I hear it all the time. ‘It’s dangerous over there.’ ‘Don’t go by yourself.’ ‘You don’t want to go to that area right now.’ ‘You’ll get robbed.’
Yes, we live in a dangerous world. There are psychotic people. There are gangs. There are terrorists. But these exist EVERYWHERE you go. That’s the one thing people seem to forget.
After the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, even I said maybe traveling is not the best thing to do while ISIS is still active. But there will always be a terrorist threat somewhere in the world.
During the last Olympics in Rio de Janiero, I kept commenting on how much I would love to go to Rio. It’s one at the top my list. People looked at me like I was crazy. It’s too dangerous they would say. Or there’s Zika. Well yes, but again there will always be viruses in the world.
A few weeks ago, my co-worker and I discussed her upcoming trip to India. People cautioned her about getting robbed. Grab a purse that crosses over you so it’s harder for people to take it, they advised her. People told me the same on my way into the townships of Cape Town, South Africa. I was informed countless times to be prepared to come back without a coat, purse or shoes.
Here’s my thing. Yes, it is a good idea to be cautious and aware of your surrounding. But do realize one very important thing: these safety precautions are safety precautions EVERYWHERE.
You may be traveling to a country foreign to you, but the more you travel the more you realize how the same we all are. At least I realize this more and more. People, in any country – in every country, are the same. There is a world of wonderful loving kind people out there. There are thousands of curious children who like to stare at the foreign travelers and get to know them.
And yes, there are those who seek to harm. I am not ignorantly ignoring that. I’m not saying we should be naïve.
I am saying however, we should travel anyway. We shouldn’t let fear take that experience away from us. The more we travel, the more we allow ourselves to connect to the world around us – to connect to each other.
So travel my friends. Dare to explore. Dare to learn. And dare to connect with humanity.