Imagine you’re traveling to a country you’ve never been before. You really like that city you travelled to. You’re excited for everything that comes. Though then when you walk down the street, every five-hundred meter there is a new guy whistling or shouting after you how beautiful you are. At first you enjoy it but after the 7th guy it gets annoying. You’re very happy to finally arrive at the hostel, relieved that the unwanted attention is over now. Though what you didn’t know was that there were already three other backpackers waiting for you just to approach you and give you more attention than you want. You get upset and start questioning your travel choice. What if it continues like that you ask yourself? How should that vacation be fun, can I even enjoy it anymore?!
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you had an occurrence like that before and didn’t know how to handle it?
I’m sure you have. For me at least it is common ground by now and just belongs to traveling like sleeping in a dorm. Through my travels as a blond, blue eyed solo girl in her twenties I’m getting a lot of attention while traveling. Usually I enjoy it to meet new people, talk to them and have fun. Though sometimes the attention from men gets so much I wish I’d be ugly so it stops and I can just enjoy my travels. It’s annoying and makes me feel uncomfortable. I don’t even want to dress up or walk around in a bikini because I know it will make even more guys likely to talk and approach me.
Though I also found a way to enjoy this attention I don’t really want and have fun during my travels. And I’m about to tell you how. I come with help to deal with unwanted attention while solo traveling as a woman. I’ll show you a way to enjoy your travels even though there are more guys hitting on you than you can count. Continue reading and find helpful tips on how to make an end to unwanted attention or get to love it.
What we’ll cover today
- 3 types of attention
- tips on how to deal with unwanted attention
- What to learn from it
First let’s define what unwanted attention while traveling looks like exactly.
3 types of attention
During my many travels, I’ve figured there are three different kinds of attention from men.
1. The impersonal way
This considers everything from men whistling when you walk down the street, over strangers smiling and telling you you’re beautiful to guys shouting after you “hey sexy”.
It’s impersonal because you don’t know them. Mostly it’s local men that will do such things and therefore this kind of attention is very dependent on the country you travel to. Though if you travel to countries like Central America, India or South America this is the most common way of local men approaching foreign women. For them it’s just their culture but for us it is annoying and can make you feel uncomfortable.
However, it is probably also the easiest approach you can deal with.
How to deal with it:
You have basically three choices how to handle this kind of unwanted attention.
a. Enjoy it
If you’re one of those girls who love getting attention this should be fun for you. It can be nice to get told you’re beautiful when you usually don’t hear it that often or just enjoy hearing it.
So, if you like it, enjoy the attention you get. This type of attention is very noncommittal. You can just walk down the road with a big smile and be confident about yourself, enjoying the compliments you get.
b. Ignore it
Your second choice is to ignore it. If it gets to annoying or you heard enough compliments just ignore the men whistling and shouting. Put in earphones or walk in groups. Usually they are less likely to approach you then.
In addition, don’t think too much about it, let them say what they want. Don’t care about what they might think, you won’t see them again anyway.
c. Get used to it
Lastly, and this will happen anyway, no matter how you decide to act upon these approaches. You’ll get used to it. Once you spend some time in this country you’ll get used to local guys acting like that in your present. It’ll be nothing more than a little inconvenience along the way.
You will maybe even start paying less attention to it.
2. The check up
This type includes guys asking you about a boyfriend, husband or lover and checking you out on availability.
Those approaches usually are a bit more intentional then those of type one.
Men asking you these questions want to know if there is the possibility to hook up with you. They want to know what you are up to and if they have a shot.
This question is where the future of all approaches lies. By answering this question right, you can either get rid of men hitting on you immediately or by giving the wrong answer you’ll give them a reason to fight for you and give you even more attention.
So be careful with handling this approach. It is really the foundation of how men will perceive you throughout your travels. Especially if you stay in one place longer.
How to deal with it:
a. Tell them you have boyfriend
That’s wat everyone says I should do. Just tell them you’ve got a boyfriend, maybe even buy a ring so they won’t ask you in the first place.
