Signs That You’re Street Smart

By molly atherton 4 months ago
Within unpredictable urban life, possessing street smarts is a valuable asset that goes beyond traditional forms of intelligence. While academic prowess and bookish knowledge are undoubtedly crucial, the ability to navigate the intricacies of the streets requires a unique set of skills. "Street smart" individuals are adept at reading the unspoken language of the city, deciphering the nuances of human behavior, and making split-second decisions that can keep them safe.

1. You've never been scammed online

People with street smarts usually know when something fishy is going on. The easiest example of this is online scams - have you been tempted to reply to that email saying your package is delayed? Or that you've won $500,000 in a raffle you distinctly remember not signing up for? Then you're probably not street-smart.Original content sourced from Femanin.comWorking on Laptop

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In the digital age, where the virtual streets can be just as treacherous as the physical ones, recognizing the red flags of scams is paramount. The street-smart not only question the legitimacy of unsolicited messages but also possess a healthy skepticism.

2. You drink responsibly

Getting messy drunk with your friends on nights out might be fun, but it's not something that someone with street smarts would do. Instead, drink responsibly. You'll keep better track of what's happening around you and perhaps be able to get yourself out of a sticky situation or two more easily.Drinks with Friends

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Getting excessively drunk on nights out, while often associated with the pursuit of fun, is not a behavior typically exhibited by those with a street-smart mindset. Instead, individuals with street smarts recognize the importance of responsible drinking!

3. You have a self-assured walk

This one might sound weird but stay with us. When you walk in the street, do people tend to move out of your way? Do you walk faster than your companions, and you're always waiting for them to catch up? People with street smarts usually walk with confidence, and this could be you.Walking

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Street-smart individuals tend to navigate the hustle and bustle with a purposeful stride, signaling to those around them that they know where they're going and how to get there. This unspoken confidence can act as both a deterrent and a shield in the unpredictable landscape of city life.

4. You know how to blend in somewhere new

People with street smarts know never to be the odd one out. It's much easier to get around and stay out of trouble if you don't draw attention to yourself. This is even more important if you're somewhere new, like a new country or city. If you know exactly how to blend in like a local, then you're probably street-smart.Girl in City

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Street-smart individuals have a knack for picking up on these nuances, allowing them to move through diverse settings without standing out like a sore thumb. This adaptive quality not only enhances personal safety but also facilitates a smoother integration into unfamiliar territories.

5. You don't get easily intimidated

Are you the strongest person out of all your friends? Do you rise to the occasion when someone else is being harassed and fight for others? If you tend not to get intimidated by uncomfortable people or situations, then you're probably street-smart - these people usually don't cower.Girl in Road

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A key characteristic of street smarts is the refusal to cower in the face of uncomfortable situations. Whether it involves standing up against harassment, diffusing tension, or asserting oneself when necessary, street-smart individuals demonstrate a certain fearlessness.

6. You're aware of all five senses

Being truly street-smart is about more than just keeping your eyes and ears open to things. Actually, you should be aware of all five of your senses all the time. Do you often notice how an environment smells? Do you recognise changes in your environment easily, based on your sight, smell, or hearing?Girl Hiking

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If so, then you could be street-smart. This acute awareness allows individuals to detect potential dangers, assess the mood of a place, and navigate through intricate social landscapes with a heightened level of adaptability as a powerful tool for decoding the complexities of the urban jungle.

7. You judge people correctly

We've all experienced that awkwardness when you meet a new acquaintance who your friend loves but you're not quite sure about yet. You don't know what it is, but you can tell they're not a good guy? Well, if your intuition pays off more often than not, that's a sign that you're street-smart.Group of Friends

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This intuitive awareness can serve as a protective mechanism, helping to steer clear of individuals who may not have the best intentions. As we navigate the intricacies of human interaction, the ability to trust one's instincts emerges as a valuable asset in the street-smart arsenal.

