Is it safe to travel abroad?

It boggles my mind when people ask me, “Is it safe to travel abroad?” Eyebrows rise when I tell someone I am going to Honduras or South Korea, and they show concern for my security. Perhaps they heard of a recent kidnapping, tsunami or nuclear threat in that country, but is it safer to stay home?

In light of the recent events in Boston and several security warnings in Atlanta, I don’t feel it is any safer to stay here in the US, than be traveling to another place in the world. You could get robbed in Chicago or New York, face an earthquake in San Francisco, or as in my case, get evacuated by HAZMAT from your own neighborhood!

Just last week, a bomb squad was called to my neighbor’s home in Smyrna (suburb of Atlanta), where an explosive device was found. When I returned home from dinner, I wasn’t allowed to enter my subdivision. The officer informed me that residents within a quarter mile radius had been evacuated. It was only after they removed the explosives from the vacant home that we were allowed to return safely.

Yes, everyone might think the US is a very safe place to be, and that people can walk around at any time of the night without having to worry about getting mugged or robbed at gunpoint or with someone pointing a knife to your face. That may be true, and could partly be owed to the gun control laws (https://gunlawsuits.org/gun-laws/georgia/) that almost all states follow to more or less the same extent, not to mention the vigilance of law enforcement and civilians as well. Nonetheless, it cannot be said for a fact that this picture of safety and security is kept up everywhere and all the time, if you think about it practically. Right? I mean, crimes can happen anywhere, and we do see a number of crimes being perpetrated in our own cities on a daily basis.

In my opinion, some places are definitely safer than others in terms of civil crime, but when it comes to global uprisings, terrorist attacks, and natural disasters, no one can really perceive when and where it is going to take place. That should not stop you from traveling abroad, neither can you stay locked in at home. If your dream is to travel the world, then you cannot really let the safety aspect get to your head. You can figure out ways to be safe in any part of the world; and let’s admit it, not everything that happens is in our control.

So get out there, see the world, and be safe!

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to over 90 countries across 7 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.