The Anxious Traveller

Just a girl travelling the world with anxiety

Hey lovely people ?

This is my first blog post as I make the transition from travel blogger with anxiety and depression to talking about lifestyle ‘Edwina’ style as well as travel and mental health. My mission is to inspire women to travel whilst having mental health difficulties and also putting my own unique twist on what is considered ‘lifestyle’ in the blogging world.

I hope that my version of lifestyle and stories will make you laugh, give you a different perspective and make you want to travel the world as much as I do.

Today I am going to talk about how to hook up as solo female traveller so buckle up and fasten your seatbelts as I take you on one of my crazy journeys…

First things first, safety…

I know safety is a boring subject but if you’re going to be hooking up as a solo female traveller you need to stay safe. It’s all fine and good having the amazing story but you need to get home safe and in one piece in order to tell the story. So I’m going to tell you how to stay safe whilst hooking up as a solo female traveller.

However, before I get in to the how to stay safe whilst hooking up as a solo female traveller I’m going to open up and share one of my favourite hooking up stories from my travels.

It started in Venice…

I’d spent the whole day in Venice the day before my birthday having the best time! Yes, it was pissing down with rain and I was alone in the most romantic city in the world but that didn’t dampen my spirits. I felt alive, I felt free, I felt pretty damn good living my best single girl life. I literally spent the whole day on Cloud 9. Venice is an absolute must see and I’d recommend going sooner rather than later as it’s slowly sinking.

I was staying in Bologna in Northern Italy (thank you cheap Ryanair flights) so had just done a day trip to Venice using Flixbus. Flixbus is hands down my favourite coach company as you can literally get anywhere in Europe using them and its cheap as chips. The coaches are clean, show up on time and they also do overnight buses. The perfect kind of transport for any solo traveller. Best thing is they’ve now come to the UK! This is honestly not a plug, I just really love Flixbus.

The beautiful Canadian man…

Ok, I realise I’m going off on tangent now so on to the beautiful Canadian guy. I got back to Bologna around 8pm and I decided to take myself for dinner. Now eating alone is something that not everyone likes to do but if you’re going to be a solo traveller it’s something you have to get used to. I personally love it as I’m a slow eater so when I eat alone I can eat as slow as I want.

I got sat outside as it was a warm July evening and as I sat down I noticed a handsome man sitting alone on a table behind me.  He was on the phone speaking in an excited, happy voice. I thought to myself maybe ‘I’ll pluck up the courage to speak to him when he gets off the phone’. I spoke to the waiter in English as he took my order and the handsome Canadian, lets call him Mark for the sake of privacy shouted over “Hey you’re English!”. I asked him to join me for a drink after he’d finished his phone call. As he joined me at my table he looked even more attractive, serious Chandler Bing moment going on. Luckily I managed to hold my own, string coherent sentences together and appear confident which amazed me.

After talking for a while we decided to move on to a bar and he even suggested going back to his place for a glass of wine at the end of the evening. On our way to the bar he bumped in to a stunning Italian girl who he knew (he’d lived in Bologna for 3 months at that point working there) who he invited to join us for a drink in the bar we were on our way to later. Now it was my birthday the next day and I was determined that this single girl wasn’t going to loose the handsome Canadian man to a stunning Italian girl. So I very directly told him I was interested. Holy shit, I surprise myself with my little boosts of confidence sometimes!

 However, the directness and confidence paid off and although this girl met us for a drink she left 1 hour later and this single girl was going back to Mark’s apartment.

Now I had my 360 app on the whole time which is linked up to my parents phones so they can track where I am or where I’ve been. However, just to be safe I text my mum when I went to the toilet to tell her I’d met Mark and was thinking of going back to his apartment. When I decided that I was going back to Mark’s apartment I text my mum again to tell her I was going and I took a google map screenshot which I sent to her when I got to his apartment.

We get back to Mark’s apartment and this is the part where I overshare all the dirty details of the night…

Just kidding, best ease you in gently to my crazy single life or you won’t come back ey…

Mark and I had a lovely night together. He was smart, interesting and had the most beautiful body. Side note, he was also the oldest guy I’d ever slept with at 51 (I was just turning 31) although he’d clearly taken care of himself in life as he looked about 40. I’ve got a thing for older guys anyway as you’ll soon hear about as I share more of my single girl stories with you.

