The prospect of being away from home and exploring a strange land is daunting. At the same time, though, it’s also an adventure. Touring round a land with a varied culture, such as if you were on a holiday in Spain, is also a character-building exercise. Facing some of your fears about travelling alone you then come back stronger. Here’s a guide to travelling alone that can help you achieve that.
There’s nothing more cumbersome than dragging luggage full of unnecessary essentials across Spanish streets, especially if you’re a first timer still trying to figure out where to get transportation, places to eat, sleep, etc., not to mention the fact that you have a higher probability of losing items while in this condition and attracting undue attention. In consequence, you should always try and pack only the bare necessities, with only a moderate quantity of clothes. This will also help avoid being charged extra at the airport for having excess luggage weight.
Spain is a multicultural country and has several mostly Catholic-oriented communities, which prefer conservative dressing. Generally, dressing styles differ across the country, with the northern regions which include Asturias, being slightly more liberal. As such, avoiding overly revealing outfits is always the better option. The rules are more relaxed at the beach but get gradually tighter as you leave the shores.
There’s safety in numbers. When traveling alone, be more alert about your surroundings and of strangers approaching you on the streets, especially if they come too close. However, you should not read too much into someone holding your gaze in social situations as Spanish people are a bit more overt and animated and this is only part of their nature. If you feel uncomfortable, just pretend not to understand what the person is saying early in the piece. Of course you can always approach a security guard or policeman if a stranger persists in bothering you. The other aspect is that you should always leave your valuables at home: unexpected events can arise on travel, and don’t want to lose anything significant if that happens. Also, try to stay in a group of people while travelling and avoid being in partially secluded areas alone.
Research and carry a map
Before travelling to Spain, you should find out important information about the best places to visit, where to stay, and such. It is also good to learn a few Spanish words and phrases to enable you to interact at least at a basic level with people who don’t understand English. Carrying a map and guidebook should also be in your itineraries.
Observe these simple tips and you can make it through your travels around Spain securely and feel all the better for it. You’ll feel as if you could take on the world, which couldn’t be better if you’re a traveler!
Images by MAGIS2011, used under Creative Commons license.