Safety tips for solo female expats

  • solo female traveller
Published on 2021-10-27 at 10:00 by Magdalena Grdanoska
Alone but not lonely. Solo female expats are on the rise, and as the world is striving towards gender equality, many women show that their ambitions have no geographical limits. Deciding to start a journey in a new country has all the elements an adventure needs: adrenaline, excitement and even a healthy amount of fear. If you are ahead of a similar journey, you should consider some safety dos and don'ts in order to make your new experience joyful and smooth. 

Dos for easier integrating into the new environment

One of the first essential points is to learn the local language. Speaking the language will help you in every scenario. Whether it is in searching for a place to stay or finding new friends, it will make every scenario easier. A good idea is to already have some basic preparation before arriving in the new place, and to dedicate to achieving a solid knowledge as soon as possible after your arrival. Seek some integration courses, international language schools, or even some (private) online lessons and be persistent. It will certainly pay off. 

While your first instinct might be to seek international company or to find expats from your country, eventually, you will make friendships with locals. They will be the people with the best understanding of the environment you are in. So seek these opportunities, as locals know the best places to go out, all the opportunities that the offers and they will help you improve your language skills. 

If your main reason for moving was working, it is always good to meet more professionals in your field (local and international). These will help you get a better grasp of the conditions and rules in your workplace or help you to compare with another company in your field. Meeting more professionals will also help you in case you are looking for a new job or just for opportunities to improve your career.

Find people that are interested in the things you love. The truth is, we all have hobbies that we love more than our jobs. Sometimes finding the right people means seeking where you like to spend time often. Ask yourself what your interests are, and pursue them. It might be dancing, some kind of sport, singing, painting or literature. Through following events or courses that you like, you might make some of the best friendships you will ever have. 

The adventure does not stop when you settle. One of the reasons for your call to become an expat might be your need to escape boredom. Try to do every day at least one thing that scares you. But, in reality, you don't have to go to that extent. Just do something new that you might have felt insecure about, like approaching a stranger for directions, a new activity that you know nothing about, or speaking a language you are not so confident with. By doing so, you will become much more resilient and ready to confront anything that comes your way. 

If you're curious about online dating, or that's your preferred way to find a partner, it might help you to meet someone in the new place. Bear in mind that you are in a new environment where it might be more difficult to get out of a situation that you don't like. Also, people seem nicer on the internet. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is better to inform someone close to you about where or who you are going out with.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and you will find that there is a reason why locals do things in a certain way. That does not mean to stop your way of functioning, but it doesn't hurt to adapt to the local traditions and rituals; besides, that's the whole point of moving abroad. Do not feel afraid to seek help from your local contacts for things you don't understand.

Girls stick with girls, and for a reason. Find yourself a like-minded girl company that will understand your feelings and have the sensitivity you need when dealing with hard times. While for some women, the female competition gets in the way of getting girl-friends, smart women seek it, and they know those good valuable friendships are the best way to deal with all the stress from being new in the city. 

Don't forget your contacts at home, as sometimes they are going to be the only support you will ever have. Finding new friends and new opportunities is nice, but maintaining the old ones is equally if not more important. Childhood friends, old colleagues, family members are the people who have been there for you and will support you (even online) in every step you make. Besides, it is always a pleasure when you have friends visiting you in your new location. 

Visit your new home at least one time before moving in and check its condition. If you can find a person who speaks the local language, ask them to help you with the terms of the rental contract. Check thoroughly the conditions of the place you move to, and if you find something wrong, report it as soon as possible. For example, a simple crack in the wall might become a headache if you don't discuss the expenses upfront with your landlord. Additionally, options like a liability insurance will also help you to deal with potential future problems. 

Don'ts when moving to a new place

Trusting strangers blindly is always a bad idea. Even if you think humans are essentially good, it is better to stay on the safe side. That means choosing your friendships carefully, staying away from suspicious deals, or refusing job offers that sound too good to be true. While this might seem like a no-brainer, take into consideration that people can be fooled more easily when interacting with someone in a foreign language. Enjoy your newfound company, but stay alert and take care of yourself. 

Moving around is tiring, and visiting a new and exciting place might make you forgetful for a minute, but avoid being careless with your belongings, especially with important things like a passport, identity card, keys and wallet. Moving to a larger city has its cost, and you will have to be extra careful when going around crowds or using public transport. Always keep your belongings next to you, where no one else can reach them.

Don't let yourself be taken down by one bad situation, because there will be many difficult situations, but also many beautiful ones. Accept that moving has its ups and downs and find a way to vent out your moods to get back on track and conquer your environment the next day. 

While it is difficult for introverts not to withdraw, do everything you can to maintain your contacts and to continue doing the activities you like. While due to many work or study obligations, you might feel overwhelmed and just want to rest, don't forget that having a social life will help you adapt to the new place better than anything else.

Who says women cannot rule the world? Prove yourself that you are capable of turning around your life and keeping everything on track. Trying a new adventure is not an easy task, but with some knowledge, you will soon enough gather experiences that will make you queen of your new world, where the protagonist has no fear of the upcoming challenges.