To ring in the new year, I was exploring the quaint city of Charleston, South Carolina.
I’ve lived in Massachusetts my whole life, and while I’ve traveled internationally, I really haven’t seen much of the United States. So when I got some time off from work for the holidays, I decided to go on an adventure.
First to Miami with the fam, next to Charleston, solo.
Once I left the sunny beaches of Miami and arrived in the charming South, I had a bit of a rocky start. I had booked my Airbnb in North Charleston, which according to my Uber driver is a pretty unsafe area. Turns out he’s right, I looked it up after and it’s one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S..
As we were getting closer to my apartment, he was becoming more concerned for me and offered to walk me to my door.
Who do I trust, I was thinking, some dude I just met or myself?
I knew my answer as we pulled up and I saw people in disheveled lawn chairs sitting outside apartment doors after dark. My intuition started to align with my driver’s warnings.
In that moment I finally understood why people get so freaked out when I say I travel alone. It can be dangerous when you’re in a new area and don’t know anyone. From here on out, I’ll definitely be doing more research of the cities I’m staying in and leverage the input of locals before beginning my trip.
I’ve been in some pretty sketchy situations in Martinique and South East Asia, so at first I thought, I can handle this, it’ll be fine.
Then I realized, nope, my life is way too precious to risk it on this.
Something I’ve learned over the past few years is to put your pride aside and instead rely on logic to make decisions. When I considered calling my family for help, a brief thought flashed into my mind, I don’t want to make them think I’m not capable of doing this on my own.
Then I remembered, I don’t think like that anymore. I understand now, through life experiences and Ayn Rand’s philosophies, that to achieve the best outcome, I must use reason, not emotion.
I moved beyond my pride and picked up the phone to call my family and see what they thought, in seconds they had booked a hotel for me in a much safer area of town. As I continue to travel and learn, safety is increasingly moving to the top of my priorities. I guess that’s what happens when you get older.
While I believe in taking responsibility for your own life, having a strong support system can make all the difference in your happiness, safety, and ultimately success. No one is obligated to live their life for you, but if they voluntarily offer to help, let them.