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Should safety affect travelers: Yes or No?

EXPERIENCE THE WORLD | Ashley Bauler

As the world political climate heats up, with North Korea’s continued aggression and the United States picking strongly worded responses, tensions are high. For many, they feel unsafe traveling in the world right now. ISIS lone-wolf attacks could happen anywhere, or a nuclear war could start at any second, but that doesn’t mean that anyone should skip out on a summer vacation or not take their family somewhere awesome over winter break.

Americans tend to have this notion that every country besides the United States is unsafe and on the brink of failure, but that simply isn’t true. Other countries are extremely safe, no matter what the current world political climate is. That’s not to say, “take an unguided tour through Gaza strip,” that’s just common sense. But countries in Europe, like Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Austria, etc. are extremely safe places with military personnel at every turn.

For those who want to stay at home and are fearful of what might happen, they are choosing to live their lives in fear. The terrorists and foreign extremists win, they got the best of those people; they want to instill fear. There is a difference between being an aware traveler and lacking common sense.

Some places are known for being less stable, like Eastern Europe, that’s a known fact. But an American shouldn’t feel like they have any less of a right to see the world based on what has been done to us or is currently taking place across the world.

There are many resources that can ensure a safe trip as well. The US Passport Agency has a list of countries to avoid based on high alert of violence. It gives information about social customs, what to be weary of (taxis that may be tied to scams), laws to definitely abide by, and a listing of the names and phone numbers of US ambassadors.

Most of the time, people worried about travel during these times haven’t traveled abroad enough to actually understand that safety in other countries is just as much of a priority as it is in America.

Moral of the story: don’t book a trip to Sudan and expect to feel safe, but take an adventure and experience what the world has to offer despite what is currently happening. Just be smart.

STAY SAFE, STAY HOME | Matthew Kriese

While the modern world has new luxuries and privileges for those interested in seeing the attractions within foreign lands, the attractions that bring forth these tourists are the only fairy tale aspects to these countries. Many young people exploit these new abilities to explore the many wonders of the world, but perhaps these abilities should be reevaluated.

Among many risks that could occur while traveling, perhaps the most notable include: theft, lost belongings, violent crime, transportation issues, and border control problems. But there may be no greater risk in international travel than the foreign diseases tourists are introduced to.

Here is a brief list of scholarly journal articles listed in one of Auraria Library’s databases: Severe imported malaria in children in France. A national retrospective study from 1996 to 2005; Economic growth, urbanization, globalization, and the risks of emerging infectious diseases in China; and Possible Case of Novel Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis in Traveler Returning to Japan from India. Those titles alone are horrifying, but they only capture a sliver of this tremendous risk that is associated with traveling.

While disease might not seem like a major political factor of travelling, it is in fact directly correlated to the political and socioeconomic conditions of a nation. According to the International Travel Health Guide, “There is a 60% to 70% possibility of illness when traveling in less developed countries for up to 90 days (median trip duration—19 days)” and, “The most common reported illnesses are: diarrhea (34%); a respiratory disease (26%); a skin disorder (8%); acute mountain sickness (6%); motion sickness (5%); an accident and injury (5%); an illness with fever (3%).” This doesn’t even take into account the risk of superbugs such as Ebola or malaria that have recently plagued underdeveloped and European countries.

It is of the utmost importance that the political climate of a foreign land is evaluated before one travels there. The risks of the modern world far outweigh the thrills.

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