8. You often rely on your gut instinct

Similarly to judging people correctly, relying on your gut instinct is also a sign of street smarts. Do you often know instinctually not to try a new restaurant, then find out that it gave people food poisoning? Or know not to stroll into a bad situation at night?Girl Walking in City

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Street-smart individuals frequently find that their intuitive responses align with the actual outcomes of situations, providing a reliable guide for decision-making. In a world where not every risk is overtly visible, relying on that inner sense of caution becomes a key component.

9. You're not afraid to tell it to people like it is

People who are street-smart generally have a gut instinct as to when people are being mean. They can read reactions well and know when something is off. As a result, they are also more likely to tell people things as they are, rather than sugarcoating!Confident Girl

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Being attuned to authenticity, they are more inclined to speak candidly, telling things as they are rather than resorting to sugarcoating or white lies. This straightforward communication style aligns with their preference for honesty and a no-nonsense approach to interactions.

10. You have a great memory

Memory is a huge part of being street-smart. It's the skill that lets you know not to travel down a certain street (you read a news article that said attacks have happened there) or not to get into a certain car (you recognise it from a social media post warning women about dangers).People Walking

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Whether it's remembering news articles highlighting security concerns on a particular street or recognizing a vehicle flagged in a social media post, a strong memory allows street-smart individuals to draw on past information to navigate the present.

11. You're quite creative

Creativity is an under-appreciated element of being street-smart. We don't necessarily mean your ability to write a song or paint a picture, either. Creativity is more about developing unique solutions to problems or applying out-of-the-box thinking to get yourself out of a challenging situation.Girl painting

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In such scenarios, creativity becomes a valuable tool for problem-solving. Whether it's navigating through a complex environment, finding an alternative route, or adapting to unexpected changes, the street-smart mindset thrives on the ability to improvise and think on the spot.

12. You don't show signs of weakness easily

If you're street-smart, you probably have your wits about you. This means that you know how to control your emotions and prevent yourself from showing fear. All of this means you'll keep a straight head in a tricky situation, increasing your chances of survival.Confident Girl

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Even in a less-than-life-or-death scenario, not showing weakness can be useful - like knowing how to deal with an irate co-worker. This includes the ability to control emotions, but particularly in challenging or even potentially threatening situations.

13. You like getting out there and experiencing things

Being street-smart is often compared to being book-smart. The biggest difference between the two? Someone who is book-smart gets all their knowledge from pages, while a street-smart person has experienced life as it really is. If you love putting yourself in unknown situations and speaking to people you don't know, you're more likely to be street-smart.Girl travelling

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If you find yourself willingly putting yourself in unknown situations, engaging with people from diverse backgrounds, and navigating the unpredictable facets of life, you're likely cultivating a street-smart mindset. The ability to adapt from firsthand experiences becomes a significant aspect of practical intelligence.

14. You can always tell what's going to happen

No, we don't mean this in a psychic sense (although you may have that, too). Street-smart people have a good ability to read a situation and know how it's going to play out. While this ability might not always be right, 9 times out of 10, you'll predict who's going to throw a punch or where the danger might be.Drinks

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While it may not be a psychic ability, this perceptive skill is honed through experience, observation, and an innate understanding of human behavior. Being able to predict potential outcomes in real-time is a valuable asset for personal safety and navigating the complexities of social interactions.

15. You don't take unnecessary risks

Taking unnecessary risks doesn't mean that you're never a risk-taker. In fact, street-smart people are more likely to enjoy experiences that may be scary or nerve-wracking to others. What it means is you know when to take a risk and when to leave it, and never run into a situation without your wits about you.Girl Alone

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Street-smart individuals possess a willingness to engage in experiences that might be perceived as challenging or intimidating by others. However, they do so with an awareness of the situation and a deep understanding of when it's appropriate to take a risk and when it's not.

16. You know when to remain calm

There are times to get angry and stand up to someone, and times to stay quiet. Street-smart people can tread the fine line between these situations, knowing when to adapt an offensive tactic and when to use that instinctive flight response that tells you to stay calm and get out of there.

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The capacity to adapt between offensive and defensive tactics, knowing when to assert oneself and when to prioritize personal safety, showcases a high level of practical intelligence. This discernment is is honed through a experience, situational awareness, and understanding social dynamics.

