s in the air, it’s in the streets and the souls of the people. I’m in a city known for fez hats and great men who’ve shaped the world as we know it today. Istanbul, otherwise known as Constantinople, if you conveniently forget Sultan Mehmet II conquered them. I have a warm spot in my heart for a city like this; you smell it in the air, see it in the eyes of the people and feel it in the beat of the streets. People here have pride; they understand and appreciate diversity while embracing their traditions. With that being said, should you be surprised by a Turks love for country?

In the west we have neglected to educate our masses on the importance of the Asian gateway to Europe, we focus too much on the achievements of white people in our textbooks. If you take the time to research the history of Turkey, you’ll come to love and appreciate it as well. I fell for the country for the same reason many men do in far-flung “exotic” lands; food or women (preferably both). Haven’t you ever had a piece of Turkish delight? A bite of Baklava? A kiss from Merve? Oh, no? Well, I’ll own that anecdote for me myself, and I. Turkish people have mastered the art of sweets, strong bitters, and the beer can kick like an ass in heat. Nevermind the chow, for now, let’s talk about Merve (the hot Turkish chick)

((she’ll hate me for this, and I love it))

Back circa 2017, cold and alone in the desert nights of Kuwait.  I was doing what I always did in Kuwait when I wasn’t working a 12-hour shift or drinking Chinese hooch; I was vigorously swiping on tinder in hopes of catching a Tinderette for the evening.  Do you know that feeling you have when you swipe upon a total dime n a half? I caught the feels on a particular character, profile description was absent, but the photos said a million words; here, her energy and savoir-faire rendered her indispensable in every department.[Agnes] I caught her at her tail end of her adventures in the desert, and we had a quick 3 hour rendezvous right before her flight back to Istanbul. What lasted from that experience was a great friendship, she somehow even deals with my gaucheness and shirtless photos, a strong comrade.

Fast forward to now, August 10th, 2018, my 26th birthday. I’m in the city of Sultans & Attaturk with my homeslice, and she’s showing me some of the best of the city. I’m honestly in awe with what I’ve seen. More pics below:

Let me go over some of the critical aspects of this little adventure I’ve had conveniently separated by category:

Booze

Raki

Sweet, aromatic, and hits you like a sip of Soju. The Turkish call it Aslan Sut or Lion’s milk for its milky appearance when mixed with ice or water; similar to the louche of absinthe. I call it courage juice because I was ready to do some stupid shit after I downed a whole ‘small’ bottle. My friend later told me that NO ONE drinks the entire bottle (well excuse me). Raki has a minty aniseed taste to it, very refreshing & similar to schnapps. I have to say even though Raki is a stiff drink; it is a delightful drink it goes does easily and gives you that “I just brushed my teeth” freshness feeling.

Raki, the milk of the strong is something ANY traveler should try. I would suggest you hit the lions milk in a group and late at night when you’re ready to knock out, if not you may be tipsy reasonably quickly at 3 PM.

Wine –
Karga

As I stayed in the Sub Karakoy (BK), chilling at the top of the balcony, I got the chance to try some of the local wine. Karga, a wine made by a local architect is blended of Kuntra and Sauvignon. Bozcaada is an island of Turkey in the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea. It is also the location of some of the best wineries in the country. That being said, it’s safe to assume most the wine you try that’s local will be a treat.

Chow –
Oysters by the water –

I have to admit; when I go to countries, I try to keep a keen eye on tourist trap type venues. When you walk along the seaside, you can’t help but notice the plethora of Oystermongers. These men tend to have a pretty warm demeanor and don’t chase you down with their eyes to buy their goods. Eventually, on one of my strolls with my GWB, she had me try one; one became two, and two became four. These Oysters were BOMB.com. The shells varied from medium to large, they were warm and stuffed with brown rice and slid down smoothly. I thought to myself as I was slopping down these mollusks “I could eat 10 of these easily. No, 15 on a cheat day”.

