So, I’m in Colombia at the moment and have experienced some really intense harassment and even violence here. I was shocked because it’s been recommended to me by so many people, and so I thought perhaps it would be useful to start a thread here where we (we being women and other minorities) can talk about places where we recommend either not traveling or being particularly on guard.
So, are there any places you’ve been where you’ve experienced more violence, harassment, or maltreatment? Are there any places that you recommend other women/LGBT/ethnic minorities be particularly careful or not travel to?
I don’t want this to become a super negative thing or a personal preference thing, but I am hoping to get some insight into areas that might be more concerning and/or unsafe for certain groups so that we can all make informed decisions about where we want to spend our time. I really wish someone would have been frank with me about the issues here in Colombia, so I’m hoping we can be frank with each other about places where we haven’t felt 100% safe.
So, I’ll start:
I’ve had little to no problems in other parts of South and Central America, but here in Colombia I have witnessed not only street harassment, but also actual violence and malice and, worse, have seen people who could do something to stop it shrugging it off and saying “it’s normal here.” I would not recommend it for women and particularly women traveling alone.
Similarly, in Morocco I felt very uncomfortable as a female traveler. There wasn’t as much yelling or in-your-face harassment, but there was a ton of staring, men invading my space (standing over me in a bus and staring down at me from less than a foot away, for example), and men treating me like a second-class citizen (refusing to let me pass them on the sidewalk and instead forcing me to go around them into a busy street). I was traveling with a friend and we were both pretty exhausted by the end of the trip.