Do you know how many opportunities a day you have to die? I vividly remember reading in my middle school health textbook, how the average house has more dangers for its inhabitants than almost anywhere else they’ll ever be. Furthermore, I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., in some neighborhoods here, there is a 1 in 7 chance of being a victim of a violent crime (crimes like rape and murder, not petty crimes like pickpocketing). Being alive is dangerous.
It’s funny how everybody thinks they’re safest where they live, when statistically victims usually know their perpetrators, meaning most are better off in a city full of strangers. And why do people behave like human trafficking, sex slavery, is something that could only happen if they go overseas? It unfortunately happens essentially everywhere, and that includes developed first-world countries like the U.S. What greatly frustrates me about people telling me it’s dangerous to travel by myself, or any other women this, is that — well meaning, or not — it’s patronizing. It assumes I live in the delusional void of “that could never happen to me”, that I’m ignorant and naive about the dangers that do exist, that I need a man or someone else to hold my hand or watch my back when I venture out in the world, and most of all, the unspoken message seems to be, “Instead of fighting to end the dangers, fighting against the evil of exploitation and abuse of women, we should just encourage women to stay home and never venture out in the world.” That may be easier, but it’s the coward’s way out. If I don’t travel because of fear, then I’ve let the “bad guys” win and they control me. If you want to live life to the fullest, you better get out of your comfort zone.
It just upsets me that people seem more passionate about instilling paranoia and fear into women and stopping them from traveling and being independent because of dangers, instead fighting against the dangers, such as human trafficking and rape, and the perpetrators of these crimes, so the world can be a safer place for all.
What precautions do I take? There’s mostly only one: go with my gut instinct. Although, I also don’t go out and get drunk, leaving myself foolishly and unbelievably vulnerable. And yes, I travel alone. I always have. From Europe, to Africa, and now to Asia. But one is never really “alone” per se, I make many new and wonderful friends whenever I travel.
P.S. Sorry, if this comes off as a sort of attack against you, I don’t mean it that way. I’m just very worn down from people telling me what I’m doing is dangerous and that women shouldn’t travel alone. But you should never ever make light or a joke of someone becoming a “sex slave”. You’re talking about atrocious crimes against living breathing human beings, that’s not humorous.