Accepting the danger of travel

Mumbai attack

Mumbai attack

If you’re not second-guessing yourself about making that trip, plenty of relatives and friends are ready to remind you just how dangerous it is to travel abroad.

This article on Brave New Traveler about Why Bad Things Happen to Good Travelers discusses the issue in detail. The author shares his personal perspective, in that he has been to some of the same places that were later hit by troubles. I appreciate that he doesn’t wear his negative experiences as “badges of honor,” the way some travelers might.

Rolf points out in “Vagabonding” that it pays to stay calm, do your research, and decide for yourself whether to go. Many times, the most volatile areas in countries are near the borders, far away from the main cities that travelers visit.

Got any advice and stories to share?  Put them in the comments.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | June 12, 2009
Category: Travel News, Vagabonding Advice

2 Responses to “Accepting the danger of travel”

  1. Says:

    I read the article on Brave New Traveler. Unfortunately, stuff can happen when you travel. Just look at Air France Flight 447. Catastrophic, yes it was. The truth is anything can happen anywhere. Stuff happens right in your backyard. That’s life. You can either deal with it or stay home…I’ll deal with it!

  2. Neil Says:

    When I arrived in Dahab, Egypt a few years ago, I had the shocking experience of walking into the aftermath of a terrorist attack. Three bombs had gone off about 12 hours earlier…I’d been on a bus for 17 hours, and though we’d had several passport checks, we figured that was normal for the Sinai and no one had thought to mention anything about the bombs to us. It’s quite shocking, needless to say, and does make you confront your own mortality.

    That’s a pretty close call if ever there was one. But it’s also a great demonstration how to odds of getting both place and time exactly wrong are incredibly low. Of the tens of thousands of people – visitors and locals – that were in Dahab when the bombs went off, about 100 were seriously injured and 25 died – only 3 foreigners. So even if we’d arrived a day or two earlier, the odds of being injured or killed were pretty low (indeed, I would likely have been in bed at the time, and all the bombs were targetted at bars & restaurants).

    So, while it’s certainly a memorable experience, it has not deterred me from travelling through “dangerous” places. Most people’s assessment of danger is totally scewed. I visited Egypt as part of a larger trip through the region. Having done the research, I knew that if something was going to happen, it was likely to be in Egypt, and I was right. What country were our families worried about? Syria, natch. The country where there are no random bombings. And really, the dangers I worry about when I travel are the much more everyday ones. Ever taken a bus in the Andes? It’s way scarier than a bit of blood on a street.