One of the things people ask all the time as I am a girl travelling on her own, is „Isn't it dangerous?“ and statements like „There are all sorts of nasty people out there.“. I am not saying that there aren't. Funnily enough, after travelling in almost twenty countries on three continents on my own, I can't count the number of times I experienced random acts of kindness from total strangers. I can tell you the number of times somebody tried harm or betray me: zero (I am not counting obvious, aggressive touts – I plainly don't interact with them). People look out for you, especially if you are a solo girl, and you're never really alone. There's always someone to help you out.

Japan has a special place in my heart, one of the reasons being people being insanely nice. You ask for the way and instead, they drive you there. You try to change money because the ticket machine doesn't take bills and they just buy you a ticket. You have a chat with someone at a small diner and they buy you a meal and offer you their spare room for the night.

This is has happened to me all over the world, though, especially in places where you would not expect them. Many people see Muslim countries as a dangerous place to go, especially on your own as a woman, but it couldn't be further from the truth. Islam values hospitality, and nowhere else have I found such welcoming, loving and polite people as in Muslim countries.

The point I am getting at is – most people are not out to rape you, take your money or just play a practical joke on you. People essentially all want the same – happiness, health, love and friendship. They might sometimes feel a bit too straight-forward, a bit too close to you, but that is the impression you get based on a very matter-of-factly western culture. In many countries, people never get to travel, and much less women on their own, so they are just curious about where you strange girl has come from, where you have been and what you can tell them about the world. Keep your wits about, but other than that – just let go. In 99% of all cases, the only thing you risk is making a new friend.

This is my (belated, thank you, crappy Malaysian internet connection) contribution to BootnAll's 30 Days of Indie Travel project, Day 5 – Kindness
of Strangers

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