Barriers to Travel: Part 5 (Look at our world!! Isn’t it Dangerous?)

We are bombarded with a culture of 24/7 news.

And in that culture, the world can tend to look quite bleak.

It can look dangerous. Uncertain. Risky.

One of the first questions we ever received after an what we considered an epic summer Europe trip was simple, but is seared in our minds…

“You traveled there! Wow! Weren’t you nervous with all the news?”

It caught us off-guard, actually. We had just exprienced this amazing trip, full of amazing people, wonderful food, striking history, and amazingly, we had not watched American news the entire time we were there.

However, these fears are real. Terrorism around the world is a threat, including at home. And these fears should be addressed for those who want to travel, especially overseas.

While these are just our experiences, here are some Myths and Truths we have found while traveling…

Myth: With recent attacks, Security isn’t strong overseas.

Truth: In reality, security detail at high-volume locations are usually higher overseas.

Whenever we have visited, we have seen a high-security presence at every tourist location we visited. In fact, in talking to Ex-Pats and other travelers, there is often a sense of more safety than home. While it’s true that countries cannot secure every location, unfortunately that is true at home as well.

We have not talked to other travelers who has felt less safe overseas, ourselves included. In fact, it’s often

Myth: Tourists are targets.

Truth: Sometimes, but not in the way you expect.

We have not felt unsafe overseas.  We are smart travelers, do our research, listen to locals and avoid looking like a tourist (the fannypack is a dead-giveaway, by the way. May want to lose it 😉).

Depending on the wealth of the country, we know we may be seen as a tourist, and as a result may just have to be smarter about not being ripped off financially… paying more for a taxi ride or being ripped off on a souvenir. We pay for reservations, tours and other transportation in advance and minimize our risk of overpaying for something (True story…one of us paid $25 USD for a Bootlegged Spanish copy of “Finding Nemo” in college…😂)

However, in the vast majority of the countries you would visit, tourists help the country.  Obviously, if you’re visiting a city overseas, the  same street-smarts apply as if you are in a home city.

Keep your belongings close. Do your research and don’t wander to solitary places that aren’t as safe. Don’t leave valuables out to be stolen.  When out, watch you drink and use discernment when meeting people.

Do a little research on the country if you need some peace of mind, and go!

What’s the benefit?

The best part of traveling in a culture of 24/7 news is you see a totally different side to the world!

We have traveled at the height of some huge moments in the International and national news.

But when we travel, something amazing happens…

When we travel, we don’t watch the news. We don’t check our phones. We can if we need to, but we typically feel no need to do so. We just get caught up in the world we are living and loving, gaining first-hand experience that counter our preconceived notions. It’s amazing!

Life grows at the end of your comfort zone. Start small if you need confidence, but just go. The real danger is staying still if you desire to explore.

And, If you ever find yourself needing information or tips for a specific place, let us know! Many travelers love sharing their stories to help others enjoy the same places they have!

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