How To Be Safe Walking Alone after Dark in a Foreign City
Whether you spent the night out in the street for an event or you missed the last train trip, you will experience, at one point, walking the morning after on your way back home. The thing is, have you done it alone? And if you did, have you done it in a country that is not at all familiar to you or Walking Alone after Dark in a Foreign City?
Well, I did – and I survived it. It was kind of scary. You must have heard a lot of times not to travel alone especially at night. When you are left with no choice, you have to think of the alternative ways to survive the whole night. It all started by missing the last trip of the bus for that night. The people in the place I have gone to have already warned me that it could possibly happen but I ignored it. With only three and a half hours remaining for me to travel back (which is also the remaining hours before the last trip), I said I can make it to the station.
Unfortunately, I did not.
It was the longest night of my life but nothing prepared me for the morning after. I thought that it would be as boring as how my night passed by. I did not rent a room for an overnight stay as it is not within my budget. So, I have to go around town and look for 24 hours convenient store and wasted my time there. Well, not really. As the night passes by, I even checked what other places I want to go to and started planning my itinerary for the next day. Seeing the sunrise is not even part of the itinerary.
Then it happens. The moon makes it grand exit as the sun starts to rise up from behind that mountain. Slowly, it’s creating a kaleidoscope from that far corner of the place. Then it started walking towards my place. It was like the nature was slowly laid out in front of you in its sun kissed and virginal state. I witnessed how the sun walks to every corner of the land as its rays gives light to every part it points to. Then it’s my turn and I just admired how my skin glowed when the sun’s ray touches my skin. Then, it proceeded on scattering light on all the other places, too. Literally, I said to myself ‘and then there’s light …’
I smiled. Never mind those who have seen me thinking I am one crazy tourist!
It was Sunday and it was the perfect day to see people walking in their most relaxed state. No one’s hurrying to go to work. Everybody is just busy talking with the smile on their faces. There were couples taking their morning jog around the area, owners walking with their pets and the sellers starting to put up their stalls as customers will start to rush in after an hour or two.I thought that I will be sleepy since I stayed up awake all night. With what I experienced, who would not want to be awake? Here I am, alone and witnessed all of it right in front of me. I asked myself – why do I get to adore the beauty of the dawn just now when I am in a different country?
It may be because of a different perspective. Or, it could be because of the new surroundings. I need not worry because if I survived the whole night alone – why will be my morning be any different? Last night, the youngsters and the night lights dominated that same street. Now, it’s just the oldies (who are more known to wake up early) and the natural light from the morning sun can be seen and it is still perfect. I remember saying that sunrise was not part of my itinerary. It was not but it sure took my breath away and held me speechless upon seeing it. I never adored nature this much. Maybe, it is a good thing that I was alone. If I was with somebody, we might be busy talking of some things instead of seeing how captivating the beauty of our nature is.
Then, I remember my digital camera. It is time to point and shoot. The night before that I got stuck in a 24/7 store, I thought of where to go as soon as the sun reveals itself. Now, that I can see the place in broad daylight, I can see its beauty more. The place where I am currently in is a plaza filled of historical memoirs. Endless pictures of me, myself and I. This is the usual dilemma of a solo traveler. But as the day ends, I recall every moment I spent the night in a foreign country until the dawn. Sun up to sun down and then sun up again. It was majestic. It was amazing. Pictures may be a perfect witness of where you have been and what you have seen but what you felt is the most unforgettable experience of all. It is not something that is seen. It is something that you can just narrate to anybody after you are done with your vacation. And you know, it is still not enough. Just being there, witnessing it, makes you feel lucky as others will not experience that kind of feeling.
This article was written with the assistance of Mary Joy Tomias who is a writer of great talents.