Needless to say, if you’ve read my encounter, I highly suggest you give one of these Oystermongers the opportunity to blow your mind & your taste buds. The Oysters fetch a fairly low price; I am not quite sure if it is always cheap. I traveled with a local, so maybe they just gave me the local price.

Chestnuts & Corn –

As I wandered throughout Kadikoy, I got the subtle scent of Christmas whispering through my nostrils. There was a noticeable lack of carols and snow, so I was fairly confused. If you aren’t by the sea, deeper into the city streets; you’ll see plenty of Chestnut & Corn vendors. I don’t know why they sell these as a pair, must be the equivalent of hot dog & chips in New York.

I am going to tell you to give these guys a shot but here are two warnings. Not all Chestnuts are tasty and not all corn is juicy. Be sure to make sure the Chestnuts aren’t overcooked, or they will have an off aftertaste. Also, be sure to look at the corn to see if it has dried from overcooking or just dried from the sun. I would say, I wasn’t happy with my Chestnuts and I didn’t bother with the corn because I prefer mine with butter.

Fish-Bread –


I can’t pretend to say this is a special meal; it’s not. This is peasant food, something you share for a cheap dinner with your brothers, something the fishermen grab before they hop on their ships, it’s bony, lightly seasoned and stuffed with veggies, I’d compare the Fish-bread with the French ratatouille or the American Oscar Meyer slapped between two white bread buns.

I will say, when in Rome, you eat as the Romans do. Experience some of the cultures and have a peasants meal. Sit there on the concrete seat and watch the people go about their way and the boats pass by. I enjoyed the moment of peace much more than the fish or bread.

Pancakes –

I hadn’t seen this one coming, a total delicious curveball. Sprinkled around Kadikoy (potentially elsewhere as well) are pancake cafes. These spots mostly sell sweet or salty platters with pancakes as the centerpiece. This is food for sharing, an event even. You’ll want to bring whatever tinderette you’ve managed to catch to such an establishment for chill vibes and tranquility. I can’t say anything is spectacular about any pancake you may encounter, no unique spices, no unique texture. What lies in the interest of many who visit are the sauces and meats that accompany the bread. Your taste buds will not be bored.

Baklava & Turkish Delight –

I feel goofy just saying this, but if you are visiting Turkey, you need to try Baklava AND Turkish Delight. Unless your kryptonite is a peanut allergy, you have no excuse. Why would anyone shy away from such a rich substance? “Well Brice, I don’t like sweets.” Listen here you the human embodiment of stale bread; food ranges from sweet to savory and if you call yourself a traveler you need to be prepared to try the sweetest dessert and the spiciest llama meat. Let me hop off my tangent and get back to the nitty-gritty of this nutty confection.

I spent my time at Karakoy Gulluoglu which is known as some of the best Baklava in Istanbul. I can’t say I’ve sampled every piece of this sweetness in the city, but I have been told you can find cheaper Baklava elsewhere on the streets. Albeit this is considered “expensive,” I spent no more than 40 Turkish Lira for a hefty portion of Baklava & ?ay. That’s about the price of a ‘cheap’ Starbucks coffee. While you are in the area, you should also check out KOSKA. They are a bakery that makes a ton of sweets including Turkish Delight of all types. I ended up picking a few up for my flight home from there.

Red velvet cake & pudding from the cafe –
Un Karak?y

My first meal in Istanbul outside of the airport was something special to me. Growing up in South Georgia, USA I used to rush to my grandma’s on every holiday or random church Sunday to grab a slice of Red Velvet Cake. It’s extra sweet, dark, and thick and you feel like taking a 6-hour nap post-meal. I was shocked to see a slice sitting under glass all the way across the world. I had to indulge.

I am not saying this particular restaurant is the gem of Istanbul. I will say the owner speaks excellent English, was very helpful and passionate about his business. Everything on the menu is sweet, and it’s kind of their shtick. If you make the smart decision and pick Sub Karakoy for your hotel, you must take the short stroll to Un-Karakoy and spike your insulin.

