Is there a place in the world you never want to visit? Where, and why not?
I am a little worried about this one. I think it would be easy for me to offend a great deal of people. Because what I know about the places that I don’t want to visit is based on TV, movies and unfounded gossip. So, in the end, based on ignorance.
As a woman, it is difficult for me to consider travel to countries where women are expected to cover themselves head to toe.To any place where a woman alone is considered fair game. I live in the US. I won’t lie there are times I think we aren’t so progressive as we’d like to think. But places where I would be blatantly treated as less than or as a victim are not high on the list to visit.
Then there are countries where war is a constant. Places where snipers and bombers seem to lie in wait. Mines go off left and right. And your enemy could decide to attack any hour. Pass.
Then there are the countries where corruption is rampant. You hear horror stories about people being arrested for looking at someone wrong. They get thrown into a nasty, dangerous jail until their family can send $500,000 or something ridiculous. Nope.
I know that people visit these places every day. They see great things. They enjoy the food and the people. They leave happy and healthy with no sign of trouble. And I also realize that anything can happen anywhere. But why take the chance?
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This is a tough exercise. Thank you.
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I know what you mean. I had to go to Doha recently because my dad was in hospital there. Even though my own husband is Muslim, he’s very open-minded, and I was a bit nervous going there without him. I made sure to take clothes that covered my arms and legs and even wore a head scarf much of the time. Nothing happened, of course, but I didn’t go wandering around on my own either. We’re women and the reality is that we are even at risk *inside* our own home from burglars. I think it’s perfectly justified to feel concerned about travelling to places where women are generally given less protection. It’s a touchy subject, but if anyone gives me aggravation about it, I’ll just wave my Muslim husband at them! LOL. I wouldn’t go anywhere with bombs either. G goes to visit his mum in Pakistan every so often, but they both know that I will never go there. They’re perfectly understanding about it.
I am sure, Tilda, that the majority of people visiting such places have no negative experiences. They go, they enjoy, they return home. It’s that 5-10 percent that I don’t want to take a chance on being a part of.
I appreciate your thoughts and your perspective, and realize that as a male, I don’t face the same level of risk as some female travelers (though everywhere I’ve been in the world I have female colleagues who have equally made the trip).
But in answer to your closing question- ‘Why take the chance?’- I reckon the same question can be asked of any number of things that are perceived as risky, from kayaking down a river in white water, to flying in a small aircraft, to riding on a roller-coaster- and the answer is, because your life can come away richer. War zones and places with violence, crime, corruption- they’re not to be taken lightly or flippantly, and certainly not to be treated as frivolous tourist destinations. My work has taken me to these places. But I wouldn’t trade a moment in these places for anything- they have made me the person I am, and I love having had the opportunities I have had, and count them a blessing and a privilege. Even some of the bad experiences- and there have been those. It’s not for everybody, and everybody has their own passions and desires. But for me, these sorts of destinations have shaped my life to date, and are precious to me.
Incidentally, regarding your opening paragraph, it crossed my mind to be careful and not name anywhere specifically for fear of offending… Then I just went for it. So we’ll see who I offended… 😉
I don’t do any of those other things you mentioned either. I am not a very adventurous person. I suppose I am quite dull. But I do love to travel. I just like to travel a certain way. Decent, clean hotel rooms with plumbing, etc. The truth is there is also a difference between dying or being injured in a plane crash or kayaking and being brutally raped and murdered.
FYI, I am not remotely offended by your comments. I welcome them. I am glad there are men and women like you to travel to those places. Otherwise, the world would not see the truth and nothing would ever be done. It’s just not for me. Happy adventures to you!
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