Tips for female expats travelling alone

Tips for female expats travelling alone

Tips for female expats travelling alone

Arriving overseas as a lone female expat has its challenges, but making friends isn’t that hard.

Most expat-themed websites are aimed at the male of the species, focusing on salaries and luxurious lifestyles in exotic locations, with occasional brief diversions into the alcoholic lifestyle in various favourite destinations. In short, the increasing numbers of females making a lifestyle decision and getting the next flight out don’t get much of a mention unless they’re, horror of horrors, ‘trailing spouses’. Editors of online advisory sites have clearly missed the message that lone female expats are today’s trailblazers for their kin.

Female expats’ needs and priorities are obviously somewhat different from those of their male counterparts, with making friends rather than just making do with business colleagues high on the list. Men, it seems, need drinking buddies, whist women need friends to meet up with outside the workplace and its favourite bars. One easy way to find like-minded expat women is at the language exchange meetings now popular in many cities around the world. It’s a great way to meet locals as well as other expats, and certainly helps with the new lingo.

The meetups common online are another idea, although they can be hit and miss, especially if only three people turn up and they’re not at all what a lone female in a strange town needs. Keeping at it almost always yields results and it’s easy to invent an excuse and leave if it’s not your thing. Getting stuck with temporary expats planning to move on with a few months or a year also isn’t much use if you’ve decided to integrate into your new society, and expats clubs should be avoided at all costs as they’re crammed full of oldsters complaining about locals, street food and noisy neighbours.

One potentially serous problem of arriving in a strange country on your own is that your guard is down and you may not be able to spot lurking psychopaths amongst the crowd. Generally speaking, they’re male, but you still don’t have a point of reference for strange foreign men, however interesting they may seem. Take your time before you let new acquaintances get close, and remember that being alone on a Saturday night isn’t a crime – although it may save one being committed with you as the victim.

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