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Dangers of traveling overseas

Lilpeanut

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Thorn Tree Refugee
 
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Joined: September 5th, 2012

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Tags: travel, danger, overseas, U.S, backpacking
  • Added on: September 6th, 2012
Hi all,

I've been planning out my trip for about 5 months now. I finally found a goal which i was so happy about and recently I got robbed at gunpoint. I live in a nice neighborhood in California and i guess it was very unlucky for me that the situation happened. After the incident I've been stopping my plans to travel around the world backpacking. I thought that if I can get robbed in the U.S, in a country that is more safe than 3rd world country, the more likely that something will happen when i travel. I spoke to my sister and she said that there are trafficking and unethical police in other countries. Saying that if a couple of guys came up to me and are dress like cops, and rob me, there's nothing i can do. After that incident that happened to me, I am scared to do this travel.

Any suggestions and thoughts you could provide on how i can overcome this and continue with my plans? My plans was to travel through southeast Asia, india, south Africa, Eruope and then back to the U.S. I was going to travel alone cause no one i know wanted to join me on this journey.

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: September 6th, 2012
Quit listening to your uninformed sister & go to SE Asia which is by far safer than the drug infested gun happy US.
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

enjaku

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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  • Added on: September 7th, 2012
No one can guarantee safety and security while traveling, or at home for that matter. Saying that one "country" is more safe or more dangerous than another is not helpful either. Risk and threat are situational dependent, and you need to simply manage that risk by taking proactive steps. The more that you travel and are exposed to various situations the better you become at recognizing threats, and then can take informed actions to neutralize them.

My advice is that you should not let fear inhibit your travel plans. Get out there and learn about the world, learn to identify risks, and develop an understanding of how to avoid them. Its all part of the process. Yup, you'll make mistakes, but follow your instincts. If it doesn't feel right, walk or drive away. Nine times out of ten your instincts, e.g., your inner-voice, will be guiding you in the right direction.

-eric
Barefoot I entered this world
Empty-handed I leave it
Two things that became entangled.

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: September 8th, 2012
enjaku wrote:No one can guarantee safety and security while traveling, or at home for that matter. Saying that one "country" is more safe or more dangerous than another is not helpful either.

-eric


How is telling the truth "not helpful" :?:
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

enjaku

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

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  • Added on: September 8th, 2012
busman7 wrote:
enjaku wrote:No one can guarantee safety and security while traveling, or at home for that matter. Saying that one "country" is more safe or more dangerous than another is not helpful either.

-eric


How is telling the truth "not helpful" :?:


Because "countries" are not homogeneous. It's a bit more complicated that saying this country is safe and that one is not.
Barefoot I entered this world
Empty-handed I leave it
Two things that became entangled.

MichaelRpdx

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Joined: August 24th, 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon

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  • Added on: September 8th, 2012
Lilpeanut wrote:Any suggestions and thoughts you could provide on how i can overcome this and continue with my plans? My plans was to travel through southeast Asia, india, south Africa, Eruope and then back to the U.S. I was going to travel alone cause no one i know wanted to join me on this journey.


Do some serious research on actual crime rates. The U.S. has extraordinarily high rates of crime. What you consider safe from personal experience isn't so on a statistical basis. I have two nephews who have been mugged, one in a very upscale suburb of Portland (the one with the highest per capita income in Oregon) and the other in a small ranch town in Idaho where he grew up. Universally the response was disbelief that this could happen in safe places.

Also consider, how many adult years have you lived in the U.S.? All that time for one robbery? And you will be traveling how long? (just some assumptions for illustration) You're thirty and will be gone for six months. So you have ten years of U.S. experience with one crime. For you to have the same chance of something similar happening on your trip the crime rates would need to be 20 times greater. Yes, provided you keep your wits about you and don't go lurching home, drunkenly singing through dodgy neighborhoods.

Personal anecdote, remember a few years ago when there were strikes and riots in Oaxaca? We visited three months after the fear mongering headlines. We found a safe, peaceful city with a welcoming population. I roamed the streets at night hunting down street food. Never once did I encounter a whiff of danger.
--
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

MichaelRpdx

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Joined: August 24th, 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon

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  • Added on: September 8th, 2012
Lilpeanut wrote:Hi all,

Any suggestions and thoughts you could provide on how i can overcome this and continue with my plans? My plans was to travel through southeast Asia, india, south Africa, Eruope and then back to the U.S. I was going to travel alone cause no one i know wanted to join me on this journey.

On the way to the farmer's market I started to describe your story to my wife. Before I could finish she interrupted with "Just go!".

Jennifer has traveled far more than I have - solo or with friends met on the road through China, the Greek isles, Europe and more. She's spent months at a time on the road. She's not overly brave or even a bit foolish. The one thing she won't do is take a cab hailed on the street.
--
Be Appropriate && Follow Your Curiosity

busman7

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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Joined: January 12th, 2008
Location: El Salvador

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  • Added on: September 8th, 2012
enjaku wrote:
busman7 wrote:
enjaku wrote:No one can guarantee safety and security while traveling, or at home for that matter. Saying that one "country" is more safe or more dangerous than another is not helpful either.

-eric


How is telling the truth "not helpful" :?:


Because "countries" are not homogeneous. It's a bit more complicated that saying this country is safe and that one is not.


Only for people engaged in psycho-babble.

