You wanna have fun, explore the world.
Looking at recent events, the question arises, “Can & should you still travel?” Indeed, that’s a stupid question because you’re not suddenly just gonna stop to travel.
A more relevant question would be, “Should you do something differently when traveling?”
Good question, King Epic. *Pads himself on shoulder.*
First, let’s just agree on something before we continue: Safety is an illusion.
If you want to be out in the real world, you aren’t safe. Anything can happen; practically anywhere.
How’s that for comforting you? 😀
Oh, well … but what can you actually do? You want to enjoy traveling & not just live in constant fear or have that thought in the back of your mind.
It’s all relative. The media is very good at magnifying an issue, blowing things up & drama – that’s how they make money & get views. They like to portray it as something that is directly affecting you. YOU are at risk, RIGHT now!
You’re not. Relax.
If you’re really concerned, check the state department website and/or guides before traveling to a country – but avoid news if you can.
Most are highly toxic … and addicting. If you can’t do anything about it, why should you even know about some negative event? It’s pointless.
This is an awesome quote from a book I’ve read recently:
… two centuries ago, we invented a toxic form of knowledge called ‘news’. News is to the mind what sugar is to the body: appetizing, easy to digest – and highly destructive in the long run.
Alright, back to the topic …
Let’s take Thailand, for example. There has been a bombing in 2015 during which 20 people died. I got people asking me, “Is it still safe going there?“. Many got worried & and even went as far as cancelling their trip.
… what most people don’t realized: They worry about something completely irrelevant!
Last year, more than 10,000 people were killed in Thailand by road accidents.
Do you worry about that? Is that ever a hot topic?
The chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. You are more likely … get ready for this: to drown in a bathtub.
People worry about a plan crash, terrorist attacks, while instead they should be concerned about ACTUAL, IMMEDIATE & RELEVANT threats … here are just a few examples:
- Wearing a helmet when taking a motorbike taxi/or riding a motorbike yourself.
- Knowing your limit; not doing something stupid while being completely drunk.
- Practicing safer sex – and thus lowering chances of HIV/AIDS contraction.
- Making your Thai girlfriend/Thais jealous or evoking any sort of strong emotion – and getting killed, etc. Don’t screw around if you have a Thai girlfriend; don’t screw anybody else’s GF/wife.
- Avoiding all drugs/substances when unsure what they are or where they came from.
Those are the things you should concern yourself with – but people rarely look at those. Instead, they wonder, “Should I go to X this year because of terrorism?”
So, what’s the lesson here? Focus on stuff that matters, take precautions, do the best that you can … and then: Just. Let. Go. Just let go, accept whatever might happen.
You’ve done your best anyway – anything else is beyond your control.
Lastly, a personal story that perfectly illustrates that mindset.
A good friend of mine has a brother. In the area where they live, there have been a few muggings lately. And so this brother decided to take on self defense lessons, but that didn’t really help him worry less. He was constantly on guard.
Then I asked my friend, “Why aren’t you taking lessons too?“.
Here’s what he said, “You know what, I’ve learned a few basic movements, but that’s about it. I’d rather just accept that I might get beaten up than worry my entire life, live in permanent fear and not get beaten up.”
In the end, you have to decide yourself how much freedom you’re willing to give up for the illusion of safety. It certainly is a balancing act.