Thursday, 27 August 2015

Solo Travelling



So, pre-skiing I had to go to Paris for a few days for work (not a fun trip, literally hotel, office, hotel, 
office). I got back into London around 9pm on the Friday and my flight for Switzerland was like 7am the next day. Urgh.

I always get the Eurostar into Gare du Nord and from there get a taxi to the office. This time I had a bit of a disaster. Basically the taxi driver took me for a bit of a ride ! We were driving for ages and ages and I knew it should only take about 15 minutes. so I asked him how far away we were and that I thought we would have arrived by now. He replied saying 'oh yes, very close'. Then we went around a corner and the road was closed so he told me it would be quicker to walk, just go down that street. So I did and followed his directions but didn't recognise anywhere. I ended on some quiet backstreet and I had no clue where I was. After wandering for like 15 mins I gave someone the address of the office and asked where it was. They were like oh, it's the other side of Paris, you can't walk there. Great. So I had to track down another taxi which took ageeeees (I finally found a very nice security man outside a hotel to help me). Then I finally made it to the office. A journey which should have taken me about 15/20 minutes ending up taking about 2 hours. 

At no point did I feel particularly unsafe. Embarrassed, yes. Wet, yes (it was pouring). Annoyed, tired, frustrated, a bit panicked that I was now running so late. Yes. But it was the middle of the day and there were lots of people around so I was ok. 

But it made me think. The taxi driver saw a young, English girl who didn't speak a lot of the language and they took advantage. It could have been so much worse. That taxi driver could have taken me anywhere or done anything to me. 

For next time, what can I do differently? I can't change being a young women, or that I'm English, or that I don't speak the language of everywhere I travel to. What do you guys do when traveling alone to look after yourselves?

-Ko

2 comments:

  1. Some of life's best lessons are learned firsthand experience. I've never traveled solo but I've definitely heard my fair share stories. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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    1. That is true ! I definitely know now to check where i'm going and roughly how to get there before getting in a taxi...

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