Not all of us have Liam Neeson on speed dial, so I want to offer some tips on how to NOT be that girl from Taken. Let me tell you now that it is easier than you think to fall prey to over-confidence. That’s why its important to always prepare for those moments that excitement takes over sensibility.
1. Commit to safety over convenience:
Before each trip, make a conscious decision that you will choose safety over convenience. It’s too easy to ignore basic safety rules when you need to make a decision quickly. By bringing the issue to the forefront of your mind before you travel, it will make it easier to identify those moments when you are being more swayed towards convenience than safety.
I mean this in 2 ways:
– First, let people know where you are, where you are going, and when you are expected to arrive/return. It’s just the smart thing to do.
–Second, if you are traveling with someone and can see they are about to make a decision that makes you a little uncomfortable, tell them what YOUR feelings are and then offer an alternative solution. “Hey, I really feel uncomfortable with getting a ride from these people. Could we find a Taxi instead?” Your friend (and/or other people in your group) may not feel comfortable with the original decision either and they just need an excuse to avoid it.
3. Have a backup plan:
There have been more than a couple of times when I have found myself in an unknown area at night without public transportation in sight. You never know when a delay is going to put you in an unexpected position. If you miss the bus, do you know the number for the taxi service? If your friend is suddenly unable to pick you up from the airport in the middle of the night, do you know how to get to an affordable hotel? Who are you going to call if you need a ride? or a place to stay?
4. Find the Adventure: Even when choosing the safer path involves something inconvenient, obnoxious, or expensive, stand by your commitment to safety, and look on the bright side! There is adventure in every decision, so find the adventure in front of you. Due to a canceled flight, I once found myself having to miss a day of work and have an unexpected stay in a hotel. At first I was stressed, but then I decided to take advantage of my forced vacation day and make the day fun!
5. Give yourself a break:
Choosing the safer path may come with significant cost. Maybe you’re going to have to miss a flight or pay more than you want to for a hotel. Maybe you’re going to miss work or even let a friend down. Know that choosing a safer route does NOT deserve condemnation of any kind, so don’t beat yourself up because things didn’t go according to plan. Doing what is right is not always easy, but the consequences for a risky and rash alternative might cost a price you weren’t expecting. Now go get yourself a kit-kat bar!
Please know that there is no need to be afraid when you travel
…just exercise wise caution, be prepared,
and enjoy the journey!
*Featured image retrieved from Our Unfortunate Events