Thursday, October 17, 2013

20 Things I Learned From Traveling Around the World

#2) Most places are as safe (or safer) than home.

....In over 365 days on the road, staying mostly in dormitory-style hostels and traveling through several countries considered 'high-risk,' the only incident I had was an iPhone stolen out of my pocket on the metro in Medellin, Colombia. I didn't even notice and deserved it for waiving the damn thing around in the wrong part of town. Most people think that in a place like Colombia you'll still get kidnapped or knocked off by a motorcycle assassin, but that's not true. According to the locals I talked to (who grew up there), things have been safer there for at least 10 years.

Caveat: This doesn't give you a license to be stupid, and some places really warrant respect. Guatemala and Honduras, where there are major drug wars going on (and the Peace Corps recently pulled all of their volunteers), or Quito, Ecuador, where everyone I talked to had been robbed, are reasonably dangerous (I had no trouble in any of them).

In reality, based on the sort of mindless binge-drinking that happens in most travel hot spots, you'd expect travelers to get knocked off a lot more often. But if you pay attention and don't do anything stupid, you'll be more:

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