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Life on the RoadTravel In the News

Find Your Partner for the Journey of Life

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Sometimes we can get so stuck traveling for years that you don’t realize time has almost passed our youth completely by. It is such a joy to travel, I certainly know. From youth hostels in Turkey and Guatemala, to homestays in Georgia, Jordan, and Mexico, to working on farms across North America and Europe, it was a wonderful five years after my college graduation. But after that, I began to realizing that I was missing out on something truly important – love.

Travel In the NewsTravel Wisdom

Has it Ever Been Safe to Travel?

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We live in an age where we pretty much expect to be able to go anywhere we want so long as we can afford it. Gone are the days when certain countries are off limits or the very notion of leaving your home was a foolhardy and one-way-trip endeavour, because as masters of technology and tolerant of the beliefs of others, the world is open for business when it comes to our desire to see it.

Until you turn on the news.

I predict a riot...
I predict a riot…

On any given night you can see riots in some country, financial instability, suicide bombings in another, disease outbreaks in a few more and religious fanaticism peppered here and there. It’s enough to make you think the world is either getting unsafer by the day or that the media is really focusing on the old adage ‘if it bleeds, it leads’. Suddenly your plans to travel to one of those countries are up in the air and you’re not feeling so confident about your good time.

The simple truth is the world is a dangerous place. Bad things can happen when you least expect it when you’re away from home, and they can happen almost anywhere. There are places that conventional wisdom would tell you to stay away from, such as many central African nations, certain Middle Eastern countries and even certain parts of Europe and Mexico. From drug wars to areas that just aren’t warm to strangers, there are a whole host of threats that caution travellers from making their way here and thwart the naive assumption that the world belongs to all people.

With this in mind, the world is also a fantastic place with great people in every corner of every country on Earth. You will be shown hospitality like you never thought was possible in the unlikeliest of places, from Somalia to North Korea if you do make your way there. There are a lot of people who will never find this out because they choose not to travel there, just the same as there are a lot of people who do what they feel like and disregard any government warning that says otherwise.

It's a picture of olive branches... you know... for peace? Bah nevermind...
It’s a picture of olive branches… you know… for peace? Bah nevermind…

Is the world a different place than it was 500 years ago? Absolutely – attitudes and policies have changed a great deal; technology has made us more aware of each other and taken down many of the artificial barriers that have kept us apart. It’s also put up many new ones and allowed for propaganda and intolerance to spread with new ferocity, fostering a whole host of different issues. You’re far more likely to be able to travel to certain places in the world with the same ease and comfort that you would within your own nation, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe.

Getting back to the original question in the title – was it ever safe to travel? It really depends on what you view as safe. There still exist many dangers like disease, violence and intolerance that can be a real threat if you confront it while abroad, but today is definitely the safest it’s ever been to head out on an adventure. The rules, agencies and changes in thought that exist today to ensure the safe passage of travellers is unparalleled from any other time in history. Feel good about that, because if you’re looking to be guaranteed of your safety, that simply does not exist anywhere – even at home.

Travel In the News

A Greek Tragedy

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Greece as a travel destination couldn’t be more appealing, with its history, art, culture,

natural beauty, and food, but Greece as an investment destination? It’s seen better days.

Sure, you can put your money wherever you want, but as is evidenced by the air show
that is the stock market, what happens in one country can impact life overseas. While
not to delve to deeply into the true benefits/drawbacks of the Euro and the Euro zone, it
would seem the flaws in any system are tested when times are at their worst – no system
is perfect, after all. As travellers you really can’t beat having a common currency instead
of switching every time you move, but as a nation state you feel as if a part of your
sovereignty is sacrificed to achieve this. They say the leading cause of divorces is issues
with finances? Apply that to an international scale and well… it’s scary.

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What you do have control over is where you vacation. When a country makes it into
international headlines, it is always a good idea to take notice if for nothing else than to
be aware. Does this mean you should avoid Greece or other similarly troubled countries
at all costs? Not necessarily, because nothing could come of it and that doesn’t mean
other countries not on the ‘list’ are perfectly fine.

The flip side to this, is that a huge number of tourists flocking to an area would be an
excellent revenue stream – just the sort of thing a troubled economy could use to make it
through the tough times. Of course if the country does go under and riots break out, you
don’t really want to be caught in the middle. So what do you do?

Well, that’s what makes it tragic.

You can sit back and do nothing and hope it all sorts itself out, which means cancelling/
avoiding Greece for the time being, or you can just say ‘whatever’ and go on with
whatever plans you had. Eventually this whole thing will get sorted out but it could get
very ugly in the interim. If you do elect to travel to the area, be sure to do all those things
you roll your eyes at and never do, such as register with your home country’s embassy
and have a way to contact the outside world.

Why worry about these things that probably won’t come to pass? Why can’t you just go
off and have a good time? Why can’t you do both? That’s the answer – do both. You will
probably be fine, so go have a good time. If you are the kind that worries about end of
days scenarios, pick some place less high-media profile so you won’t worry and you can
enjoy it. Otherwise, keep all of this in the back of your mind so you don’t get screwed.
Yes, it sucks that affairs of state had to meddle in your good time but that’s life.

And that’s why it’s a tragedy.