When is it too dangerous to travel to a particular place?

That is the topic of my latest Bloomberg column, here is one excerpt:

As I’ve grown older, I have become more cautious. That has meant more time walking, especially in cities, and less time in moving vehicles. This has allowed me to continue my travels to countries that are considered relatively dangerous. In the next year or two, I hope to make my sixth trip to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and I’ll probably stay in the city confines.

As I write this, I am sitting in the Grand Canyon Lodge at the northern rim of the Canyon. The surroundings are idyllic, but it took me a five-hour drive to get here. I’m still wondering if this was a reckless trip.

Over the last few decades, initially as part of my research for a book, I have made 20 or so visits to rural Guerrero, in Mexico, near drug gang territory, and they have all passed without incident. Still, I get very nervous when I am in a “collectivo” on a mountain road and the driver appears to be no more than 15 years old and is fond of loud music and beer.

And there is always this:

Which leads me to my final point — and maybe you won’t find my wording reassuring: Most incidents don’t kill you or cripple you.

Recommended.  One point I did not have space for is that often you should avoid water contact.  During my first Ethiopia trip, the scariest moment came, on the shore of a lake in central Ethiopia, when I was asked: “Would you like to go out in our small boat and see the hippopotamus?”


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