Self Defence and the Cool Habit Gang

There are some things we take for granted, personal safety and protection is definitely one of them.  Doesn’t matter if you are male or female we both do it.  Admit it. But really, as travelers, we need to think beyond our own comfort zone and our own area and be mindful of dangers that we may not face at home.

I first published this a little while ago and remembered it in a recent conversation, it’s still relevant today as it was way back when.  I have been in some sticky situations in the decades I have lived and some of the ones I’ve listed below have definitely gotten me out them said situations!

Whether you’re traveling or just plain living day to day being safe and knowing how to protect yourself is just plain important.

Through the years we learn here and there, this one says we must do that if attacked in this way.  That one says we must rather do this … and so it goes on and on.  The hard truth is though that when you find yourself in that dangerous situation when you NEED to remember what to do, you don’t, you forget it all. Our minds can freeze not to mention our bodies.

don-t-mug-me-coffeetea-mugFor we travelers, I want you to take a second and think about the following: Do you wear expensive jewelry when you travel? Do you carry with you a camera that costs as much as a car? Ladies, do you wear a designer handbag? Guys, do you keep your wallet in your back pocket? If the answer is yes to any of these questions you might as well have a sign above your head that screams in neon MUG ME – SUCKER RIGHT HERE!

Some say it is paranoia that makes a person learn these things, that makes a person train in self-protection.  To be honest, it is just plain stupid not to.  So here are the tips that I have kept and have used, the ones that I think work well in any situation.


The Whistle

Out of all the tips I have been given I think the one that has stuck with me at all times is the whistle.  It is so small and light that you can keep it in your pocket, on a band around your arm, on a chain around your neck, anywhere you choose it can be, even in your sock (though that might be a bit uncomfortable).  The sound of a whistle also travels further than any human shout, it is piercing and loud.

If you are pulled into a strange car or someone is really hassling you in close range the piercing sound of the whistle will also startle the perpetrator giving you time to try and escape.  At the very least it will cause them to react via reflex and put their hands over their ears.  They aren’t prepared for the noise, you are.

I feel kids and especially women should have a whistle on them at all times.  Yes, I have a Spiderman one and I used to have the web launcher but that is another story for a different time and definitely not safety related.


Not the band, though they are excellent, is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do.  Seriously, there is nothing worse than an elbow in the groin (my brother says this is fact) or stomach (he got me back).  Better yet is the throat, if you can reach aim there as the pain caused is far greater than the lower jewels.  I am talking both male and female here.


If a robber/mugger asks for your wallet/purse what ever you do DO NOT hand it to them.  Instead always toss it away from you… Chances are that they are more interested in your wallet/purse than you.  After tossing it away from you RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

If you want to practice try softball or throwing something in the garden.  Please note that should you live on third floor of building do not practice throwing something from your window.


If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.   The driver won’t see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.


Please note that it is recommended that you remove your stiletto’s should you be wearing them (yes both boys and girls).

Getting into your car

These things should be a habit.

1. Be aware: Look around you, Look into your car, On the passenger side floor and in the back seat.

2. If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door.  I know you will look like an absolute monkey climbing over the passenger’s seat but this is your life we are talking about, besides it is time you come to realize you look like a monkey anyway.  Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.

3. Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.  You may feel like a paranoid fool doing this but it is your LIFE.


No, I am not meaning to make you paranoid, believe it or not, a lot of us do this without even thinking, it is second nature.

Parking lots

Why do you get into your car and sit there going through your slips, lists or even checking your social media feed?

That is both one of the most popular and dangerous times for an attack.  Women especially are susceptible to this one due to them being “easy” targets.  Easy as in that is what they think, not necessarily so when you have a stiletto in your hand and aimed at the eyeball.


While you sit in your car doing whatever you do, just sitting there, the predator (not lion) will be watching you.  This is the perfect opportunity for them to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head and tell you where to go.


Gun to your head




Instead, gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car.   It is ONLY a car! Your Air Bag will save YOU.   If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it.  As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead)

Gun pointing at you

If the predator (again not a lion) has a gun and you are not under his control ALWAYS RUN!  The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. Even then it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ.  RUN, Preferably in a zig -zag pattern!

If you must practice, try doing this in the street with your arms in the air doing chicken movements.  If all else fails at least the locals will know not to mess with you.  You may even get gifts in the form of straight jackets!


If you have a choice between an elevator and a flight of stairs choose the elevator without blinking an eyelid.  Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!

Just be careful, be alert and be safe

Create good habits that become second nature

No harm, no foul


First published 2008

Images – CC – Wiki-images


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