For past couple of years , i have travelled extensively. I have used almost all modes of transport, be it flights, trains, buses, cars or even jetties for that matter. And maximum of that travel has been on my own. No matter how progressive the country has become , a female travelling alone in India , is still not that common. Over time i have formulated some rules and to do lists for myself, although it definitely isn’t exhaustive, but is handy and helpful. I am jotting down things i learnt from my own experiences and some that other fellow females have shared with me,in the hope it might be of use to other women folks who travel:
- GPS is a boon… Learn to use it and trace all your routes on it , before you start your journey. The cab driver should in no ways get an idea that the route is unknown to you. Also no matter what the driver tells you, DO NOT go by any other route that the one shown in your GPS. Even if it is longer , has more traffic,whatever, whatever, stick to the route reflecting in your GPS.
- When you enter a hotel room, check all windows, doors and exit routes. You should always know how to escape, in case you have to.
- Sit in the front seat in a cab , and not in the back. This way you will have a better control and getting out of the car or taking control of handbrake or the car itself is easier for you.
- The keys , handbag etc can act as a handy tool of defense. Know how to use them to your advantage.
- In case you get into confrontation, remember, the goal should always be to find the opportunity to run and save your life. Do not wait there to teach a lesson, your life is more precious.
- Do not be busy with your cellphones , or listen with earphones on, while travelling in a cab or walking down roads. It is the dumbest things to do. Be aware of the surroundings.
- You should always have few numbers on your speed dial, your family, boyfriend, husband, or anyone else, who could be of help.
- You should know few telephone numbers by heart. In case you loose your mobile phone , it would help you connect with someone.
- Carry a pepper spray.
- Get yourself trained in some basic defense techniques
- Do not divulge personal information of any sort to fellow passengers. I usually tell false names and other details.
- Donot stop for asking address or routes. In case you have to , make sure you ask cops.
It is really sad , that i actually have to list this all down. It just shows the kind of unsafe environment we live in. But that is the harsh reality, and as they say it is better to be safe than sorry.