Friday, 21 December 2018

The Unseen Danger

Image result for grace millane
 There has always been a stigma around solo female travellers. As one myself, the questions “you’re travelling by yourself?” and “aren’t you scared something will happen?” have hung around like a bad smell ever since I left home. I’d always had the idea in my head that I would be fine; I’m smart about how I travel, I contact my family every chance I get and I trust my gut. I’ve always been a very trusting person, believing the best in people until proven otherwise. That is, until now.

On the 1st of December 2018, a young woman went missing. She went by the name of Grace Millane and she was six weeks in on a year-long trip around the world. Having spent most of that time in South America, she headed to New Zealand and explored the Far North before checking into a backpackers in Auckland. Here she stayed for less than a week before supposedly going on a date, and this was the last time known that she was seen alive.

New Zealand is globally recognised as one of the safest countries in the world. I should know, I grew up there. What some people fail to recognise is that this could happen anywhere, any time, to anyone, regardless of the situation. I’ve always walked around and believed that as long as I stick to what I know and don’t put myself into bad situations that everything would work out okay. I travelled and lived in South America for seven months believing this, just as Grace had done. But the thing is, she never did anything wrong. She went about things in the right way, but it could happen anywhere.

The fact that some people pinned the blame on her, saying that she had ‘asked for it’ after speculation arose that she had met her date on Tinder is absolutely ridiculous. People should be free to go on dates with whomever they want, without being worried that their date will harm them. People should be able to walk down a street without being worried that the person walking behind them will harm them. The world is developing at an incredibly rapid pace, but no one is going to truly benefit from any of it until the people living in it do as well.