Remember the day, during the Red Shirt protests in Bangkok, a couple years ago that I got off at the wrong end of the BTS platform & walked through their camp with no problems. Sure wouldn't have wanted to do the same during a protest in the US.
"Being normal? Ugh. I can't imagine how awful that must be" unknown

Jeanie99

Street Food Connoisseur
 
Posts: 530
Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: October 16th, 2012
I don't think anyone should wrap themselves up in cotton wool as the saying goes but you should use common sense and be aware that whatever country you are in that there are dangerous places to be.
The one country I felt unsafe in this year was Ecuador in the city of Quito.
We had gone walking up a stepped walk from the centre of the Old Town to get a much better view of the city and to take photographs when a local man came over to us and said not to go any further as we were entering a very dangerous district and we could be shot for our cameras.
You bet we went back down those steps quickly, even in the Old Town there is a heavy police presence with guns to protect tourists. This incident happened during the day and the second warning from a local about showing cameras.
I also had a top stolen on the same day which was hung over my camera.
On the same trip we have gear stolen in Dominica.
We have traveled extensively over the past 5 years including a 12 month trip backpacking around the world and generally are away traveling 4 months of the year but other than this last trip we have never had a problem but I have to say we are very cautious.
I would definitely say don't flaunt your wealth, but it's difficult not showing a camera when you are taking photographs, just put it away when you have finished and disguise it as much as possible.
I certainly wouldn't stop traveling.

Svenster

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Joined: April 22nd, 2010
Location: PERTH

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  • Added on: November 1st, 2012
How about joining a basic tour for a couple of weeks in one of your choosen destinations? This will increase your confidence and may help you find some travel buddies.

People are generally the same all over the world, mostly good and a few bad.

If you had contracted food poisioning from a restaurant in the USA would you then decide not to travel to a supposedly 'less hygenic' country, fearing that the risk there would be far greater?

I have never been mugged so I cannot imagine what you went through.

All I will say is, after 3 months travelling around SE Asia you will be brimming with confidence and ready to take on the rest of the world!

Jeanie99

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Joined: December 19th, 2007

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2012
I've done a lot of traveling in my life, I hitchhiked alone in the 60s around Europe and have to say I didn't have any problems.
There are lots of variables when you travel especially as a women traveling alone.
Make inquiries from the tourist information office about the parts of a city which you should avoid before you leave home. You'll then be sure you are not staying in an unsavory district.

Never put yourself in any situation that could be dangerous, for instance going into an area in a city that you do not know at night. A lot of it is just common sense, if you are not sure don't.

You can never be 100% safe so use caution as your weapon against someone who might do you harm.

Having said that mostly the people you will meet are good folk who just want to earn enough to put a roof over their head and have a happy life.

It was only this year when we visited Ecuador and Dominica that we were robbed for the first time in all our years of traveling.

Traveling can be a wonderful mind blowing experience so don't wrap yourself in cotton wool, grasp the moment and live life.

Jean

BlueLlama777

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Joined: November 9th, 2012

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  • Added on: December 5th, 2012
Do some research on the places you plan to travel in. Some neighborhoods or cities may have higher crime rates than others, just like in the US. Also learn about the levels of police corruption and common scams in the areas you are to be traveling in. Keep in mind, anything can happen anywhere, be it in the US Canada and Europe, or Southeast Asia and Africa. Stay alert and generally don't take risks that you wouldn't be willing to take in your own hometown. Try not to draw too much attention to yourself, either through overt displays of wealth, extreme drunkenness or keeping your head buried in a map. When you are buying things on the street, don't reveal where your wallet is, and don't pull out big wads of cash and count shit out from a roll either. Same kind of stuff you take precautions with in the US. Common sense is your best defense. Yes, your sister is right, human trafficking does happen in more vulnerable parts of the world, but that happens to locals. Unless you get extremely unlucky in an extremely hostile country, you should be OK in the kidnapping field. Yes, police can be corrupt and pull scams on foreigners involving fees and fines for a multitude of things, but it is a lot less common in most places than your sister seems to believe. Enjoy the world, and if you end up losing some money to a corrupt cop... well, you can always plan to have a "bribery" slush fund...

Chinamonty

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Joined: May 25th, 2006

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  • Added on: December 23rd, 2012
I spent four and a half years living in China and never felt really unsafe at any time. Of course there were minor incidents where you use your vigilance to avoid what may become a tricky situation. I remember remarking to people that I felt more uneasy travelling on a train in Melbourne (Australia) than I had felt on buses or ferries in China and Australia is a fairly safe place to travel in.
As others have said make sure you are careful/cautious. Avoid the places with particularly bad reputations and you should enjoy yourself.

jlinFan

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Joined: May 25th, 2012

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  • Added on: May 13th, 2013
No place on Earth is really 100% safe... Most of the countries in South East Asia, especially the popular tourists destinations, are generally safe... Just research first about the particular place that you want to visit before actually going to the place...

Though I'm not so sure about India because of the recent news regarding their country... You might want to research about that too... :)

Alarly

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Joined: June 3rd, 2013

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  • Added on: June 5th, 2013
jlinFan wrote:No place on Earth is really 100% safe... Most of the countries in South East Asia, especially the popular tourists destinations, are generally safe... Just research first about the particular place that you want to visit before actually going to the place...

Though I'm not so sure about India because of the recent news regarding their country... You might want to research about that too... :)

Completely agree, everywere is dangerous.. so take care!


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