17. You can stay focused

Focus is an under-appreciated street-smart skill. You might think you're focused, but can you really say that you'll know how your brain will react to a tense or pressurised scenario? If you can still keep your cool and gather your thoughts even when under threat, you're probably street-smart.Girl Driving

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Street-smart individuals excel at remaining focused even when faced with threats or challenging circumstances. This capacity to stay calm under pressure allows for more effective decision-making, quick problem-solving, and the ability to navigate through complex scenarios.

18. You tend to see the whole picture

Being street-smart means you're uniquely able to see situations as parts of a whole. This means noticing things and connecting them to things that have previously happened, recognising people from other places, and seeing how the consequences of actions might play out.Girl in Skyscraper

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Whether it's recognizing familiar faces from other places, noticing subtle changes in the environment, or anticipating how a series of actions might unfold, this skill of connecting disparate pieces of information contributes to their practical intelligence.

19. But you also know to pay attention to details

It's all well and good keeping your eyes and ears open to all of what's going on - but that's useless if you're not also able to recognize the things that matter. People who are street-smart have a unique ability to stay focused in situations while also seeing the entire picture - details and all.Binoculars

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Whether it's identifying potential risks, recognizing subtle cues in human behavior, or grasping the significance of environmental details, street-smart individuals can sift through the complexities and extract the information that is most relevant to their situation.

20. You're rarely glued to your phone

Yes, TikTok can be addictive - we're all guilty of spending hours scrolling. But people who are street-smart know that, outside in the real world, you can't stay glued to your phone and sacrifice your observations of the world around you. So, they tend to stay off social media and keep their awareness of what's around them.Girl Texting

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They are intentional about limiting screen time, especially in public spaces, to ensure that their attention is not compromised. This awareness of the need to stay unplugged and attuned to the world around them is a testament to the practical intelligence inherent in street smarts.

21. You don't overshare on social media

If you've grown up in the digital age, then you're probably a little bit prone to oversharing on social media. It's in our DNA! But there's a real danger to this. Street-smart people know that giving out details like hotels, addresses, and other sensitive locations can be dangerous.Girl on Phone

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Street-smart individuals exercise caution and are mindful of what they share online, understanding that such information could be accessed by a wide audience, including those with malicious intent. Maintaining a level of discretion is crucial for personal safety.

22. You always have a plan

Tend to blag it most of the time? Live your life spontaneously? You may not be that street-smart. Instead, start to loosely plan situations, keeping track of what could go right and what could go wrong. You'll be more prepared for change, and be better able to adapt.Girl writing

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This involves having a general idea of what to do in different scenarios, anticipating potential challenges, and being mentally prepared for various outcomes. This approach allows for increased flexibility and adaptability, enabling individuals to navigate change more effectively.

23. You know how to get out of tricky situations

It's easy to start freaking out in a challenging situation, but this will make survival far less likely. People with street smarts can use all of their instinctual knowledge (their senses, gut instinct, and ability to stay calm) to easily find their way out of tricky situations.Girl night

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The combination of heightened awareness and the ability to stay calm under pressure allows street-smart individuals to navigate tricky situations more effectively. Rather than succumbing to panic, they can rely on their instincts to make quick decisions.

24. You make calculated decisions

Knee-jerk reactions might be fun sometimes (ever thrown a dart at a map to figure out where to go on holiday?), but most of the time, logic should win out. If you're the kind of person who makes pros and cons lists and tries to look at decisions from many perspectives, then you could be street-smart.Girl writing sunset

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The inclination to make pros and cons lists, consider decisions from multiple perspectives, and apply logical reasoning reflects a strategic and thoughtful mindset. Street-smart individuals leverage this analytical approach to assess potential outcomes.

25. You know how to not look lost - even when you are

This is a very particular skill, and one most of us haven't succeeded in. If you're in a new city, the easiest way to single yourself out as weak is to show you're lost. Instead, develop an ability to remember directions without looking at your phone, and try to blend in with the locals.Walking in city

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Blending in with the locals not only helps avoid drawing unnecessary attention but also contributes to a sense of confidence and belonging. Street-smart individuals often strive to adopt the mannerisms, pace, and behaviors of those around them.

