It is not easy to travel alone but it is even harder when you are a female, not that women are not capable but we know the vulnerability of women in today’s world.
I have been living abroad and traveling regularly for two years, and since the beginning of this adventure, I have encountered some difficulties that came back regularly and from which I drew up a list of advice that I addressed to myself not to find myself again in one of these undesirable situations.
Here are 10 points for women wishing to settle abroad, whether for a short or a long time or simply traveling alone.
1. Spend at least a month before you settle:
Do you want to settle in a country that has always inspired you or where you had a simple holiday and fell in love with it? Try to spend at least a month because it’s just enough time to see if you can get used to the country and its culture because a shorter stay will rather give an impression of a holiday. If you are already sure of the country, whether it is your country of origin for example,
2. Create a trusted contact list:
Abroad we are often far from our families so it is important to create trusted contacts, these are people who will advise you on your steps, with whom you will stay in case of unexpected, or borrow money from when in need. Trusted contacts can come from friends or people with whom you have a common interest, projects under construction, etc. PS: Learn the phone number of your trusted contacts by heart. It may come handy.
3. Have a plan B for housing in case things go south:
When you are abroad, one of the biggest problems is often related to housing. That’s why you must always have a plan B housing solution because you will not have your family to accommodate you in case of an emergency. Thus, always plan a backup solution: a trusted friend, a cheap Muslim friendly hotel, etc.
4. Be up to date with your paperwork:
Remember to always be in good standing on your residence situation in the country in terms of updated papers, visas, or residence permits. Be informed of your residence rights in the country as these can differ based on your nationality.
5. Have your offline map ready to navigate through the city:
Always have a geographic landmark solution to avoid wasting time and energy unnecessarily. There are several geographic landmark solutions: map, app, GPS offline, (It is always smart to have a fully charged external battery in hand in case your battery runs low.)
Anecdote: I used to live in a very large neighborhood in Istanbul where all the alleyways looked similar, and it took me 15 days to get to know the way back home. Surprisingly, I was navigating around the rest of the city without any problem.
6. A small notebook will keep you on track:
Remember to keep a small notebook to record names of the places, phone numbers, goals, etc. Take a regular look at your notes to remember your goals, because sometimes you can get off track with the excitement of discovering new things every day.
7. Learn the basics of the language prior to the visit:
If your trip is a long one and if the languages you speak are not enough, you have to learn the language of the country you are in. You may learn through friend exchanges, apps, internet, language courses. This step is important because it will allow you to defend your interests by yourself and will attract the sympathy of the people of the country.
8. Ask for help:
Do not be afraid to go to people to ask for information, help, or contacts to create the network you need. This step is the most important step to start your projects because it will allow you to create an essential address book for the future.
9. Always have some cash on you:
Never go out without money, even for a race of 5 minutes, you never know what can happen. Always have enough to take a taxi or pay one night in a hotel in case things do not go as planned.
10. Take a calculated risk:
Do not be afraid to take calculated risks because it may end up leading you to meet amazing people and have great time.