Safe Travels

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When I told my mom I was going to Transnistria, she cried.

When I told her I was going to Kosovo she said, “Why don’t you go somewhere nice like Paris?”

When I took the night bus from Puerto Escondido to Mexico City, via Aculpulco, I hid my passport, credit cards and money in all sorts of interesting places.

And yet I’ve never been kidnapped and sold into white slavery.

And I’ve never been detained and accused of being a spy.

And I’ve never been robbed at gunpoint.

As I watched the news of the bombing in Boston I was, obviously, terribly upset and concerned for everyone involved.  Once the 24/7 news cycle kicked in and I’d seen the same footage and speculation over and over and over, I had another thought:

Boston is exactly the type of place my mom would want me to go on holiday.

I think that in our changing society we have to re-evaluate what “safe travel” means.  I think we need to reconsider assumptions about which places are safe and which are dangerous.   We might even have to stop labeling places as “safe” or “dangerous” because- as recent events prove- anything could happen, anytime, anywhere.

When you plan your next trip don’t immediately veto a possible destination because “it’s dangerous”.  And don’t plan your itinerary entirely around destinations you believe are “safe”.  Instead, go where you want to go, see what you want to see, do what you want to do, be smart, have fun, don’t worry, treat the people around you with kindness and know that at home or abroad, whatever happens, happens.

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3 responses to “Safe Travels

  1. Hello there! First of all, I love your blog.
    Second, in about a week I leave for 3 months of travel through Europe.
    I was just wondering what you do when your hostel does not provide lockers? I had thought lockers were standard, but in Paris it seems that many affordable places do not provide them.
    Also, how much do you normally budget per day?
    Thanks!

  2. I recommend that in addition to a combination lock you also travel with a cable lock, like the kind made by Pac-Safe. When no locker is available you can link the cable through the zippers on your bag and then to a piece of furniture. It’s not 100% fail-safe (nothing is, even lockers!), but it will definitely make your bag less appealing to thieves. Most theft in hostels is from other travelers (not the staff), so keep things locked while you sleep, shower, etc. I would budget about EUR 100 per day in Western Europe, and EUR 50 per day in Eastern Europe. This should cover dorm rooms in hostels, cheap food, a few attractions and ground transportation (including between cities, when averaged out). You might find the west a bit more expensive than I’ve mentioned and the east a bit cheaper.

  3. Pingback: Istanbul Modern | Lipgloss and a Backpack

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