A girl named Ernie travels places
The first post of a miss-organised travel log and ideas to navigate alone [as a WOC].
I’ve always been compelled to write. Write my name, addresses, diary entries, journals, recipes, to do’s… anything really. But I never thought about documenting my experiences and ideas about wanderlust on a platform for people to see.
Recently, few of my friends asked me about tips for traveling alone as a young woman [of color]. You see, a huge chunk of my paycheck has the privilege to be spent on leisure trips, so I decide to make my money run and go places I’m interested in. Some times I’d gone with my younger sister, once with my S.O., but most of the time I end up going on my own; and I’ve learned so much about myself and about the world in general.
So here it is, first idea:
When traveling alone, know your surroundings
I couldn’t stress this enough. Whenever my [girl]friends ask me about what’s the first thing I do to plan my trips this is what comes up. Knowing your surrounding goes beyond knowing the name of the hotel, the street, and your host (if any). It implies research and planning — yeah, the type A side of my is shining madly. It’s taking into consideration the possibility of the unlikely, but probable and understading the available resources.
Before any of my trips I like to know what’s there for me. Yes, I look for things to do, but also basic information like how reliable is the transportation system, what’s the estimate taxi fare from where I’m staying to the airport, best areas to go by foot, cheap places to eat, shops’ general schedule… The Internet has done wonders and everything can be found if we know how to look and ask.
What do I do? Pinterest and travel websites are my main place of info. The first one most of the time has accesible iconographs and/or direct you to approachable blogs. The second one, travel websites usually have “things to do” written by users or forums, just avoid paid content to find the most genuine experiences and answers.