This happens a lot..well not that often, but whenever it does, it irritates me a little. Naturally there are some places that I definitely wouldn’t head out to this summer but perceived risk and risk are two different things.
When I first went travelling last year a lot of my research involved me assessing what places to go and what areas I should avoid. I stumbled across GOV.UK and whilst I do know that the country advises where you shouldn’t go and I know its well researched saying that literally every country in the world has a HIGH THREAT OF TERRORISM. .. AVOID. Its a little extreme and honestly it can put you off going anywhere. According to GOV.UK I live in one of the most dangerous cities.. London.. Now if i had to worry about a bomb on the tube everyday I wouldn’t get anywhere. Yes bad things happen, but 999/1000 or whatever. It’s once and a blue moon and a terrible shame. Chances are its not going to happen to you. If a country is generally perceived as safe.. it is. Apart from incredibly devastating events in Tunisia, tourists are rarely terrorists targets.
So my experience in ‘Dangerous’ countries…
1) Hong Kong- whilst I spent 5 days there last summer, BBC news displayed there to be dangerous protests and riots on the streets…..Didn’t even notice this going on.
2) Bangkok ‘The 10pm curfew’.. Once again.. this didn’t even apply to tourists… or the locals apparently.
3) Central America- Now I was a little more pensive about this. I was due to spend a week in Belize and Guatemala. Guatemala is known for its violent crime and corrupt police. I was warned by friends to not wear any jewellery or carry around my camera ( a little difficult for a photo blogger). My week passed and not once did I encounter any problems or feel unsafe at any times.
Never ever be put off by someone saying that somewhere is dangerous. By all means take their advice, listen… but still do what you want. JUST BE SENSIBLE. If a city or country has a perceived risk take care, don’t go out at night on your own, avoid areas that don’t look safe, stay with a friend or in groups.
If you are ever in doubt whether a destination is safe an idea may to check whether tours are running. If they are, full steam ahead. It will be INCREDIBLY RARE if you encounter a problem. Tours are also an excellent way to see a destination safely too, so always look into that as well especially if you’re a solo traveller.
I myself am hoping to complete a Nile Cruise in December. I’ve chosen to take a tour with Contiki- a company I have confidence in and one which has always delivered. I have no safety worries.
I guess the main message here is to be safe where ever you go, take sound advice and you’ll have a fantastic time. The NEWS can install fear into people but it should never put you off visiting a city or country that you have always dreamed of.
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