Is it safe to travel anywhere anymore? Craziness abounds everywhere. We feel for the Parisians and the San Bernardino office partiers, the ill timed movie goers, the massacred church attendees, the special kid dropped off at McDonald’s who all met unspeakable, unexpected circumstances. It seems our hearts go out to some new victims involved in bizarre acts on a continuing basis. But when something happens in a train system or in the Brussels airport, naturally a little fear of travel creeps into our psyche. Then, when it happens in Fort Lauderdale baggage claim? Gee whiz, we were just there in March, our brother is flying in there next week. It is way too close to home.
So what do we do, stay home? We have far too many destinations across America and around the globe left on our to go list. And go we shall. However we did for the first time in our travel writing career decline an opportunity for safety concerns. We chose not to go to Turkey this month. That is not to say we won’t go in the future and not to say that no one should but we did not. The state department monitors safety abroad and issues travel warnings and alerts on this site: travel.state.gov For Turkey it says, “U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country.” It goes on to explain why.
There are a few places on the list that we will absolutely still visit if given the chance but we will restrict our coverage to the safer areas. Columbia for example is a destination we would return to in a heartbeat although it is noted on the state department site. It says, “Tens of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies, and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Medellin, and Cali. However, violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural and urban areas.” We’ll stick with Bogota and Cali.
Wherever we go, we need to pay closer attention to our surroundings, always know where the exit is as in a hotel in case of fire. Maybe while we’re more attentive we will notice some beautiful décor or florals along the way. There is always that silver lining.
We all must decide for ourselves what feels safe and as they say, “when it’s your time it’s your time.” To our fellow adventurers, work commuters and Walmart shoppers, we bid, safe travels and God bless!