26. You keep an ear out for anything abnormal

Of all the senses, hearing is perhaps second only to sight. Being able to identify things before they happen is a vital part of being street-smart, and your hearing will help with this, especially in the dark. If you're deaf, consider the ways you can use your sight to better keep your entire environment in awareness.Girl headphones

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Indeed, being attuned to sounds in one's environment can provide very valuable information about potential threats, changes, or events before they happen. This is particularly crucial in low-light or dark conditions where visual cues may be more limited.

27. You relate to others easily

You might not consider empathy a key ability in street smarts, but it is. An ability to instinctively relate to others, understand their problems, and see what they're going through will enable you not just to adjust your own actions, but also to predict what people are going to do next.Girls Friendship

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Empathy allows individuals to understand and relate to the feelings and experiences of others, providing valuable insights into their motivations and potential actions. This enables street-smart individuals to not only adjust their own actions in response to others!

28. You like being creative

To put it bluntly, book-smart people tend to be academic, while street-smart people are creative. If you're drawn to the art world, like listening to or making music or love creative writing, then there's a chance that you are street-smart. All of these actions require empathy and the ability to put yourself in others' shoes.Girl with headphone writing

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While traditional academic intelligence often emphasizes knowledge gained from books and structured education, street smarts encompass a more practical and creative form of intelligence that relies on real-world experiences, adaptability, and social understanding.

29. You work smarter, not harder

Sometimes, hard work is good. If you have a deadline to achieve, then you need to work hard, no doubt about it. But sometimes, the solution comes from working smarter, not harder. This applies to challenging, life-threatening scenarios and to day-to-day environments.Girl working

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Street-smart individuals often embody this principle, emphasizing efficiency, adaptability, and strategic thinking in their approach to problem-solving. In high-stakes situations, the ability to work smarter can make a crucial difference in survival and navigating through adversity.

30. You know how to live without instructions

Street-smart people don't need instructions. They have their gut, their senses, and their memory! They know exactly what to do at all times because they've evaluated this situation in their mind already and have seen all of the the possible ways out.Girl in city

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If you like to live by relying more on your senses than instructions, then you're probably street-smart. In high-stakes situations, the ability to work smarter and more efficiently can make a crucial difference in survival and navigating through adversity.

31. You Have Your Own Financial Stability

To understand your own finances is an essential street smart attribute, because knowing how to handle and take care of your own money will keep yourself looked after and never in a vulnerable situation, especially when you're travelling in new countries and need a steady access to cash.Image Source / WikipediaDepending on other people for money will not get you far. This is especially pertinent when traveling in new countries, where having a clear understanding of financial matters ensures a steady access to cash, enhances security, and facilitates a smoother overall experience.

32. You Don't Rely On Other People For Your Own Happiness

Being independent is an important skill, too, if you want to make it in the world, and this also applies to your own good vibes. If you're only ever depending on other people to make you happy, and don't know how to find happiness on your own, it can put you in a vulnerable position.Image Source / Vitamin BuddyRelying solely on others for happiness can indeed put individuals in a vulnerable position, as external factors are often beyond one's control. Street-smart individuals often cultivate a sense of self-reliance and have the ability to find joy and contentment from within.

33. You Know What To Do In An Emergency Situation

This one applies to an emergency situation no matter where you are. It's easier when you're at home in your own country, but do you know who to call or what to do in an emergency situation in a country that speaks a different language and has a different system?Image Source / WikipediaStreet-smart individuals recognize the importance of being proactive, pre-planning and gathering essential information, such as acquiring emergency contact numbers, local emergency services, and relevant protocols, before traveling to new destinations.

