His name is Charlie.
I named him such after the loveable tramp, Charlie Chaplin. He was a stray, a little tramp himself, that I adopted from the Humane Society.
He was about 18 months when I first got him and all gung-ho to go out and get lost once again. As per the Humane Society's recommendation, I kept him inside to protect him and the bird population.
Now, seven years on, Charlie enjoys a quiet life. He's domesticated and very specific as to what or who he likes and how, when and where he likes it, him or her.
Yes, Charlie, like most cats, is a selfish creature. I would not recommend Charlie's ways as relationship advice, but, when it comes to solo travel safety, he has a few traits worth learning. So I give you solo travel safety skills direct from my cat.
Solo Travel Safety Skills
- Be still and observe. Charlie spends a lot of time very still. Just observing the room. If something is happening that he's not sure about – a new toy he has yet to figure out – he becomes even more still. He crouches, ready to make a move should he have to. Being observant and aware of our surroundings is essential to solo travel safety.
- Be selective. Charlie is very definite about whom he will grace with his presence. Whether the invitation has been offered or not, he will jump on a visitor's lap or snuggle up beside them if he has decided that they are worthy. Be proactive and choose the people you want to connect with as you travel solo. And, if necessary, whom to engage in your safety.
- Ignore those from whom you don't want attention. On the flip side of deciding on the people he wants attention from, Charlie is also very definite about those from whom he does not want attention. If you are that person, you will know it. No amount of tempting or cajoling will get him to come your way. Ignore, don't make eye contact and move away from anyone who makes you uneasy.
- Be clear about what you want and don't want. Charlie still has nails. You'll know it if you do something he doesn't like. With a swift swat you'll get the message – nothing that does much harm but enough to change your actions. Likewise, as you travel solo, be clear about what you do and don't want. If ignoring a person isn't enough, be vocal. Cause a scene if necessary.
- Live your own schedule. Charlie's life is one of leisure. He determines how active he'll be and when he'll sleep – which is a lot. Whether you need a lot or little sleep, whether you build lots into the day or only one thing, live on your own schedule so that, for safety sake, you are well rested and alert.
And a final lesson from Charlie that doesn't relate to solo travel safety but more to the pleasure of solo travel – relax and enjoy the warmth of your destination. Whether that be a warm retreat from a cold winter or the warmth of a people in a cold place, soak it all in.
I consider it important to write about safety now and then yet I've probably said just about all there is to say on the subject. And it's certainly covered in detail in The Solo Traveler's Handbook where one of the four sections is dedicated to safety. So, yes, I look for new spins like this one with Charlie. For more traditional posts with solo travel safety skills check out…
- Solo Travel: Knowledge and Tools for Safety
- Solo Travel S U R V I V A L
- 2014 Solo Travel Destinations: how to be safe wherever you go
- Solo Travel Safety: who to trust
- Night Safety for Solo Travelers: 15 tips
- Solo Travel Safety: 15 analog safety tips, 12 digital safety tools.
- Solo Travel Safety: My Kind of Strangers
- Solo Travel Mistakes to Avoid
- Solo Travel Safety: 20 Common Sense Tips
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You can read my full report on travel insurance here: Going Alone? Travel Insurance is a Must