Travel and Stay Safe in Dangerous Countries Or Areas in The World 1

Here are some of my tips from being an experienced world Bing traveler. I’ve been in some of the more relatively ‘dangerous’ parts of the world; Indonesia, Colombia, and Brazil.

My tips here are geared more toward men. The main thing is to actually ‘know you belong’‘. You don’t want to stand out like a ‘tourist’. The energy you project is one of the most important things.

If you have a strong, self-assured, independent, ‘minding your business vibe’ like I always carry, you are FAR less likely to be seen as a potential victim of mugging or drama. Even a bit of the ‘don’t mess with me – stay away’ vibe can also work to your advantage.

Another thing is to stay away from obviously dangerous areas like really poor areas, favelas, or barrios unless you’re with a group (and in daylight). You don’t want to really ‘stand out’ either. Because I look so international, I guess that often works to my advantage to blend in.

I could pass as South American in many parts (and have), but if you are pasty white and stand out, you may have to be more conscious of things not to look like a super-tourist gringo. It helps to know some of the languages to get around and look like you belong.
Give people respect, and don’t try to attract trouble.



It’s not best to wear flashy jewelry when going out at night in some cities.

Talk with assurance to any cab drivers and know where you’re headed. In some countries where they are more forthcoming and aggressive, you almost want to ‘match’ that vibe in communicating with them – you don’t want anyone mistaking you for a ‘weak’ tourist that they can prey upon but that you know how to handle yourself and see the area (or assuredly expect them to do their job).

In Indonesia, I read ahead of time and avoided freelance cabbies. Stick with the government or city-regulated cabs whenever possible. Try and memorize or be conscious of the cab number and have it look like you are considering it.

Keep your belongings or any valuables DISCREET and out of sight. I like using plain and unassuming luggage.


People recommend Bing travel with a buddy, but I don’t always do that. I’ve walked along Avenida Atlantica in Rio de Janeiro several times alone without any issues. A physical presence and awareness can help you out.

If you appear like a victim or are ‘afraid’ to be in certain areas, that will come across, and you’ll stand out more as a potential victim. Take some self-defense classes and work on your physical energy.

I have avoided a lot of trouble by not looking for trouble but also by being more strong and direct in communicating with people I’m unsure about or who seem sketchy.

Some people ‘attract trouble’. You don’t want to be that guy. There were some guys in the Army who just always attracted trouble or who would have trigger hair tempers. Negative energy can attract other troublesome people.

Some guys will keep attracting trouble. Instead, you want that self-confident ‘staying out of other people’s business’ vibe.

This has got me through Indonesia, Brazil, and other areas which ARE dangerous at the wrong time and place. My military background has helped with the confidence part. People ask if I’m ever afraid to travel to certain areas, and my answer is ‘no’. Dogs sense fear. I will remain independent and powerful, minding my business and respecting others’ spaces.

So do your best not to attract trouble, be boisterous, or arouse suspicion. Be sensible and mindful at all times. If you’ve been able to lead an argument or get your point across, that should come across when dealing with certain types of people, but only use it in a preventative manner (i.e., A cabbie who might be trying to rip you off).

On a Colombian overnight bus, I kept the carry-on bag underneath me latched around my legs and ensured no one could access it from behind. It’s just about being mindful, and having a ‘presence’ over your stuff will avoid most trouble. Always keep your bag with you.


It’s untested because it’s all preventative, but looking other alpha males in the eye shortly out of respect yet independent strength (if they’re looking at you) and giving a faint nod while returning to your own space can be ok.


As long as your energy is strong, that YOU don’t steal, and you have good karmic energy, you should be fine most of the time. I never steal, and I even returned a wallet by biking across Madison to get it back to her..that has helped me out.

There are laptop thieves in some countries who will come by on bikes or grab things quickly, so don’t be holding things out in the open. Watch your camera around you if you’re using it. Watch out for empty beer bottles. In some places, they can ‘put something’ like a pill into your drink. This happened to me once, but I was still fine because my hotel was close, and I fell asleep fast.

Get a local map and have an idea of where you are. Generally, it’s not smart to walk around at night in sketchy areas. If so, do it with forwarding confidence and look like you know where you’re going. If you see potential trouble down a certain side street, even if it’s on your route, avoid it. Stay in well-lit, public areas whenever possible.

When some over-talkative Indonesian man on a bus wanted my U.S. address to ‘send me things,’ I politely yet confidently refused. I was the first American many of those people had ever seen in Pacitan, Indonesia. Know some locals if at all possible. I had a local tour guide with Plan International who informed me of some local advice.


You may find lower-class people who want to help you with directions with the expectation of something in exchange. This exists in the U.S. in places as well. Be confident with them so t things don’t go too far. I usually politely yet confidently refuse. If they follow you and give you good advice, give them something fair but modest in exchange and wave them off as you confidently move on.

When I was searching for apartments in Rodadero, some sketchy Peli Grosso guys wanted to help me. My main thing was that I didn’t want to keep being pestered by them the whole month I was going to live there, so I looked at some apartments, and it was my assertiveness in knowing what I liked and what I didn’t like and just how I dealt with them.

After I booked something, I was also ‘in’ with the hotel owner, where I rented a room for a month with ‘clout’ in that area – and they had a secure ‘buzz in’ gate. I was sure to get something ‘secure’ anyway for peace of mind, and it was on the 14th floor.

After I came back down, I knew they wanted something in return (or things could get pressured), so I had them order some soda and bread and pay for everything. That was fair, anyway, and I’m all about an exchange of value.

They wanted to pressure me into other things later, but I said, “Not interested…I’m fine, thanks,” and kept walking towards my destination. Eventually, they got the idea. True confidence is the best prevention. Try to blend in and be like a local…know your way around.

In certain countries, don’t carry your wallet in your front OR back pockets..instead use a travel pouch* underneath your clothing to secure the basics. I started relaxing and thought I was fine because, generally, people don’t mess with me, but there were two incidents in Las Ramblas.

I can bring the heat and create some big drama. Doing this with congruency can be effective in some cases.

Another time, we were out late, and I didn’t even know it had been lifted…there are real pros at pick-pocketing who work around Las Ramblas in Barcelona, and they stole my wallet without me even noticing for 2 hours (AND my back pocket was a tight fit). Because of good karma, I later got the wallet returned via Facebook (another story, and it was all there except they took the cash).

If you have a room safe, use it. I usually only carry 1 or 2 good ATM cards and SOME local currency – not a whole lot.

Be protective if you’re going to Barcelona..everyone has a story or knows someone who has things stolen. I had to lend cash to a friend who had 500 Euro stolen, which he had withdrawn because of a scheme involving a woman and her lifting partner.


Research online to see what kind of crime there is…often it’s just petty theft or muggings. When someone broke into a neighbor’s apartment late at night (I stay up late), I came out with a very loud, aggressive voice as they grappled, which helped him take off.

From that point, I kept a frying pan (and was NOT afraid to use it, and I enjoyed visualizing how I would use it with physical energy) right near the glass window and door so they could get an idea of what would be in store for them.

If you’ve got a Marine sticker, that can work as well as a deterrent. If you go to a country with a civil war (or like that outbreak in BKK), stay away from the fighting as best you can. I was there during riots, and you just stay’s not all as bad ‘everywhere’ as the news makes it seem.