34. You Carry Around A First Aid Kit In New Places

A lot of people take this one for granted, because it's so easy to have access to first aid items when you're at home, or know where your nearest supermarket is. But what about first aid when you're travelling the world? What would you do if you suffered a wound out on a hike in a new country?Image Source / Amazon UKStreet-smart individuals often prioritize carrying a basic first aid kit, which may include essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and other medical supplies. Being prepared for unexpected situations ensures that individuals can take immediate action.

35. You Could Go Solo Traveling, No Problem

People who are street smart are very often successful solo travellers, because they feel comfortable being on their own in new places. You could easily plan routes, go to places by yourself and know how to stay safe in new places as a lone traveller.Image Source / Blond WayfarerStreet-smart individuals are often well-equipped to handle the challenges that may arise during solo adventures. Their comfort with being on their own, coupled with a practical approach to safety, enhances their ability to fully enjoy and make the most of solo travel experiences.

36. You Know The Right Times To Use Shortcuts

Shortcuts are very handy, such as knowing a quick pass through the field will get you home quicker, or that particular side street cuts out a lot of hustle and bustle. But knowing when to use these shortcuts is key to personal safety and street-smarts.Image Source / Wikimedia CommonsSolo travel requires a unique set of skills, including adaptability, resourcefulness, and a keen understanding of one's surroundings. Street-smart individuals are often very well-equipped to handle the challenges that may arise during solo adventures.

37. You Can Walk Like You Know Where You're Going

One mistake a lot of tourists make when they don't have a lot of confident street knowledge is looking like a lost tourist. They might stand in the middle of a street frowning at a map, or looking confused. If you're always able to walk with purpose and look like you know exactly where you're going, you're definitely street smart!Image Source / Bloomberg.comAvoiding the appearance of a lost tourist can contribute to personal safety by reducing the likelihood of drawing unnecessary attention. Walking with purpose and using navigation tools discreetly are all tactics employed by street-smart individuals to project a sense of assurance.

38. You Lock Your Car Once You Get Inside

A lot of people put themselves in a vulnerable situation by getting into their vehicle and not locking the door. Anyone watching you or targeting you can easily run over and pull open the door after you've got inside. Locking the doors immediately after getting in is a very sensible move.Image Source / WIREDStreet-smart individuals often exhibit this kind of situational awareness and proactive behavior. They understand the importance of minimizing vulnerability and taking precautions to enhance personal safety and locking the doors promptly is a small yet effective action.

39. You Don't Have Road Rage

Keeping your cool in a difficult driving situation is super important for keeping yourself and other drivers safe on the road. You don't want to risk getting distracted by how annoyed you are, or start driving erratically just because something has bugged you!
Image Source / Psychology TodayReacting impulsively or letting frustration take over can indeed lead to distracted driving and increased risks for both the individual and other road users. Maintaining composure allows drivers to make better decisions, stay focused on the road, and respond to unexpected situations with clarity.

40. And You Can Recognise A Potentially Unsafe Driver

Paying attention on the road is key for a safe driver and streetwise person. Not only do you need to be paying attention, but trusting your gut when you recognise other vehicles acting strangely or driving dangerously will help you to know to keep your distance or keep an eye on them.Image Source / WikipediaPaying keen attention to the road and trusting your instincts when it comes to recognizing potentially dangerous situations. Street-smart individuals are not just aware of their own actions; they are also attuned to the behavior of other people on the road.

41. You Know How To Mind Your Own Business

Sticking your nose into other people's business, especially members of the public, could put you in some risky situations or lead to altercations. If you know how to mind your own business, and when to speak or stay quiet, this can help you stay safe and look after yourself.Image Source / iBelieveTrusting your gut and recognizing when other vehicles are acting strangely or driving dangerously is a proactive and preventive measure. It enables individuals to respond appropriately, whether by maintaining a safe distance, or staying particularly vigilant around certain vehicles.

42. You Always Have Your Car Or House Keys Ready

Stopping at your car door or front door to rummage in your bag for ten minutes for your keys can put you in a vulnerable situation if someone is watching you waiting to pounce. A lot of people target people looking for keys, too, then they can force their way through front doors or into cars.Image Source / Security.orgSo you're wise enough to know to have your keys ready before you get to the door! Because taking an extended time to search for keys, whether at your car door or front door, can indeed make you more susceptible to opportunistic threats which can be minimized!

