As soon as I finished the exam period for the second semester, I kept thinking again and again about it. Alright, at first I didn't think too much when I booked the ticket to Italy on May. But when the time was approaching, more facts about pickpockets and gypsies burst up, I was totally insecure about myself. Can I survive in Italy without anybody and come back to Gent without missing anything? Hahaha..
Well, two days ago I just arrived in Gent after two weeks trip in Italy. Do I miss anything? Nothing! Moreover I get more experience by traveling solo instead of walking with partner. Looks weird and stupid? No!
pic from here
I know that I am not an expert (yet) in solo traveling. Meanwhile, I will share you some notes to make sure if you look forward for different experiences like I got earlier ;)
Plan Local Accommodation and Transportation before
I could say that it will be the major concerns if you travel (alone or not). Where will you stay and how do you move to other places. Tough you can find it on the spot, you will lose more time and effort to do unnecessary business. Besides, some hostels and trains give low prices if you purchase it beforehand.
Book Hostel with minimal 4 people in the same room
Being human, we still need to communicate with others directly (not indirectly with your cellphone). After day (or night)-walking around the city, you will need someone to talk to. By staying with other travelers in the same room, you could share stories about the city or the joy of traveling it self.
Talk to Stranger
Wherever you are and whenever you feel alone, just talk randomly with people besides you. Either waiting for bus or sitting in the park. Therefore you won't feel alone at all. Start it with smile, ask for help or comment on something, it will continue with longer conversations ;) One more, never use monopod for your selfie. Just asks other with good camera on hand (sign that he is experienced enough in grabbing good photos), then you can talk and get good photo as well. ;)
Totally totally worth it to get local tips and tricks about the city. Moreover, if they could accompany you during the trip (for coffee or ice cream?).
What moneybelt? Yes moneybelt! Use it to keep your money, important documents, passport, credit card in safe place. Meanwhile, you can put daily money on your wallet and refill for another day. If someone steals your purse, you won't lose many things altogether.
Inform your current position to friend or family regularly
Dropped message via whatsapp or line, just say where are you currently. In case something happen to you, your relatives will know your last position. (just in case..)
Don't start your day too early and finish it too late
Being a woman (though you have black belt in karate), you have to consider every possibility of robbery (or rape as worst case!).
Avoid Small and Suspicious Alleys
For this case, just go with your instinct. If your feeling says that it is dangerous, don't get in. Never ignore your heart within. Be smart and stay away from it okay?
Lastly, more confidence, less worry
Everything will be fine if you think positive. If something goes wrong, just relax, smile (and laugh for it), create another plans, execute it. Voila, everything will be okay ;) And you will obtain rich experiences by solo traveling.