I live in a country that issues more travel advisories than grains of sand in the Empty Quarter, here in Oman and Saudi Arabia. This is the largest sand desert on earth, over 200,000 square miles.
I love the United States. The USA means well. But I take most travel advisories with a grain of….sand.
Travel advisories sprout from fear. Murders, petty crime and all in between factor in, as does political instability.
My blogging sweetlings; make your own decision. No trip feels good if you fear making the trip, or if fear-filled you travels to prove something to your government and followers. But knowing how to treat a travel advisory can help you make an informed, honest, genuine decision, about visiting a country. Or not.
I have circled the globe with my wife Kelli over the past 8 years. We visited Indonesia – Bali in our case – during multiple travel advisories. Asinine to blanket 19,000 islands with a warning not to visit the 19,000 islands (As Indonesia is) due to a few hot points in this massive nation. We also spent a month in Phuket during one Thailand coup and spent a month in Istanbul, Turkey 1 week after the coup attempt.
Living in places during travel advisories, political unrest, coups and attempted coups, I deem most US travel advisories are pure horse shit. Imagine if other nations advised avoiding travel to the USA after 2 people died in a political rally in Washington DC? This is what the US does to other countries. Imagine if, after the fairly routine night club, school, movie theater or mall shootings in the United States that, after every one, other nations put the USA on a travel advisory? This is what the USA tends to do, to other countries.
As a world travel, a seasoned globe trotter and guy who has spent years of my life living in developing nations, urban centers, and everything in between, I have no once felt unsafe anywhere, internationally. Meanwhile, I would not dare walk through parts of my hometown in New Jersey after 10 PM for fear of being shot, stabbed or robbed. Namely because the crime rate is as high as fuck for a town with 50,000 people.
How Should You Treat a Travel Advisory?
Do you feel terribly scared to visit a country with an advisory? Never go. Life is energy. Fear will mirror back to you as a negative experience. Guaranteed. You cannot outfox your energy.
Is the place an active war zone? Do not go. No cowboys needed, thank you. Although some travelers do in fact visit active war zones. I’ll pass.
What do travel bloggers currently spending time in the nation say about the country? What about media outside of the USA? Google it. Do some homework. Dig deep. Spot patterns. You may have been a bit scared visiting Turkey after the coup attempt. The US likely put the place on a travel advisory. But reading Blogging From Paradise, you’d have seen the truth: day to day life in Istanbul proceeded as normal for tourists. Digging into international news channels, you’d verify my experience. Armed with facts – versus a strictly fear-based, government advisory – you book the plane ticket, visit Turkey and enjoy the country, its people, food, sights and sounds.
Predictable Versus Unpredictable Danger
Violence in the United States is fairly unpredictable, outside of major urban centers with small neighborhoods marred by gang and drug violence. But the crime is so random! So the US is a neat place to visit and enjoy. Anything can happen anytime. But you live your life. You leave your home, US citizens.
Violence in areas outside of the United States is incredibly predictable! Making international locations quite safe and quite easy to visit from a clear, comfortable, confident energy. 8 years of travel speaking here guys; I am no arm chair jack-off who never left his home town in the US. I live this shit. Walking through a Central American capital in certain neighborhoods flashing your rope chain and cash is an invitation to be robbed. You’d never do it, anyway, being warned before doing it. Strolling through small, gang-invested ‘hoods in those same capitals at 1 AM is an invitation to get shot…..BUT….you will be so forewarned well ahead of time, through your online due diligence and from friendly locals at the airport, taxi drivers and other folks, that you completely avoid the hot spots, virtually 100% of the time.
Plus major areas of crime in developing nations are not tourist spots. DUH! Yet the US government issues a travel advisory for an entire nation or region based on tiny, small, high crime pockets that tourists would never visit in a million years, anyway. Rampant fear-mongering that keeps Americans home, in a country where the chances of you getting shot at a freaking mall are so much greater than getting beheaded as a tourist in Acapulco. Do you know how many warnings you’d get about NOT traveling to Acapulco these days? 100% predictable. But to write off an entire country or region in Mexico for years is like the USA issuing a travel advisory to the USA, and to especially avoid Time Square because of 9-11 occurring in 2001.
Do you see how much the illusion of fear clouds judgment, binds humans, promotes division and dissolves freedom?
Guys; you have to make your own decision. I love the USA. My government means well. But issuing a travel advisory over a terrorist act that occurred last month or last year is like warning people not to drive because someone died in a car accident in your city, last month or last year, and could have taken you out, with them. Or, issuing a travel advisory due to chatter about potential tourism is like warning people not to drive because someone can kill themselves and you in a car accident at any time.
I leave you with this: fear is 100% an illusion, complete irrational, and not real. Most human beings become a bitch to the illusion of fear and live in their own little comfort zone cocoon, being 100% unaware of the fun, enjoyable, fulfilling travels awaiting them, because they are driven into a state of terror by their government.
Can you believe Americans warned me about traveling to Oman? I’m being invited to coffee and dates in this kind, warm nation and my US buddies back home are so immune to the violence in their own backyard that their warning make me chuckle. People warned me about travel to Qatar. Muslim country. Dangerous. The only danger I risked was a soar jaw, each time I saw a $2 million Pagani Zonda cruise by in the wealthiest nation on earth.
See the world guys. Think through travel advisories. Do some homework. You’ll see there’s only a few places on earth where you do not want to test the illusion of fear. Most are awesome, safe, fun and waiting for your visit.