First let me just say that I completely understand people being worried about the prospects of me travelling alone or travelling with strangers. However, those are my only choices. Especially for christmas. All my flatmates are going home, and don’t get too excited about travel anyways. And all my British friends will be spending the week in question with their families.

Besides, I moved in with 5 complete strangers when I got here. How is spending a week with a few strangers more dangerous than that? The bigger and more varied the group I’m with, the safer I’ll be. I’m paranoid enough that I’ll take all possible precautions, but sometimes you just have to take some risks to live life to the fullest.

The residence staff know when I’m supposed to be back here. The hostel staff would notice if anything went amiss. And I’ll be sure to update this daily to let you all know that I’m safe.

Keep in mind that all of your friends were once strangers. Most people are trustworthy, it’s just a few that aren’t. I’ll still follow all the old rules. I’ll make sure my things are secure enough on me that they’ll be hard to steal, I won’t get into cars with strangers (except taxis, but I’ll be sure to take the right kind of taxis), etc. I’ll have to break the rule about talking to strangers, but that rule seems to be more about kids talking to adults they don’t know. If we never talked to strangers then we’d never have friends and we’d all only be able to talk to ourselves (and some of us wouldn’t even be able to do that).

I realise that this still worries people. But like I said, you have to take risks sometimes. I wouldn’t have even been able to get here if I didn’t travel alone. And there would have been no point in coming if I can’t travel just because I don’t have someone to travel with.

No, I’m not doing the young-adult “I’m invincible” routine. I’ve spent enough time studying crime that I know the risks. I’m hoping that my time studying crime will also help me to avoid the risks. Just know that I do take every possible precaution to protect myself- short of never leaving my room. Where I’m going is a hostel, the whole point is to meet fellow travellers with the same interests.

If it makes everyone feel better, I’ll set up a regular time or times to send mom a text message every day that I’m gone. This way even if I don’t have access to the internet for some reason then everyone can know that I’m safe. And then if a certain amount of time passes and I haven’t checked in, she can do what she feels necessary to make sure I’m safe. Text my phone, call the London cops, whatever. Does this sound like a suitable idea to those of you who are worried?