Risky Business

06.December 2008

Pre-Trip

 

Gillian and Jason roll rock OasisThis week I was going to write about where we might be one year from now. Like I said here, one of the ways we stay motivated is to imagine where we’ll be this time next year. However, one year from now we will be in India and not long after that we’ll be in Thailand. Given the serious situations in both those countries these past weeks it’s hard to think about how much fun we’ll be having when we’re thinking about how we might handle such situations while we’re on the road.

It’s important to maintain perspective with respect to both these situations.

Thailand’s issues are political and are, so far, centered at the airport.  Nomadic Matt reports that daily life in Thailand, and in Bangkok in particular, has been unaffected by the protests. Although traffic is not moving through the airports, there are alternate ways to enter and leave the country. He is not feeling threatened and, so far, plans to stay. Situations like these can be avoided by the traveler as they arise slowly and can be avoided. If we feel discomfort we can move to leave the country by other means.

India’s terrorist attack is more troubling as it was sudden, and targeted foreigners. This situation is more difficult to manage as it’s impossible to know when, or where, an attack like this might occur. I think that this is best reduced to statistics – attacks like this have happened all over the world at various times and the chances of being caught up in it are low. You can be assured that we won’t be travelling to any areas with known conflicts and will leave any area immediately should any issues arise.

I’m not sure this post will alleviate any worries our family and friends may have, but we can’t be paralyzed by worrying about what might happen during our time away. Life is risky, we can mitigate it but we can’t eliminate it – we will be careful and cautious, but it’s important that we still go.

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8 Responses to “Risky Business”

  1. Shawn Says:

    I wouldn’t worry about what might happen because all occurrences and provisions take place in the moment.

    I have been traveling the Middle East for the last 13 months and I have not had any problems, many people back in America thought I was nuts and I would end up dead—total hog wash.

    Indeed, tragedies happen within certain lives of individuals, although within the moment is when the person will have to trouble-shoot the situation and not before.

    I wouldn’t worry about what might take place or where you might be in a year, I could not have guessed arriving in Israel a year from my departure, but that is where I am, and Israel is safe.

    Just try to live in the moment—the moment is miraculous.

  2. Taylor Davidson Says:

    Things could be very different (everywhere) in a year; I wouldn’t let it bother you right now… I’ll agree with Shawn that the perceived risk (coming from the North American perspective of traveling abroad) is far greater than the reality.

  3. Ruthe Says:

    “…we can’t be paralyzed by worrying about what might happen during our time away. Life is risky, we can mitigate it but we can’t eliminate it – we will be careful and cautious, but it’s important that we still go.”

    I agree! Sometimes I feel that the news about certain coutries seem more like propaganda than news. During our trip to South East Asia earlier this year, people from home and LIVING IN ASIA tried to dissuade us from visiting Indonesia (Jakarta/Bali) due to the *news* about the unrest in that country and we almost listened. I’m glad we didn’t, our visit was unforgettable and not in a bad way. The locals were hospitable and no one treated us badly because we were Westerners. Be careful and cautious but still LIVE. :) Looking fwd to reading about your travels next year.

  4. Nathan Shipley Says:

    I’m with you. Furthermore, to offer an additional upside to some (especially in India) negative events, there will be less tourists in these destinations!

    While I would never wish for attacks like those that occurred in India to happen, I am frankly glad to know that I will be in India with less other tourists. I should be there in a month or two. I think it will provide some genuinely interesting conversation with locals and a chance to get some real on-the-ground perspective of a major, albeit tragic, world event.

    I heard a report on NPR a few days ago that major hotels in Bangkok that were typically at 80% occupancy were down to 10 and 20%. They owners were rightfully concerned and all eyes are on how much bounce-back they’ll see in the coming weeks. A tourism official predicted something like a 50% decrease in tourists for 2009 in Thailand. While that number seems a bit steep to me, I’d have absolutely no problem with it if it came to pass. (These numbers are from memory, but I think they’re about right.)

    Just my two cents…

  5. Nomadic Matt Says:

    now there are protests in greece!! it’s the end times!!! lol no seriously, as long as you staying informed and stay smart, you’ll be ok but there are some things you can’t plan and you can’t let those dictate your life!!

    Thanks for the shout out!

  6. Chris Says:

    There were protestants even in London’s airport yesterday and many flights were calcelled, not as serious as India though.
    In this world you can’t predict ahead but at the same time you can not be worried at all times, just watch it out.
    We too are little concerned about Thailand as we will be there in February but we are sure all is going to be fine.

  7. Anna Says:

    For lack of a better phrase – I have also been getting “pooped” on by friends and family alike about the dangers of the world and traveling. However, those who have the travel bug, I find, are rarely those that conform to ‘societal norms.’ So, why start now? :) Like Matt said above – just make sure you travel smart.

  8. Elizabeht Says:

    Gillian, Thanks for your interest and the comments you’ve left on our site. I finally had some time to check YOUR site out this afternoon and read about your upcoming adventure. You are smart to spend more time in less places. In reading your “Why?” section, I am struck by how similar are stories are: we are a version of you two 10 years earlier (I just turned 30)! Congratulations for taking this one giant step! If I can help at all in your planning process, feel free to write anytime.