Now I’ve used Mark as an example situation but as an eternal single girl I’ve developed a number of habits in order to stay safe whilst hooking up with guys when solo travelling. A few of those tips on how to stay safe I’ve touched on already but I’m going to lay them out clearly for you.

So without further ado these are my top tips to stay safe when hooking up as a solo female traveller:

  1. Have a named person at home who you’re going to message when you meet someone who you like and who you think will lead to hooking up

Ok, I used my mum as I stated earlier in the blog post because I tell my mum everything, single girl stories the works because she is super chilled. I get that my mother daughter relationship is unique and the majority of people probably wouldn’t want to tell their parents about guys their hooking up with on their travels.

It doesn’t have to be your parents though, it doesn’t even have to be a family member. Use your best friend, second cousin, work colleague, anyone you feel comfortable being completely open and honest with as your named person.

Have the conversation with them before you go on your travels. It doesn’t have to be awkward just be real and say “I’m a single girl travelling and if I ending up hooking up whilst on my travels are you happy to be the person I message to let you know my whereabouts in order to ensure my safety?”.

Most of the time the person will be happy that you’ve had the foresight to think of this and will want you to stay safe on your travels. Also they get first dibs on all the dirty details which is always a bonus!

2. Get the 360 app

This is an app that tracks your location. Yes, I know how it sounds but keep reading ok. I downloaded this app and so did my parents when I went solo travelling around Colombia and linked up to their accounts so we had a bubble in which my parents could see where I was.

Having someone being able to track your phone sounds like an invasion of privacy but as long as you only connect your immediate close network to your 360 app bubble it can prove to be a lifeline when solo travelling in some far away country.

I deleted the app when I got home and I will re-download it when I next go off solo travelling.

Side note, have people in your 360 bubble who know how to use the app and will actually check in on you regularly. It’s no good choosing someone for your 360 bubble who you don’t speak to for weeks on end in your regular life so won’t worry about your whereabouts when you’re travelling.

3.  Screenshot where you are and send to named person when you arrive at the location you plan on hooking up in

This follows on from point 1 and 2 but I cannot stress enough that you need to make sure you stay safe whilst hooking up solo travelling!

Now I use Google Maps for this as it is clearly laid out and is widely used as a map and locator. When I arrive at the place where I plan on hooking up be it Mark’s apartment, a hotel room etc. I pull up my Google Maps, take a screenshot and send in to my mum.

I’m aware that you can’t get Wi-Fi everywhere and data charges can be costly. If I’m in this situation I turn my data on take the screenshot and when I’ve sent it turn my data off.

When I was in Colombia it cost £6 a day on Vodaphone to use my data and there was instances, not just hooking up instances, long bus journeys in particular that sometimes you’ve just got to bite the bullet and accept the charges.

Once again I’ve gone off on a tangent but to summarise take the screenshot on Google Maps and send it to your named person.

4. Communicate with your named person

This isn’t a safety tip this is more of a protecting your named person’s sanity tip. For the love of God remember to message your named person the next morning or when you leave place of hook up to let them know you are ok.

Yes, having a named person is to help you stay safe but you have to appreciate that it is a huge responsibility for them as well. If you message the night before saying you’re hooking up with someone then go silent on them for 24 hours they are going to be well and truly doing their nut worrying about you.

My travel buddy in Thailand back in 2013 went off with an Aussie guy. She didn’t have her phone with her and she didn’t show up back at our hostel until 6pm the next day because she’d been sleeping off her hangover. That day I was so anxious and absolutely beside myself. At 4pm I actually went to the police station to report her as missing. Needless to say the policeman laughed me out of the station blaming the full moon party and to come back in 24 hours.

I know I sound crazy but that’s the level of stress it can cause someone if you don’t communicate with your named person.

5. Look out for Red Flags

Now back to staying safe whilst hooking up solo travelling…

You have to be on your guard and look out for the red flags. Yes, enjoy the person’s company, even open up to them about your life (obviously don’t give away passport numbers and credit card details) but make sure you are on the look out for any red flags.

If you spot any red flags or anything remotely suspicious DO NOT go back to their hotel room or apartment. They might be amazing and you might want the awesome travel hook up story but you won’t get to tell any stories if you don’t make it home alive.

This brings me on to number 6…

6. Listen to your intuition

We all have intuition, some of us might be more in tune with it than others but it is there and you have to listen to it.

As an avid solo female traveller I very much listen to my intuition, not just when it comes to guys, with everyone I meet. If someone has a good energy I’ll choose to spend time with them, if they don’t I’ll walk away.

