Solo Travel Tips For The Macho Male - Part 1
So you are big, strong and know how to throw a punch, or on the other hand you may be short, scrawny and a wimp, but you have one thing in common, you travel solo.
For some reason the male species think they are better equipped to be solo wanderers than the fairer sex, or is that society's view? Males do get mugged, picked on for a fight, drugged in a bar, scammed, kidnapped by pirates, yes pirates if you are sailing in the waters off Somalia; so don't think you are immune from tragedy befalling you when you are traipsing around the villages of the world.
Below are a few tips, especially for those moments when your brain may be ruled by another part of your anatomy, as is often the case.
1. She's after the money honey,
......not your body or your brain. Local women of dare I say third world countries, but then again this can apply to any country, are usually chasing a better lifestyle than the one they currently have.
I am sorry to say this, but a lot of men lose sight of the fact when they have just met the "incredible love of their life", translated into "she is so good in the sack". They forget they have a paunch, they are well over 50 and thought they would never have sex again in their life. You may also be the ugliest bastard alive, that no female in your own country will look at twice, and yet you have an angel adoring you twenty-four seven. It may be less bank breaking to pay a lady of the night by the hour and keep your cash intact than playing with the black widow spider in front of you.
2.Protect Thy Self
The old saying "if it's not on, then it is not on" This actually applies to males as well as females. So, don't forget to pack some condoms, as you may not be able to readily buy them in your size depending on where you are. Apparently the French and the Italians top the list for being the most well endowed, so if you are lacking a bit in this area you may not get "small" sizes in these countries. Also you don't want to take home to your girlfriend/partner a surprise that they won't appreciate at all.
3. Don't Loose Your Head
Experimenting with unknown substances whilst in a foreign country may not only land you in ugly situations, you may also end up in jail or worse. Don't lose your head in a cloud of fuzz, whether it be induced by alcohol or drugs, when in the company of "new found best friends", as they may very well have a nasty agenda waiting for you. You will be at your most vulnerable in this scenario, let alone the problems of getting back to your accommodation even if you are capable.
4. Be Wry Of The Free Drink
Beware the friendly stranger (male or female) buying you a drink, as it is the easiest way in the world to slip you a Mickey Finn! With females being the target it is usually a case of rape, but with men it is a case of watch, wallet, maybe your shoes and probably a good kick in the head or two. If it is a female buying you a drink, then she probably has a boyfriend or two in the wings just waiting for the action to begin.
5. Be A Nice Guy
Don't be intimidating; you are a male after all. Take the sunglasses off when approaching or talking to someone, don't invade their personal space, don't raise your voice and keep your hand actions unthreatening. You will find that locals will be friendlier especially if you are asking directions, if you follow these rules. Don't wear the "big" man stance if you wish to appear polite and would really like to interact with the natives. Put on your nicest smile and speak calmly and respectfully.
6. Manage The Testosterone
Know what you can and can't do: You just so happen to be in Bali and decide now is the time to rent a motorbike, yet you have never ridden one before; this is not a good idea. Or, learning how to surf on an idyllic island with waves that you have to be towed onto is never a good idea when you have no idea how to surf in the first place. In other words, you are not traveling to prove yourself to anyone, and the last place you want to end up in is some shonky third-world hospital where anesthetic is yet to be available while they splinter that broken leg.
7. Don't Flash
Don't flash the hardware you are carrying such as an expensive camera, watch, laptop or smart phone. You are just putting temptation out there for the local riff raff to target you. Keep all of your "real" necessities in one bag within your reach or glued to your back at all times. This includes your passport and wallet. Wear pants that have zippered pockets, or put on the money belt or fanny pack and pretend you are just a fatter version of who you are. Actually, consider just what you are taking with you. Do you really need two cameras?
8. Be Cool Gentlemen
Be the gentleman, which everyone knows you are and help that little old lady or man when you can plainly see that they are struggling with their bag to get it on or off a bus, train or whatever. This doesn't mean carrying their 20 kilo load of animal fodder strapped to their shoulders as they walk along the side of the road. You will be forgiven for not showing your white knight inclinations on these occasions.
Gail Palethorpe, a self proclaimed Australian gypsy, is a freelance writer, photographer and eternal traveller. Check out her website Gail Palethorpe Photography