Turkish Kumpir At Taksim Square In Istanbul

One spot the GWB told me I HAD to see was called Taksim Square. Famous for many things specifically the market that runs deep in the veins of the city. You’ll find vendors shouting at you to try their Kumpir or similar sweet mix bowl. It is indeed a hectic experience, and I generally hate those, but I couldn’t help myself smirk at their talent for pulling customers with their charm.

So what is Kumpir? It’s not that complicated, it is a stuffed potato but taken to the next level. You get a variety of toppings that may seem irregular to the American pallet. Such toppings like olive mash or the pink substance I decided to try and fell in love with on my tater. It’s a good ass potato in every sense, great experience and cool time. I’ve been told you can return for new toppings if you run out before you finish your potato too.

Majo Waffles

If you haven’t noticed a trend here, I am going to a lot of new places and experiencing a lot of new things. I’ve traveled a lot over the years, and I sometimes feel like theirs not much left in that arena. Now and then I am pleasantly surprised. Istanbul is full of those occasions. One pleasantly drunk night, marching through the streets and with a fresh feeling of defeat by my comrade in a few rounds of PingPong. She introduced me to Majo Waffles.

Molten chocolate-covered tiny waffles, stuffed with some mysterious cream substance (it was good, reel good). To top it all off, the waffles are covered in your choice of toppings. This is the ultimate form of Waffles. (sorry Waffle House, I still love you)

Things To Do In Istanbul, Turkey –

I am NOT going to go over the basic top 10 places to see in Istanbul. Theirs’s a ton of articles already out there with generic descriptions and stock photos of some beautiful architecture in Istanbul. I would suggest you see as much as you can because the European and Asian side of the city has some truly awe-inspiring features and buildings. Instead, I am going to give you a quick list of things you simply MUST DO on your trip to Istanbul. Without completing this tiny list, you have failed, and you must restart your vacation.

Fishing –
Take an early morning stroll along Galata Bridge for a few sardines. I’d suggest going to one of the many sports shops in Karakoy for a little gear beforehand. Basic stuff, a rod and small hooks, a bucket, and some line. Heading to the bridge around 6 AM would be optimum to grab the right spot. You don’t need any licenses to fish in the area. Fishing is by far one of the most peaceful pastimes out there. At the same time, very few experiences compare to that jolt of excitement you get when the line starts to pull. Even if you aren’t much of a fisher, I highly suggest changing things up a bit and catching some sea critters.

Galata Bridge –
Once you’ve had your peace and tranquility catching sardines above the bridge. You can go right below to cook your catch. The Galata Bridge is a beautiful tourist trap with a view. Let me reiterate, it is a total tourist trap, but it’s tough to say no when you’re offered acceptably good tasting seafood right off the sea. Now there’s plenty of restaurants that offer this, but they all usually cost a grip (at least to Turkish standards). If you are aiming for a good meal with your view, I’d suggest Oba SteakHouse instead. The ability to fish on the bridge and chill right below cannot be understated.

Boat ride across the sea –

Just Across the way, the Karakoy way… Right down yonder from the Galata Bridge is the Karakoy Ferry Terminal. You can honestly just pick a random direction to travel. It’s more about the adventure and less about the destination, homie. I ended up in Kadikoy and got the chance to check out the tunnel markets, fish bread, and spice markets in the same area. I would suggest finding a less populated spot on the boat somewhere upfront.

A park I went to – ?aml?ca Hill

What you quickly notice about this city is that it is quite green. I always appreciate a city that hasn’t destroyed it’s the connection to the natural world. I would say you can find a park strolling into most parts of Istanbul. The only two problems with the parks you may encounter is some are too crowded, or they may be too close to loud street traffic. I took a walk to Camlica Hill from Kadikoy; you can quickly do this walk in about 20 to 30 minutes strolling with Google Navigation by your side.

