Travel is dangerous. Is it safe to travel to (insert country name here)? You shouldn’t travel alone. Those people are (insert gross generalization here). Why do you want to go there? I would never travel to a (insert stereotype here) country like that. We hear these things all the time and most of the people saying these things have never even traveled outside of the state, province or city they live in, let alone their country.
Even with all of the technology and access to information that we have as travelers, there’s still so much fear mongering and misinformation about how “dangerous” the ENTIRE world is. It’s absolutely ridiculous and it really plays into racism, intolerance and feeds ignorance. So far I’ve traveled to 30 countries, not a lot by travel influencer standards, but enough for me to form educated, informed opinions about travel and to consider myself an expert. Yes, you should do your research and yes, you should be cautious when you travel, but by no means you should be fearful and scared of the world.
One thing that really grinds my gears is when people use gross generalizations or stereotypes about other people and other countries. If you think logically about it, it’s virtually impossible for every person in a particular country to have the same views, beliefs, morals, behaviours, etc. So when someone says, “The people in (insert country here) are this way,” it’s simply not true. There may be SOME people who act or think in a particular way, but certainly not ALL.
People ask me all the time, “Is it safe to travel to Morocco?” after I tell them that I now live there. Think about it for a second…..why would I leave the US to live in an “unsafe” country? Why would I base my entire travel business on a country that’s not “safe” to travel to? Does that make any sense? No. It doesn’t.
It seems like knowledge and access to information has had the opposite effect on people and made them more fearful and irrational when it comes to travel. It’s such a shame because there are so many beautiful people in the world and if you think about it….are you a “bad” or “dangerous” person? Most people in this world would say no to that question….
When you are a happy traveler, an open minded person, you attract good. I believe in the law of attraction, which is why I’ve been able to attract nothing but good people into my sphere when I’m traveling. It doesn’t mean that I’m not cautious, but means that I always travel with an open mind and with excitement. When you travel with fear, mistrust, a chip on your shoulder, looking over your shoulder, negativity…..you won’t enjoy your experience and you don’t see the world.
Bad experiences can happen anywhere you travel in the world, even your home country. Does it mean that you won’t leave your house ever again? No, it just means that you’ll do things differently the next time. Because you have one unpleasant experience or encounter, it doesn’t mean every experience will be like that.
Why bother to travel if you’re afraid of the people in the country you’re visiting? It’s the people that make these places great.
Here are some things that I do before I travel. First, I research, research, research. When I’m going somewhere for the first time I do a ton of research. Not just the blogs that come up on the first page of a Google search, I look through at least 5 pages to see if there are other, lesser known posts about the place I want to visit.
Second, I search for the most recent vlogs on YouTube. It’s a great resource for getting a feel for a city, to see what it looks like, to get ideas for things to eat, things to do, etc. Next, if it’s available, I use Google streetview to look at the area I’ll be staying in. It gives me a good idea of what the neighborhood looks like. It’s not available in all countries, so you have to see if its available in the country you’re planning to visit.
If there is a place that I want to visit I may ask people about things to do, but I never ask whether someone “liked” the country or not. Why? Because everyone has a different experience and when someone says they didn’t “like” a country, it’s usually based on a set of limited encounters in certain places. That doesn’t mean I’ll have the same experiences. I like to form my own opinions about a country and not rely solely on what someone else thinks.
When you travel with a closed mind, no matter how many countries you’ve visited, you don’t get the full benefit of travel.