43. You Don't Listen To Music In Unknown Areas

Having your earphones in and playing loud music in new areas - especially alone - is not a very wise thing to do. You need to pay attention to your surroundings, so if you're someone who knows not to listen to music when moving about in areas you need to be aware of.Image Source / NeuvanaUsing earphones and playing loud music can indeed create a potential safety risk by limiting your ability to hear important auditory cues, such as approaching vehicles, footsteps, or other potential dangers. This includes avoiding distractions in areas where heightened awareness is essential.

44. You Walk Away From An ATM As Quickly As Possible

Some people don't check the area around an ATM before going to draw out a big wad of cash, and then stand there counting out their money in full view before putting in their wallet. If you're a little smarter, you know to just grab the money, pocket it and walk away.Image Source / WikipediaChances are, the bank hasn't made a mistake, but if you do need to count it, you can do so once you're away from the view of the ATM! Drawing out a significant amount of cash at an ATM can attract unwanted attention, and openly counting money in public view may increase vulnerability.

45. You Know How To Get Out Of A Date That's Not Going Well

Some people can find themselves in difficult - or even risky - situations if they're on a date that has turned sour. The person might have been a catfish, or maybe it's really not going well. A non-street smart person may not know how to stay safe or confident in these situations.Image Source / DatingAdviceTaking steps to remove oneself from an uncomfortable date, especially if there are safety concerns, requires a combination of awareness and decisiveness. This may include having an exit plan, or notifying a friend or someone you trust about your whereabouts.

46. You Always Take Time To Learn The Safe And Unsafe Areas

This counts for your home location and when you visit a new place. You know how important it is to know where to go, and which places to avoid, especially when it comes to advice given from locals. This is key street smart behaviour, as it's naïve and dangerous to wander in unknown spots!Image Source / Yorkshire LiveThis behavior is rooted in a combination of situational awareness, adaptability, and the ability to assess the safety of different environments. Whether in your home location or a new place, street smarts involve making informed choices about where to venture.

47. You Always Carry Spare Change With You

These days, we take technology and our phones for granted. Phones are essential for emergency situations, but what if you find yourself stranded, in the middle of nowhere, without your phone, or with no signal or battery? If you're smart, you'll know spare change will let you use a pay phone.Image Source / WikipediaIn scenarios where smartphones may not be accessible, due to lack of signal, battery issues, or other unforeseen circumstances, having spare change for a pay phone can indeed be a valuable fallback option. It's a small yet practical measure that can make a significant difference.

48. You Don't Keep Your Valuables All In One Place

What would happen if a pickpocket got your handbag, or if you lost your bag, only to have every single one of your valuables in that one place: your phone, your wallet, your passport or anything else? If you think more logically about it, it makes more sense to keep valuables in different places.Image Source / Pack HackerDistributing valuables among various pockets, pouches, or even using wearable accessories like money belts can be a practical strategy. This way, even if one item is lost or stolen, it doesn't compromise all of your essential belongings. It's a proactive measure that enhances personal security.

49. You're Not Easily Distracted

If you're easily distracted in a public place, and especially as a sight-seer, this makes you very vulnerable. Paying attention to the people and location around you is key to looking after yourself. If you're easily distracted, chances are you're not very street smart!Image Source / The Globe and MailStreet-smart individuals often prioritize situational awareness and pay close attention to their surroundings, recognizing the importance of staying alert. Paying attention to people and the environment helps individuals make informed decisions and assess potential risks.

50. You Always Route-Plan

It's always a good idea to plan a route when going somewhere new - and to have a back up route planned if something should go wrong, like road closures. If you're driving around in a new country, failing to plan a route can leave you at risk or lost.Image Source / Dispatch TrackHaving a planned route and a backup plan provides a safety net, allowing individuals to navigate through various situations with confidence. It also reduces the likelihood of being caught off guard and helps maintain a sense of direction, especially in unfamiliar environments.