I have had many messages asking if me if I was concerned about safety and traveling alone and the answer is yes- I am.
So…traveling alone I think would be scary enough, but add to that the fact I’m a girl and it’s even a little more intimating…add to that I will be living in a tent and yeah…it can be terrifying when I really think about it. I mean, especially at night when I’m in the woods…I know every scary movie I have ever seen will come back to me in great detail and play in my head all night long.
So going into this venture I knew from the get go that security and safety would be super important to me and I would have to plan and figure out ways to ensure I don’t die…cause that’s not what I want to do. In fact, that’s the complete opposite of what I want to happen when I’m on the road…lol
Trust me, I will be taking a lot of steps to ensure my safety. The biggest one? Zero, my wonder dog!
I really don’t know if I could / would do this without her. She truly is a huge part of why I feel safe and comfortable trying this and here is why….
First off, she is crazy attached to me. When she was younger I had people tell me she was too attached to me. They said it was more like she owned me than I owned her. I never understood that because I always liked the fact we were so super close. She still has confidence and was socialized- she just loves me the best and would rather be by my side than running off. In fact, 90% of the time if we are on a walk and I can let her off leash, she still walks literally right beside me. If she does go off and wander a little, she always turns and sees where I am. If I am too far behind, she waits or runs back to me.
Also, she hates men. I got her from the animal shelter when she was about 1 1/2 yrs old and they knew nothing about her as she was just picked up as a stray. So I don’t know if something happened in her past or what, but she is not a fan of men at all. She is very alert and can get a bit aggressive if one walks up to me. In fact, I often have to tell them to stop because she will get more aggressive the closer they approach.
And, as far as people in general approaching me…she doesn’t like it. She is a bit more tolerant with women but even if I go through a drive thru I have to hold her and tell her to chill because she doesn’t like the people at the window…and Sonic… where the carhops actually walk up TO the car…oh no…she doesn’t go for that at all. And her bark…sounds like she is about to tear you up!
So because she is so over protective of me, I feel much more safe having her as my first line of defense from bad people. I really feel she would do whatever she needed to so that I was safe.
The second reason Zero will be good on the road is that I can look to her and watch her cues. If you have a dog that you love and you treat as part of the family, you know them…like you really know them. You know the difference between their kinds of barks, you can tell when they are scared / stressed, you know how to read them when they are trying to tell you what they want, etc. I know Zero. This is great because I can look and her cues to help me decipher noises, danger, if there are wild animals around, etc. Also, she hates storms and I always know (hours before the weatherman says anything) if a storm is coming!
So Zero, for sure, is the biggest security system I will have. Like I said, I don’t know how I would feel if I didn’t have her to go with me. She truly is the perfect dog for this and I am so, so lucky to have her!
Besides Zero, I will be using other forms of security.
1. Tae Kwon Do training. Now, I don’t know how useful this will be, but I did take Tae Kwon Do for about 3 1/2 years and got to provisional black belt. We did a lot of self defense and while I don’t remember every single move, I do remember how to get out of certain situations.
2. Being aware of my environment. I do this even now. If I go to the grocery store and it’s super early (and still dark outside) and not many people around, I don’t just walk to my car and put the bags in the trunk. I walk and keep my head up- looking all around me. I also do this as I put the bags in my car. I always keep my purse with me and I am super aware of what’s going on and who is around me. I always try to stay one step ahead.
3. Trusting my inner voice. If I roll up on a campsite and it just feels kinda sketchy…we’re out of there. If I have some weird neighbors that give me the creeps, we are leaving. There’s a lot to be said about your inner voice and how it can be spot on sometimes- you just have to learn to trust it.
4. Staying in my car. In the case of whatever where Zero and I can’t leave the campsite but there is something making us feel unsafe (animal, storm, creepy dude, etc) we will totally sleep in my locked car. I will also have sunshades in the front and back and things on the sides so that people cannot see us in the car. That way they don’t know if we are in the tent or car. If we do have more time and can leave the campsite, we will stay in a hotel.
5. Blogging, videos on YouTube and social media in general. This may sound kinda like..”wha?”, but I will be posting on all my social media channels a lot. Not so much (and so specific) that a creeper dude could find me that way, but enough so that people know the general area I am in, what’s going on with me, etc If my channels go quiet- call for help 🙂
6. My mom and my kiddo. They will know exactly where I plan on going, the roads I intend to take, the places I plan on camping, the sites I plan to see, etc. I will be giving them a complete itinerary of my trip and when things change, they will be the first to know.
Those are the main ways I am planning for our safety. Of course there are a ton of other things as well like bear spray, taser gun, knifes, guns, you name it. I will have things in my arsenal but I am not going to say everything I have in case a creepy dude is reading this…don’t want to give away all my secrets and have them know what I have (see…always thinking ahead!).
I’m sure there will still be times I feel kinda freaked out, but that happens to me now anyway. What I can do is just live my life, do what I want and do it as safely as I can!
I hope this helps answers some questions. If you have any other good ideas please comment below and share! Can never have too much safety! 🙂