It is important to be aware of your surroundings for many reasons but the most important is your life could depend on it. It is also important to try to blend in with the crowd. If you look suspicious, as if you have something of value that you are hiding or look well dressed, and you have no means of protecting yourself you will be an easy target for pickpockets and thieves.

Take fashion and social queues from the local population. Avoid talking too loudly and avoid areas where the crowds congregate as often as possible. If possible leave old clothes in your car or place of work so that if things happen when you are at work you will not fall prey because you are well dressed.


Be cautious of walking in tight spaces, there may be others waiting for the opportunity to jostle and rob you of your personal belongings.

When walking on the street do not trust people (typically females & children) who want to help you find something i.e. place to eat, hotels, bus line etc. In many instances they have an accomplice which in turn will rob you or they may take you to a location where the accomplice or they can rob you. If you need to ask for directions go to a store or other establishment and ask for directions there. 

Also, do not give change to someone who asks for it. They may be trying to see if you have any money. The moment you grab your wallet or take money from your pocket they may rob you as they now know you have money. Also try not to wear any jewelry or fancy shoes, etc., for the same reasons.

If you are traveling and want to avoid been robbed you can do this. As you walk on a street make sure your belonging i.e. purse, briefcase, bag is on the hand closest to a wall of a store, shop, building, etc. If someone starts to walk towards you walk closer to the “wall” as soon as you can. If the person is there to rob you of your belonging he will be hard-pressed if you holding the item close to the wall. Also, if you feel that this is the case as soon as the person closes in get your back against the “wall” and turn and look at both directions just in case he has friends.

If you are walking around and have your wallet in the back pocket in a strange city, first take your wallet and place it in the front pocket. This will make it harder, but not impossible, for someone to rob you. Keep your thumb in the pocket where your wallet is and the other fingers out. This is in case you are bumped by a person trying to rob you. This will allow you to react without having to have your whole hand inside the pocket which generally gets stuck when you need it and are wearing jeans. Be aware of the person who bumps you in the street as he generally has an accomplice who will rob you as you pay attention to him.

Never carry your backpack behind you as the robber will generally cut your backpack and take what he wants as the contents fall down and he will run with what he can get while you are preoccupied with your belongings spread on the ground. Plus it will attract the attention of passerby’s who are desperately wanting a freebie. Carry it on the front of your chest.

If you are riding in a taxi and gave the taxi driver the address or the name of the place where you are going to stay, make sure you know the route. It would be a good idea to take your personal phone and google the direction on the GPS. This is so that if the taxi driver veers off to suspicious localities you can ask him/her, why he is going in that direction. If he says that it is because of traffic jams, etc. check your GPS and look for the traffic jam. If he has a GPS it is easy to find out and compare with yours. If he does not have one and he did not receive a call to divert his trajectory, then be suspicious and get ready to call someone and related the incident and do not get off the phone until you are in the place where you are supposed to be or in a safe location.
If you do not have anyone waiting or that can be called locally “fake” the call and say to the “person” on the phone that you may be late because of the traffic jam and, holding the phone as if the person on the other end is listening, ask the driver how long it will take to get to your location. Then relate the message to the “person” on the phone. This will tell the driver that if you are not there by the time specified that the person should contact the police. And if you really feel that you are in danger give the description of the car and driver as well. Again make the driver think you are covered if something happens, especially if you are a woman.


Wherever you are always have an escape plan. When you walk into a room identify the exits and a path to get there if he unexpected should happen. If walking down a crowded street identify places you could hide or run if the need arose. Remember in any dangerous situation seconds matter and having a exit plan already in your mind will tip the odds in your favor especially when you are alone and in unfamiliar territory.
You may find yourself in a situation where you cannot leave or you may be threatened with violence. In these situations you need to be ready to fight. You should assess those around you for the potential threat they may be and have a plan to neutralize the threat if needed. As an idol of mine said "Respect everyone you meet but have a plan to kill them." 
I encoruage you if you you can legally carry a firearm then do so. I also encourage you to seek training in unarmed self defense at a minimum. Lastly friends I advocate the use of force to protect the loss of life and as the last alternative to dealing with a bad situation. Remember once you pull that trigger there will be an investigation regardless if you hit your mark and there may be consequences. I'd also encourage you to read some of the articles on the survival section for more tips and tricks. Stay safe my friends