The summer is winding down, but there’s still time for that last minute summer vacation! Your bags are almost packed, plate tickets are bought, hotels are booked. You’re almost ready to go out the door – but wait! Did you forget something? Car keys? Check. Plane Tickets? Check. Underwear? Check. Toiletries? Check. ID? Check… There is one thing I fear, many leave behind on most trips, something extremely important, but you can’t pack it in your bags, or take it on carry on, or even see: Common sense.
The issue is, many seem to be more “carefree” when away on vacation. Of course, vacations are supposed to be fun leisurely getaways from the grind of daily life, but we’ve all heard the stories of people getting killed and mysteriously disappearing here and abroad. While out enjoying the nice sights, hotels, resorts etc… many forget and let their guard down. In such a blissful paradise, could there be trouble? Unfortunately in many places that answer is “yes”. People traveling to risky places, like 3rd world countries are being kidnapped, and killed by groups like ISIS for instance. Young naive Americans who think nothing of frolicking off in “enemy territory” of the Middle East and Africa are being kidnapped killed and tortured. Many, although it is being downplayed and covered up, are also being sold into human trafficking, in labor and the sex trade for young women.
What do you expect though going to places like that? Recently, a young couple cycling in the Middle East got killed by ISIS! Refugees are actively fleeing such war-torn hellholes, and yet, naive American and European tourists are going there for thrills! The amount of denial of many is incredible when it comes to the real dangers around the world. Militant groups, terrorists, and common criminals are all to eager to exploit and victimize some naive foreign tourists with no clue as to the culture, language or dangers abroad. Going into a war torn area with primitive living conditions in a dog-eat-dog society will not bode well for the well off Western tourist, who compared to the natives, has everything while they have nothing. Imagine if you were starving and desperate, robbing a few tourists, or holding them for ransom doesn’t seem as unfeasible. I mean, why should they care about you? You’re just some well off Westerner they were taught brought them into this poverty by their own country. Not to mention, many militant and terrorist groups needing to instill terror in the US and Europe by targeting their citizens. Seeing videos of tourists’ heads cut off understandably gives people the chills! For another case, a woman was arrested with her young daughter and sent to an Arabian prison for drinking alcohol on the plane over, before she even set foot in the country! Which brings up yet another point, is many tourists go in blind also not knowing the laws, such as zero tolerance for drugs and alchohol in many Arab and other Muslim countries. So much could go wrong in 3rd world countries between crime, trafficking and terrorism. Let’s not forget South and Central America and Mexico too! Drug cartels, gangs like MS-13 and more trafficking await you!
Even if the people don’t get you, there’s also the diseases. Ebola is in parts of Africa and they had an epidemic of it just a few years ago. That could have been brought back here due to international travel now. It’s scary! With today’s technology, a disease from over there could be here in a matter of hours! Dysentery plagues 3rd world countries with little sanitation like the Middle East, Mexico, Africa, South America and such. Not to mention parasites as well! Nothing like picking up a bot fly from Belize, or foot worm from Africa! Yes, there are vaccines for things, and anti-malarial drugs, but they don’t over everything! Also, what about the quality of medical care? A village clinic with no sanitation and never heard of Germ Theory isn’t the most ideal place if you come down with something! Going to seedy countries, and you may come back with more “souvenirs” than you ever wanted!
You think, “Well, duh! I won’t make those mistakes!” but it is so, so easy to when your guard is down when you’re relaxing or taking in the sights. In my own experience, I visited Europe on a school trip in high school. It was my first time, and even though I knew a bit of the language, and they warned us about pick pockets and such, we still didn’t know the area at all. The amount of risk taking on that trip by my classmates was jaw dropping to say the least. Imagine you’re in a city like Madrid, or Lisbon. You know nothing of the city, never seen it in your life, don’t speak the language well or know the culture. Don’t know which streets and areas are safe or not, yet, the minute your tour guide says “we’ll meet back in 2 hours”, you zoom off into oblivion not even looking back to see where you came from! You could be lost down many ally ways, bump into all sorts of seedy characters, yet be none the wiser until it’s too late. People have disappeared on vacations, think of Natalee Holloway in Aruba. It shocked me that each group didn’t have a chaperone accompanying them, as they all stayed with other chaperones. I wisely stayed with them too rather than zoom off with my naive classmates. The one time I did go with the other kids was when a college aged girl approached us and asked if we wanted to go to a “party” at 1 am! Alarm bells rang like crazy in my mind and after the girl left, I voiced my concerns to my group. What if she was luring us to be trafficked? What if it was a set up to rob us? Why would a complete stranger invite us to a party, not for some charity or event, but with seemingly no strings attached? It was too good to be true, and quite suspicious. My classmate’s response? “Well, we can dream…”! The naivety of those kids and chaperones for that matter, not looking after us more closely was astonishing!
Don’t think even 1st world Europe is safe anymore either! Many countries there are more poor, and have just as much if not more crime than any US city. In addition, now there is terrorism in many places in Europe especially by ISIS. London, Madrid, Brussels, Nice, Manchester etc… Their liberal “inclusive” policies are letting terrorists and criminals flourish in these countries! Many neighborhoods are being turned into 3rd world ghettos full of 3rd world culture, the same brutal culture back home. Turn down the wrong street, be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and you’re a goner!
Don’t think you’re safe with only travel in the US too! While our county is your best bet for now, every major city has crime and gangs and trafficking. Do you want to walk through Harlem at night? NY is a great city, but it has it’s danger zones like any other. Boston is great sightseeing, but gangs and crime happen still in seedy areas and at night. Seattle is cool, but now it’s plagued by a rampant homeless population, driving crime up, and business away. Visit cities near Mexico? Think about MS-13 and other gangs and drug trafficking and illegal immigration coming in.
This is not to say you can never travel again, all places here and abroad come with risks, but you can still have fun, and be safe. That means though, you have to be vigilant. Not keep valuables on your person or visible. Go with a group. Friends, a tour group etc… especially if you’re a young woman. Don’t wear offensive clothing with provocative slogans, political or other wise, don’t wear risque immodest outfits for women, as many cultures take it to mean you’re available or a prostitute. It can be explicitly forbidden in many parts of Muslim Countries! Know more about the city you’re staying in, the culture, the language, the crime rates. Find out how safe a place is and at what hours it’s not. Always tell people your plans and where you’ll be going and when you’ll get back. Give your family back home your itinerary. Know where the US embassies are in case of the worst like detainment for instance. Know your rights and the laws in the country your going in. Keep ID and passports in a place you can’t lose them. Get pepper spray. Bring first aid and medicine. Watch out for symptoms. Be careful what you eat and drink. Take bottled water. Be aware of your surroundings. And much more!
If you decide to travel to risky places, know the risks, basically. Forewarned is forearmed. This whole liberal “tolerance” propaganda, thinking everywhere is as tolerant as we are, and safe is delusional. Facts are, more Western places are safer, and minority inhabited places are not. Not the most flattering revelation, but the cold hard truth. Not every culture vibes with ours. Not every country welcomes Americans with open arms. Not every city even here welcomes you. And never forget, any place you go, even safer ones carry risks. I’m not religious by any means, but I can’t help but say even the Garden of Eden had its snake 😉 No place is crime free! Don’t be a victim, and pack your common sense with you too 🙂