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Solo female traveler shares the lies she tells strangers to stay safe

The camera never lies — but this travel photographer says lying is sometimes the best way to protect herself when she explores the globe solo.
“Always trust your instincts and tell lies if you need to,” advises Rebecca Tribelhorn, 32, who has visited over 40 countries, from Ireland to Mexico.
Tribelhorn, who hails from Oregon, told What’s The Jam that she’ll even wear a fake wedding ring or tell people she has a significant other when she doesn’t.
6 Travel photographer Rebecca Tribelhorn says lying is sometimes the best way to protect herself when she explores the globe solo. Jam Press/Roam Free Rebecca
She said that sometimes people ask her if she’s single solely out of curiosity, but others will see a woman traveling alone as “an open invitation” or have the misconception that she’s actively looking for a partner.
“Some people truly won’t understand that you like to travel alone and or just like being alone, and will simply take your being alone as an open invitation,” she explained.
6 She said wearing a fake wedding ring can keep the creeps at bay. Jam Press Vid/Roam Free Rebecca
“I have found that saying you have a boyfriend/partner/husband is much more effective in encouraging someone to leave you be,” she added.
Another safety precaution Tribelhorn takes is never telling people where she is staying.
“For women especially, it’s so important to have a place to return to where you feel safe and secure. Lie and say you were jet-lagged when you arrived and can’t remember,” she said.
6 She advises people to appear confident about their surroundings even if they don’t know the area. Jam Press/Roam Free Rebecca
“You can even just pick a random direction, point, and say, ‘That way.’ If you are unfamiliar with a place, if you are confused, or if you don’t know what to look out for — you might be leaving yourself open to be taken advantage of,” she reasoned.
Tribelhorn said that she’ll feign confidence about a location by telling strangers she’s been places she never has.
“I tell strangers I’ve been to a place before to sell a false idea of confidence and knowledge,” she said.
“When you travel, there is a risk of getting scammed, and people who would take advantage of you love to know that you aren’t privy to their tricks, and will play right into whatever their scheme is,” she warned.
6 She said she also avoids telling strangers where she is staying. Jam Press/Roam Free Rebecca
She said one of the more “innocent” schemes is a taxi that overcharges.
Tribelhorn said her most effective lie to avoid unwanted attention is to pretend she doesn’t speak English.
“This lie is a perfect one to use pretty much anytime you do not want to engage,” she said. “It’s versatile and is simply a quick and not overly rude way to disengage with minimal effort.”
Tribelhorn regularly shares travel guidance on her Instagram, where she goes by Roam Free Rebecca.
6 She said sometimes she pretends not to know English. Jam Press/Roam Free Rebecca
She has a word of advice for people who want to travel solo but don’t know where to start.
“If you want to start solo traveling, start small. Do a local weekend trip close to home where you can test out your skills but still feel safe that you could go home if you needed to,” Tribelhorn said.
“Then work up bigger trips or join a group trip with other solo travelers,” she continued.
6 Tribelhorn said most of the people she meets are great, but she wants to make sure she’s safe. Jam Press/Roam Free Rebecca
Tribelhorn said most of the people she encounters in her travels are “good people.”
“These lies I recommend telling help to protect you from what is maybe the 10% chance something bad might happen,” she said.
“To me, it’s worth it to protect myself at the start instead of regretting I didn’t take a few seconds to make a precaution that will make sure my trip goes smoothly and without risk,” she declared.

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