The infection to travel does not discriminate locations. Just because one of Turkey’s residents assassinated the Russian ambassador yesterday and the country’s close proximity to the Syrian conflict does not take away from Istanbul’s rich history and amazing people and therefore it’s draw as a fabulous travel destination. In fact, strangely, it kind of makes it more inticing. Maybe that’s just me. I want to go to places I shouldn’t go, where Westerners fear to tread. I don’t want to sit on a burka lounger at a resort.
My Colombian and Amazonian born husband scoffs at these sentiments that I am just an adrenalin junky. Perhaps. Perhaps it’s in the blood. My family members traveled, well, the ones in wars traveled to well, wars. And messy interesting places like Iwo Gima, Berlin, Ho Chi Min, Tarawara, and the Middle East (the exact location in the Middle East is still classified).
My people go wherever unabashed and unafraid. Yes! I think. Me too. Then, reality hits and I question the nievity of this. They also came (good, bad, or otherwise) with a military unit and well armed. I do not. I’ve experienced some close calls traveling and luckily I’ve never experienced violence. I credit vigilant guardian angles and my own hypervigilance. Nevertheless, I have ended up in ERs on 3 continents but that’s an entirely different story.
I suppose it’s all about balance. Knowing and respecting practical limits. For lack of better terms though, that really sucks. Places I would really love to visit but will have to hold off for now include: Cairo, Istanbul, and Baghdad… the list goes on. Traveling alone narrows my list even further. Still on my list-Africa. Not going there alone.
Like many travelers, I backpacked Europe. Not a big deal right? No. But, backpacking alone through South America would be a different story. I traveled to Costa Rica by myself once and was questioned by repeatedly if I was indeed alone and why (not that I admitted this). Security guards patrolled voraciously and even rode in the elevator, all the time. Costa Rica was supposed to be a safe place to travel. I questioned this advice. I took my kids alone to the Dominican and was questions just as much. I would be apprehensive about traveling a large part of Asia by myself as well.
Which places feel off limits to you? As a man or woman?