Once you told them about your boyfriend, they’ll immediately stop approaching you. Easy, right?!
Though there is a slight disadvantage to it and that’s the reason why I’m not doing it.
You need to be convincing.
I usually, although I get asked that question at least once a day, get caught of guard by it. I always hesitate with my answer because I’m not a bad liar. So, for me it’s hard to make someone believe I’ve got a boyfriend if it’s not true.
In addition, you should be aware, that this will shut all doors for you.
That means, you’ll be less likely to spend time with guys and if you get to like someone it’s hard to reverse what you’ve said. So this is a fine line here and the decision should be made carefully.
b. Be honest but show disinterest
Depending on in what context you get asked that question you can also just tell them you don’t have a boyfriend but you’re not interested or just walk away.
The other day for example a guy in the water (while surfing) asked me if I’m traveling with my boyfriend or with friends. I’ve told him I’m traveling solo and then paddled somewhere else to keep on surfing.
Just show them you’re not interested and get a lot of approaches like that. If they are worth your time and attention they’ll put in more effort and then you can still decide your next move.
Though please, be polite when telling them your disinterest. After all they don’t know how many men ask you that question every day.
3. The real approach
Those are all the men that really want to hook up with you. There are men that are naturally so impolite and ask that question right away. Even if you haven’t talked to them at all. And then there are those who’ll show you lots of attention, spend time with you and then try their luck. Or they are trying to make you drunk and ask you then. LOL.
In any case though this is the most serious scenario. You will have to make a decision whether you want to hook up or not. You’ll need to tell them and deal with the consequences.
How to make a decision:
For me the easiest and most effective way to make a conscious decision I won’t regret later is to make a policy for myself before traveling.
a. Make a policy
Before I go on a trip I decide under what circumstances I’d hook up with someone. I’ll write it down and then this will become my overall law according which I act through my travels.
Usually for me that means I won’t hook up with guys unless I spend weeks with them and got to like them a lot.
b. Be open and honest about your intentions from the very beginning
Next, be open and honest about your intentions in front of those guys. As soon as you realize someone is trying, tell him about your policy. Tell him you won’t hook up with him and there’s nothing that can change your mind. Make sure he really got your massage and agrees to just be friends.
But remember here as well, be nice cause they don’t mean to be rude in most cases and don’t know you’re getting that approach a lot!
Also, if you haven’t told them differently yet, you can still pretend you’ve got a boyfriend.
c. Don’t play around
Also, don’t act differently than what you have said cause that will confuse people. So, if you decided to not hook up with a guy, don’t flirt with him. That’s not fair.
4. What if…
In case you messed up, sit it out. If you hooked up with someone and now regret it, leave or live with it. Make sure you stand behind your decision. Things like that happen and it is okay to sometimes screw your policy but don’t feel sorry for yourself afterwards.
Furthermore, if you decide to hook up with a guy make sure you enjoy it. It’s great to get attention from someone you’re attracted to.
Also, if you don’t hook up with them, you can still enjoy the attention and compliments you get. Just make sure they know what they are at. Otherwise it is not fair.
Finally, there is one thing I want you to take home from this post.
No matter how much attention you get, if you want it or not and how you decide to handle it, it should never define how you perceive your vacation.
Enjoy your time while traveling, don’t let men destroy the fun and excitement you get from it. Enjoy your time abroad and the love you get from men but also keep track of your policy and don’t do something you will regret later. Stay true to yourself and what you want.
And in case you get hurt or somehow not enjoy it anymore, tray to think of how you can solve that problem, what you can do that makes you feel better.
It’s all about what you take out of it that will define how you perceive your vacation.
I hope this post delivered you some strategies on how to deal with unwanted attention from men while solo traveling as a woman. If you found it helpful and know someone who could need this, please share it. I’d love for more women to read this. I know we can all need a guideline like that.