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Travelling alone throughout Europe
Anonymous
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Fellow Travellers:
I just recently returned from a month’s travels throughout Europe. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m no beauty queen and I’m over 40 with one or two gray strands visible around my forehead.(smile)
I love travelling, especially alone. I am a black woman, so you can imagine the looks I got when I would show up in hostels in small towns where blacks probably don’t venture. But thats what I like to do when I travel, that being, getting away from the large city crowds and enjoying the real country and visiting its smaller, prettier towns and villages. I can honestly say that I was treated very well and in a friendly manner wherever I went.
It all depends on how you approach people. I was always friendly in my approach and remained this way throughout my travels. A hello, Good Morning in the local language with a smile can start you on your way to a friendly encounter regardless of your color/sex. And a thank you in the language can end the encounter in the same way. I had several people, male and female, start conversations with me and I welcomed it because I wanted these people to know that regardless of a person’s color or sex or nationality, that not all people are the same just because we come from the same country or because of what they may have seen on TV about a specific group of people who live in a country. Prejudice and bias is a horrible vice to carry within you especially when travelling. We may grow up with these vices, but as we get older and learn the difference between right and wrong, we can drop those vices and become more open-minded and sensitive to all people.
Now, if you look for trouble, it will meet you automatically. If you look for friendship in your travels, you will find this in ways in which you never imagined.
Just be mature, conscientious, aware of your surroundings when travelling. Its okay to travel alone, regardless of your looks. If you feel that your looks/beauty will disrupt the general routine of the day in a country, stay home. Women should not be afraid to travel alone. It will make you a better/stronger person, if you let the adventure do this for you. You must have confidence and self-assurance to complete what you have planned to do. If you are insecure about doing this, don’t leave home, because you can’t always have someone at your side every day. And if you can’t depend on yourself and your higher power (if you have one), then who can you depend on? Just do your homework before you leave, and when you walk confident and feel confident when you travel, then you want have to worry about others bothering you. People from other lands are curious about you and some people, especially males may/may not approach in the manner of which you are accustomed. You can always walk away from people you do not want to talk to. But there’s one thing I wish to convey in this message: Leave your prejudices, bias, stereotypes of others at home. Take a mature, open-mind with you and you’ll come back with a memory no one can ever erase. Happy Travels
Sincerely,
Ms. Carmen Carter

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