This park is quite grand, centered around an old mosque and palace it is the perfect location to wind down and escape the city. You can spread out and find your own place to relax; the park is plenty wide to accommodate you without feeling crowded.

Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam –

Not many places in the world offer you a naturally heated spa. Even fewer places in the world offer you, Mahmood, scrubbing the hell out of you and rubbing his baklava belly all over your back. For a fee of course. What I’m getting at here is Hammams are by far one of the unique experiences you can have in Turkey. These baths have existed for centuries, giving you the pleasure and guilt of discovering just how entirely wrong your skin regime is.

I stumbled a bit on my first experience with a Hammam; I wasn’t aware that they were appointment only. Luckily you can set an appointment via the gift shop at Kilic Ali Pa?a Hamam. I am suggesting this hammam because it is the one I visited and I can vouch for the service. Plus this was also the location for a James Bond movie, that’s just added cool points.

You’ll come in for your booking rendezvous in the morning for women and afternoon for men (it’s a segregated bath). Here’s how it goes inside, you get a cloth to cover your dangly bits and go upstairs to change. You’ll eventually be escorted into the bath. A stone room decorated in old ottoman symbols and architecture, in the center, a large round stone slab. As you lay on the tile you can’t help but stare at the ceiling, naturally lit by the sun. Because I am an old man, I ended up passing out (and snoring according to a guy). It’s THAT comfortable.

Mahmood, the masseuse, eventually came to sit me on the wall. Now let me tell you, folks, I ain’t afraid of hugging a guy that I’ve never felt the warm hairy embrace of a Baklava belly. You’ll quickly discover as the masseuse scrubs you down that you have A LOT of dead skin, you really needed this. I know I did. After the scrubs and in-between, you’ll get splashed with warm/cold water. You’ll be in and out within an hour a new wo-man (or whatever you identify as). Post bath, you can relax in the lobby on some of the softest couches I’ve ever laid upon. They have a small menu with juices and treats; I suggest the orange juice with an almond cookie. Theirs’s so much more to this experience that my little summary cannot give you. This is something that has to be experienced by all who visit Turkey. Don’t be put off by the man or woman bathing you or the fact you’re mostly nude. It’s by far one of the best experiences I’ve had in Turkey.

Visiting Istanbul has been a real treat for me. I have been to dozens of unique places in my life, and very few actually give me that warm embrace of hospitality and hope as Istanbul does. I can’t say much for the rest of the country, I think it’s fair to compare Istanbul to Los Angeles and the rest of the nation well they’re much like those middle states that voted Trump into office; a whole different world. Turkey is still a Muslim country, and you should stay aware of that and be sure to show respect to religion. I was initially going to discuss dating and meeting people within the city, but I don’t believe I stayed long enough to give my opinion correctly. Just trust in tinder, my friends.

The moments of peace and adventure I had visiting Istanbul cannot be put into words. I actually intend on taking some time to live there in the near future, just to get more adventures under my belt.

Is it safe to travel to Istanbul?

This is a question I get a lot from Americans and other ex-pats who aren’t accustomed to Muslim countries. Let me put it this way, I’ve lived on both coasts of America, throughout Europe and many parts of Asia. Turkey has by far been one of the most comfortable, least fear-inducing places I’ve been. “As Turkey’s largest metropolitan city, Istanbul?s crime rates impacting foreigners are surprisingly low. However, travelers should be aware of petty crimes such as pickpocketing in crowded areas. Credit card and ATM usage are considered relatively safe with nearly no reports of fraud, especially when patronizing locations catering to an international clientele.” – OSAC

Trip Insurance – The Best Travel Insurance & Why You Need It

SINGLE TRIP INSURANCE SAVES NOT ONLY MONEY BUT ALSO YOUR  SANITY.
Skip To The Guts Of The Article – Best Insurance On The Button Below

When I travel, I tend to take risks. I’ll go drinking in the worst part of town; I’ll go into the forests with a complete stranger to go exploring. I haven’t been kidnapped yet, but I have definitely experienced my fair share of fights and gnarly injuries.

