West Africa – Kelly Dahl (2009)

Kelly Dahl is a registered dietician and graduate of Pepperdine University. Kelly spent a year working on Mercy Ships off of the coast of West Africa — a floating hospital that helps those who have no access to health care. Kelly received a scholarship of $1500 from Sara’s Wish Foundation.

Here are Kelly’s travel safety tips:

Being cautious about your surroundings is important. Common sense is essential. Make sure you only travel in groups when going out. Hide all valuables such as watches or jewelry, or better yet, leave them at home. You never know when someone could see that ring on your finger as an opportunity for their own advancement. Talk with the local embassies and find out what areas of town are safe and unsafe for travel. Avoid those not recommended. Avoid traveling at night if at all possible, and do not use unsafe modes of transportation, such as a motorcycle without a helmet, or a car without a seat belt. Don’t put yourself in situations that could lead to potential danger. As a female, don’t wear overly revealing clothes, as this could be an invitation to disaster. Know the culture in which you are traveling and what is expected of you. Most importantly, though, have common sense. If something doesn’t feel right or seems unsafe, it probably is.

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