It may seem a bit awkward to think about traveling to the Middle East as a woman and you may get some objections from friends or family. Despite objections travel is possible for women who have a desire to experience what the Middle Eastern culture is. The following basic tips will help you prepare for your unique adventure.
Respect Local Traditions
Despite your desire and independence you need to respect local traditions. Some Middle Eastern countries have strict laws concerning dress and behavior of women especially in public and it is best to abide. You will only make matter dangerous is you would show a flare of “rebellion” and simply choose to do your own thing. Keep in mind you are in their country and what “right” you thought you had can be set aside for the time being besides your desire to venture to the Middle East in the first place was to experience their culture.
Research thoroughly to see what kind of attire you will be required to wear in a given country. It is best that you purchase the proper clothing prior to arriving in the country. Learn how you are to dress and behave in the given attire. Do pack sanitary pads or tampons and proper bags to dispose of them as these may be a difficult item to find. Linen trousers, loose tunic and head scarf may be among the essentials you will need. You may have to leave makeup and certain jewelry behind.
It may also help to wear a fake wedding ring. Keep from gazing or making eye contact with men as this may be misinterpreted as a sexual advancement. Blonde women tend to be more harassed than dark haired, so you may consider keeping your head covered. Traveling alone or with another woman is considered vulnerability. Traveling with a man would be seen as you are married and then you would be addressed through him. If you are traveling with a man whom you have a relationship then you do not display any kind of affection in public. Making a fuss and being rude around someone that makes you uncomfortable is a good idea as they do not want to attract attention to themselves and feel free to walk away.
Places to Avoid
You may want to avoid places like Saudi Arabia that practice strict Shari law. You will find such places will not allow women to drive and must be under the supervision of male family members wherever they go. Such places will make your travels quite difficult.
It will be quite helpful to learn Arabic. Language training that incorporates some culture will also help you to be better prepared prior to heading to the Middle East. Speaking their language may also ease their attitude and it may come in handy sure a serious emergency arrive.
Preparation in understanding language, local traditions, understanding what safety measures to take and places to avoid can all play an essential part in helping you to have an enjoyable endeavor.