Key factors to consider when selecting insurance:

Price – You shouldn’t be paying over 80 USD a month if you’re healthy.

What countries are covered?  Not all countries will be covered depending on your plan.

Can you add a travel companion or children to your plan?
Consider this if your partner or children don’t have their own contract.

Can I purchase while I am already abroad? 
Some Insurers only provide plans if you haven’t left your home country yet.

How long is the coverage for? Albeit you may plan on a 2-week trip, you should always add a few extra weeks. Just like any other aspect of life, traveling can be unpredictable.

Is it easy to file a claim or reach out for assistance?
Some companies avoid paying out claims by building intrusive our outdated processes. Be sure to look into it they offer a comprehensive and straightforward online system and 24/h call center.

Sport & Scooter Insurance should be covered as well. When you’re traveling, exercise or motorcycles can feel casual but may be some of the most dangerous activities you experience.

But let’s step back a second, even if you don’t live life on the edge, you should be cautious while traveling, I can’t even count how many times I’ve been in a completely unexpected life-threatening event. You could be walking down the street tasting the street food, just to get food poisoning, and find yourself with huge medical costs for antibiotics or suffer a more serious infection/ injury. All of this is possible and happens to people around the world daily.

Everyone knows about the importance of owning trip insurance. It not only protects you from accidents, and other dangerous occurrences, but also provides security to your loved ones and reassures your piece of mind. Whether it be life insurance, car insurance, or the likes, we buy protection policies for all the things we love.

There is one time, however, that we overlook protecting ourselves from any possible disasters that may happen. This mistake is when we refuse to, or do not know about, purchasing single trip insurance or multi-trip insurance policies when going abroad.

It may seem like a waste of money to the average person, but the wise always prevail, and they know of and are prepared for, any setbacks that may come their way.

Travel trip insurance does not just protect your life. It also protects you from such annoyances as loss of baggage, and even flight or other travel delays. Failure to heed to this can result in not only several different annoyances but can lead to more consequential things.

STAYING PROTECTED FOR THE UNEXPECTED

If there is anything we learn as we age, it is that life almost never goes as planned, and will almost always throw us a curveball. Just because life may try to keep us down, however, does not mean we cannot be prepared to fight back.

Single trip travel insurance does not just protect you from the obvious and minor accident. In the case serious harm may come to you during your journey, especially in regions that may be known for geological disasters, travel insurance will assist in paying for your health and getting you the best care available in the country of your stay.

Similarly, we may never want to think of the fact, but the death of a loved one whilst abroad on a traveling trip is more common than you think. It is so common that there are even books are written about it, including the famous “The Gentleman of San Francisco.” Single trip travel insurance not only provides protection in case of this event but will also pay for the repatriation of your loved one’s remains.

OLDER PEOPLE NEED IT, MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE -TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR SENIORS

In most countries, people over 60 travel more than people in their 20s. I can’t say I am surprised because they are generally retired and have more free time. I am sure as hell jealous, though! Because older people travel more, that is just more of a reason mature people should get travel insurance for seniors. Now, some companies do charge more for travel insurance for the elderly but it can save your life, if not, at least, your wallet.

I’d suggest STAinsurance for cheap travel insurance for seniors.

Trip Insurance
IN SUMMATION, PROTECT NOT JUST YOURSELF, BUT YOUR SANITY

Before you go and cancel all of your travel plans and decide to live at home for the rest of your life, buying single trip travel insurance doesn’t just protect you, but also your sanity.

When buying the best travel insurance, you will be prepared for any unexpected event, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your travels around the world. And if an accident does occur, not only will you have the solution already planned, but the insurance will be with you every step of the way, ensuring the best recovery and treatment for you and your loved ones.

Personally, I don’t want my fellow tramps to suffer while they’re traveling. That’s why I’ll give you all some of the most valuable advice you’ll ever get before you buy that plane ticket.

