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10 Safety Tips for Traveling Solo Like a Ninja

All you really have to do is make eye contact, then squint a little bit, and kind of snarl your lip. Potential threats are an automatic turn off to attackers, and a clear warning that you may be a ninja.
08/17/2015 11:50am ET | Updated December 6, 2017
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Unfortunately, Liam Neeson can't always be there to save us when we're traveling solo, which is why it's good to know a few safety tips in case you need to be stealthy like a ninja in sketchy situations. The good news is that there are ways to appear as though you might be a ninja in order to avoid such situations, the bad news is that, you're not, and there is still a possibility of something happening any where you go.

But not to fear! As long as you take the necessary precautions, and always remember that crime can happen pretty much anywhere, you should be able to protect yourself from evil, and ward it off as well!

1. Research Actual Facts
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Ninjas know everything, especially facts. Don't let stereotypes or media propaganda determine how you feel about a place you want to visit. While it's smart to listen to current events on the news, make sure you research what's actually going on somewhere before you rule it out as too dangerous to go to. Also, make sure you do the same for places you automatically rule out as "not" too dangerous to go to.

Look up reviews from past travelers, stories from bloggers, and especially local current events from news sources in the actual area.

2. Don't Look Like a Target
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Ninjas blend in, which is why they're so hard to catch! Just because you're used to wearing shorts and a tank top back home, or wearing a flashy watch, doesn't mean that it's Ok to do it in a place where you're not from. Not only are cultures different in what they find appropriate to wear clothing-wise, but you can easily make yourself stick out like an easy target if you're not covered up enough, or if you're wearing something expensive.

3. Don't ACT Like a Target
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Want to know an easy way to stick out as someone to rob or kidnap? Be obnoxious. Nothing screams "tourist" like someone being overly loud and obnoxious, especially if alcohol is involved. You will never see a loud and obnoxious ninja...fact. At the same time, don't appear to be timid or skiddish, because that will only make you seem like you're more vulnerable, and easier to attack.

4. Master the Death Stare
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Although I'm secretly a super nice person at heart, my death stare has been known to ward off the evilest of evil; from people judging me for traveling solo, to gypsies considering slitting open my purse. Have you ever seen a ninja who doesn't sport a death stare?

All you really have to do is make eye contact, then squint a little bit, and kind of snarl your lip. Potential threats are an automatic turn off to attackers, and a clear warning that you may be a ninja.

5. Learn Some of the Language
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It's ALWAYS a good idea to learn some phrases of the language that is native to the place you're traveling to. Not only is it polite, but it's EXTREMELY helpful in case you find yourself in a situation where someone is talking about you or trying to "offer" or ask you something. It'll also make you seem like you're knowledgable of the area, and like you have been there for a while so know what's up with people trying to be sketchy.

Just look up basic phrases online or download one of the many language apps on your phone...just be sure to write them down as well since you probably won't have data and/or Wi-Fi when you're walking around in another country.

6. Carry Non-Weapon-Weapons
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By "Non-Weapon-Weapons" I mean, objects that you know can be used as a weapon, but have no immediate threat as one, and would never get taken away by TSA. Clearly ninjas just use their sweet ninja-moves for self defense, but in the event that you haven't taken karate, there are other options.

Heavy purses can be quite painful if swung at someone, so can the edge of an iPhone when smacked across the face.

7. Pretend Like You're Talking on the Phone
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I actually do this...often. If I feel like someone is looking at me like I might be an easy target, or if I don't feel safe in a certain area, or walking alone, I'll take out my phone and have a full on conversation with...myself. If you can actually call someone, great, but I usually don't have service when I'm abroad and long-distance charges are a bitch (unless you're really scared...then make a call). Sounding angry also helps, because no one wants to mess with an already-agitated person.

8. Walk With Confidence
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Want to know what scares the shit out of people? Confidence. Walk around with your head up high, look people in the eye, straighten your shoulders, and even sport a smirk that says, "Yeah, I've walked these streets, want to fight about it?" Well, maybe not "fight", the goal is World Peace here, but hopefully you get what I'm saying.

Confidence will also automatically make you feel like a ninja because you'll have that "Yeah, what?!" strut, like you own the place, even if you secretly have 0 idea where you are.

9.Turn Into a Restaurant
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If you feel like you're being followed or targeting, turn into the nearest cafe or restaurant that you can find. You can wait it out, or maybe even tell a waiter that you feel like you're being followed, and see if they'll take a peak outside so that the predator knows you told someone. You can also use the phone there to call a cab, that way you don't have to walk.

10. Judo CHOP
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Although (once again) the goal is World Peace, if you're being attacked, touched, or aggressively approached, it might be time to bust out the ninja moves, and judo chop the shit out of the person coming at you. I'm no ninja trainer, but I always imagine that if I were being attacked, I would first try to kick the person in balls (assuming they're a male), and if I couldn't do that, I would punch them in the nose.

Realistically, I would probably start screaming and scratching at their face, but that works too because nails are painful, and screaming is scary.

*NOTE: If someone is trying to steal your bag and they have a weapon, just give it to them by throwing it away from you, and run. It's not worth getting hurt to try to save your stuff!