It’s not just about good and bad energy though. I very much believe that you can tell within the first 5 minutes of meeting someone if they are a good person or not just by being switched on, listening to yourself and being aware of what they are saying both with their words and actions.

If you have bad intuition or a bad feeling about someone don’t hang around to be polite, get yourself out of that situation immediately.

Example situation…

You are in a hostel bar and you are talking to someone who seems a bit dodgy. Excuse yourself to go to the toilet. When you come back go talk to someone else or chat to the barman for a while instead.

7. Be aware of what your drinking and consuming

Right I’m not going to tell you not to get drunk whilst travelling because no one likes a party pooper. What I will say is be aware of what you’re drinking and consuming. If you get given a drink off a stranger make sure you watch the drink being made, don’t just drink it right out of their hand.

I made this mistake when I was in Darwin, Australia. A guy spilled my drink and bought me a new one. Being a skint solo traveller in a rather expensive part of Australia I was like “Yey, free drink”. I started to feel funny, so said goodbye to the girls I was with and went back to the hostel stopping at McDonalds on the way. Luckily nothing bad happened to me thank god but it could have potentially been a dangerous situation. What I should’ve done is went to the bar with the guy and watched my drink being made before accepting it.

I’m now going to touch on other substance you may want to consume when travelling. Once again I’m not going to say don’t do drugs. However I will say as a solo traveller if you’re going to do them make sure you are with other travellers who you’ve spent time with and who you trust. If it’s your first time trying something don’t be embarrassed to admit it so your travel buddies can keep a close eye on you.

Also don’t drink or consume anything just to look cool in front of the hot guy or new travel buddies to fit in. Be yourself! If you don’t want to do something say no. You’re solo travelling at the end of the day so if you don’t like where you are or the crowd you’re with you can leave.

8. Lastly, use your common sense!

I know this sounds like the number 5 and 6 but common sense goes a long way when travelling.

My two golden rules for travel, use your common sense and don’t be a dick.

I know there’s always a sense of “f**k it I’m on holiday” which yeah in some situations you can say that. However, if you’re a solo female traveller you have to be extra aware of when you choose to use that attitude and when you listen to your inner sensibility.

Let’s be real, you are vulnerable as a solo female traveller. I appreciate that the rise of feminism is real but feminism still has a long way to go and gender equality isn’t always a thing in many countries. I really believe that if you are reading this you are a strong, kick ass, fierce woman but remember that you may be seen as more of a target because you are a woman in some countries that your fellow male travellers. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow and as a female solo traveller I really do struggle with it but it is what it is and I need to be extra vigilant and remember to use my common sense at all times when travelling.

Wow, what a ride that was! Apologies for all the tangents, I got very excited writing this post. I love that I got so excited though because it further clarifies that my main passion is not just travel but helping you guys have the confidence to travel as well. I want to share my travel antics and my single stories with you. It will be like sitting in the pub and sharing my stories with you over a pink gin and lemonade only virtually. I have some very exciting plans for this blog which I absolutely cannot wait to share with you.  

What do you think of me expanding my blogging in to lifestyle? What kind of things do you want me to talk about in my blog?

Are you a single girl who solo travels whilst having mental health difficulties? If you are please reach out in the comments, on Facebook or on Instagram. I’d love to hear from you and get to know you ?

Tell me your thoughts on this blog post, I’d love to hear them. Also if you loved this post please share it on, I’d massively appreciate it ?

Edwina xxx

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4 thoughts on “How to hook up and stay safe as a solo female traveller

  1. I love how free and open you are. Your personality comes alive in your writing. I wish I had the courage to travel solo like that. If I do, I will definitely look back to this post for the awesome tips! I think you blogging about your dealing with mental health and anxiety while traveling solo is a very interesting niche. Because I want to learn how to get over my fear of traveling by myself. Also, I have never heard of the 360 app before so that was interesting to learn, thank you xxx

  2. Loved this post, really loved getting glimpse of your personality from it. Also good for you with going after what you want. I don’t think I would speak so openly with my mum but share my location on WhatsApp for instance with my friends or sister. Also one of my New Years resolution is to eat alone in a restaurants ?

  3. Loved this post, really loved getting glimpse of your personality from it. Also good for you with going after what you want. I don’t think I would speak so openly with my mum but share my location on WhatsApp for instance with my friends or sister. Also one of my New Years resolution is to eat alone in a restaurants ?

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