Don’t worry fellow Tramps, you know I am all about saving pennies and dimes, it’s cheap, I have spent anywhere between 15 to 200 dollars for travel trip insurance for backpackers and the one time I have had to use it, it was when I needed antibiotics in Taiwan and the hospital I was in charged me 14,000 dollars for them. Luckily the long term trip insurance covered it.

I use STA Travel because they are straightforward on their policies, they include most of the world, and I can maintain my account online with ease. When you find good to go trip insurance, you stick with it.

HOPE YOU ALL HEED MY ADVICE, YOU CAN STILL EXPLORE AND BE SAFE!

By the way, if you have any crazy stories to share that made you wish you had insurance, post them in the comment area below!
P.S.S Looking for more awesome travel content? Check out my article on things to do in Bakersfield.

5 Important Safety Tips Every Solo Female Traveler Should Know

5 Important Safety Tips Every Solo Female Traveler Should Know

At 24 I set off on my first solo journey to the other side of the world. Being the young naive girl I was at the time, I remember my friends and family saying to me over and over again “PLEASE BE SAFE”. Four years and nine countries later I’m happy to say I’ve had an incredible journey traveling alone and it hasn’t been as unsafe or daunting as many people believed it would be. With a little preparation, common sense, and confidence you will be well on your way to becoming an independent solo female traveler!

Here are 5 helpful safety tips I’ve learnt from traveling solo as a female:

1. Plan Transportation Before Your Arrival

When I first began traveling solo, I always got a little nervous arriving in a new city, especially at night. To avoid the stress of getting lost and to give you peace of mind, it’s a good idea to pre-arrange transportation pick up at the airport. Some hotels offer free pick up while others may charge an above-average fee. Don’t be turned off by paying a little more. It will ease your anxiety knowing your driver was arranged by your hotel and knows the exact directions.

If arranging a hotel pick up isn’t possible here’s what to do:

  • Take a copy of your hotel’s address (in both English and your destination’s first language), a clear map, and a contact number. This way you can be confident in knowing where you are going, and if your driver happens to get lost you can easily direct him.

Prior to my arrival in Kolkata, India, I made the mistake of simply copying down my hostel’s address in my Iphone’s notebook. Although the taxi customer service desk at the airport confirmed they knew where I was going, I later ended up getting lost in the middle of the city. To make matters worse, the driver could not speak any English. After an hour of driving around in circles, I kindly directed the driver to pull over and let me out. I walked to the nearest hotel I could find and stay there until the following morning. This was a stupid mistake on my part and could have been easily avoided if I had prepared more before arrival. Lesson Learnt.

  • Dishonest taxi drivers are known to prey on foreign tourists outside the arrivals terminal. You may notice that some will have no fare meter and others may say that their meter is “broken”. Usually, this means they are going to charge you ten times the average price. To avoid this, contact your hotel beforehand and ask them for an approximate estimate of the total fare in your destination’s currency.

  • Research which taxi companies have the best reputation at your destination. For example, before arriving in Bali, Indonesia, a friend of mine mentioned that a company named “Blue Bird Taxi” has the best rates and a great reputation. This information was handy to have because when I saw the “Blue Bird” sign waiting outside the arrivals terminal, I felt more relaxed to flag them down for a ride.

Extra tip- If you are really nervous about arriving late at night many airports have connecting hotels so you can crash there for a night and arrange transportation in the morning.

2. Research About Your Destination’s Culture

If you’re heading to a country where women play a more conservative role, it’s best to be well informed and prepared before you go. Depending on your destination, you may need to pack away your short shorts and dress more conservatively, wearing clothes that cover both your legs and shoulders. In some places, it’s considered extremely rare for a local woman to be traveling alone, so you need to take extra precaution as thieves and cons can sometimes see you as vulnerable.

Don’t let this advice turn you off from traveling to a more conservative culture. You will be fine, just be sure to do your research before you go.

3. Have Common Sense

While traveling alone, you need to take full responsibility for yourself and your safety. A little common sense can go a long way in protecting you from unsafe situations.

