I won’t lie, this post is mostly aimed at women… But if you’re a man avoiding Cougars / women your own age / women / men / *insert-whatever-doesn’t-float-your-boat-here* this should work too.
Here are some foolproof ways of avoiding creeps (or even normal guys) when you’re a woman travelling solo in a far and distant land.
He says: I give you twenty camels if you marry me! (Note: I’m not making this up, this was actually said repeatedly by a persistent young fella in Egypt!)
You say: Just twenty? Or, even better: My fiancé’s allergic to camels.
He says: Hey Sugar!
You say: That line’s obviously never worked for you since you’re here alone, trying to pick me up. ‘Trying’ being the key word. Oh look, there’s my (fake) husband. Bye now.
He says: *insert generic, but not sleazy line here*
You say: Thank you, I’m flattered but I have a husband / wife / partner. Flash your ring, take out that photo of Matt Bomer or Ken Duken (in his good days) from your wallet.
To avoid them all:
Cross your eyes and pretend to be more attractive than you are. Bonus points if you can fake having buck teeth.
Wear a nice sparkly ring. I’m talking serious ice, ice, baby. I picked up this one from a friend who travelled through India, Egypt, and China solo (read: gutsy chicka). And apparently it’s worked for others out there too.
Stick with a (guy) friend. If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve made a friend or acquaintance within your first few days of your so-called solo travel. If you're with another man, men tend to avoid hitting on you in my experience (or if you're in a rather large group of girls).
Don’t push your luck. It’s okay to be spunky if the sleaze bag is a sleaze bag, just be sure to be careful and calculated when doing it. The last thing you want is some rejected psycho targeting you. Remember, safety first.
If a guy’s not a sleaze, there’s no reason to be spunky. Thank them and let them down politely.
Stay tuned for Solo travels Lesson #4: travelling safe when travelling solo — everything from the basics (keeping your drinks safe, and where to stay on a budget), to pepper spray alternatives, portable safes, and phone plans to consider for emergencies.
Cover image from Unsplash.com 'Free High-Resolution Photos'. Photographer: Julia Caesar