I have been steadily commuting more and more, not only to NYC but to other cities as well. Some of those locations are safer than others, with things changing constantly, forcing me to adapt; so to mitigate this, I usually perform a little reconnaissance ahead of time. Open source internet searches provide a good chunk of that info, and talking to anyone that I may know in the location, or have been there before, helps too.
However, regardless of what type of city you are traveling or commuting to, new or familiar, there are a few key things you always need to do to be safe. These tips have helped many times over, especially in new cities. Let's start 2023 with the proper mindset. Take what’s useful to you, always remain aware, and move with confidence.
- Dress in neutral clothes. If you are commuting to a new city, try to mimic the locals. If overseas, avoid items that have big American flags or other symbols. Keep it logo-free and simple.
- Move with intent and purpose to project knowledge of the city. Act natural, like you’ve done this many times. Maintain good situational awareness, paying attention to what’s happening on the street, and anywhere around you.
- Keep hands in plain sight and if possible avoid wearing sunglasses. In some parts of the world wearing them may bring attention to you.
- Do not have visible items of value, like watches, mobile phones, etc.
- Generally avoid large crowds and situations where you may end up in a crowd. Try to move quickly through large public places.
- In new cities, think carefully about whom to engage and chat with. Remember to remain forgettable.
- When in doubt, err on the side of “no thank you” and leave.