  • Try to avoid being in unknown areas alone after dark. If you find yourself in this situation, never walk home alone, especially through dark areas with minimal traffic. It’s better to stay confident and flag down a taxi.

  • If you’re in an area known for mugging and pickpocketing, it’s unwise to wear flashy jewelry and/or have your cell phone in sight.

  • When traveling outside your hotel, leave your passport in a safe place and keep a couple of photocopies on hand.

  • Always take a copy of your hotel’s address, a map, and contact number in case you get lost or problems arise.

  • While in transit NEVER leave your passport or valuables in your bags unattended. Keep them on you at all times.

A girl I met while traveling in Thailand left her passport under the bus she was traveling on. She later arrived at her destination only to find out her bag (with her passport inside) had been stolen. Having to deal with a lost passport from a stupid mistake is not fun.

  • If you’re going to a bar alone limit yourself to just one or two drinks. You don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you are intoxicated and make poor decisions. It’s also important to never leave your drinks unattended.

While in Argentina, a group of travelers from our hostel went out to a local nightclub. One of the girls in our group went over her limit and ended up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. To make matters even worse, her flight back to Canada was leaving the following day. She was traveling solo and did not have a photocopy of her passport on hand. Luckily we were able to contact the hostel for her details and the following morning she was released just in time to catch her flight. This story had a happy ending but could have ended much worse. This type of situation can be avoided altogether with a bit of common sense and responsibility for your safety.

4. Trust Your Gut Instinct

Trusting your gut instinct is perhaps the best piece of advice I can give any solo female traveler. It’s true what they say: your gut instinct doesn’t lie. If you’re in any situation where something just doesn’t feel right, then without any hesitation, leave. Never stay in a situation to be kind or because you don’t want to let someone down. On the contrary, be sure to trust your gut instinct when something feels right.

While in Kolkata, India I spoke with a homeless man I passed on the street every day. He was interesting to speak with and I sensed a genuine kindness within him. Eventually, he offered to show me around the Ganges river nearby and I gladly accepted. This was an incredible experience I would have otherwise missed out on if I hadn’t given this man my trust.

5. Act Confident

As I mentioned earlier, thieves and cons tend to prey upon those who look vulnerable. When traveling alone, it’s important to always act and look confident.

Back in my early days of solo traveling, I got completely lost in the middle of Shanghai, China, while trying to find a shopping market. I was basically walking around in circles, with a frustrated look on my face. Finally, a few “nice” girls approached me and asked if I needed any help. I explained to them how I was lost and asked if they could help me with directions. One of the girls mentioned that they were also planning on going to the market, but first they would like to go for some tea. They kindly asked me to join. I was so frustrated at this point and I thought it was kind of them to offer me help, so I happily agreed. We walked for about 15 minutes down the busy streets of Shanghai and as soon as we got to the tea house my gut instinct kicked in. Something didn’t feel right. I stupidly ignored my gut and continued to drink tea after tea, of every flavor you can imagine. About 45 minutes later our waiter came out smiling, handed me a $200.00 CAD bill, and thanked me. My heart sunk, I had been caught in a scam and had no choice but to pay the hefty bill. Not only did I learn that day to always trust my gut instinct, but I also learned the importance of looking and acting confident, even when you’re not. Those girls saw that I was frustrated and lost, then used that as the bait to wheel me into their horrible scam.

Have you traveled solo before? What are some safety tips you’ve learnt along the way? Comment Below!

About the Author:

Danielle is a Canadian-born travel enthusiast who set off on a one-way ticket to the other side of the world shortly after finishing University. Four years later her wanderlust has taken her on many incredible adventures, including trekking in high the Himalayas, roaming through the Borneo rain forest, bungee jumping in Nepal, and sky diving in Australia. She wishes to inspire others to step outside their comfort zone and create more “I can’t believe I just did that” kinda moments. You can find more of her adventure stories at www.wanderessadventures.com.