Posted by: coastcontact | June 22, 2017

Americans Seem to Believe they are Immune from Bad Things when Traveling

Do Americans think they are immune to the acts of foreign governments when they travel? Apparently the answer is YES. The State Department warns U.S. citizens to stay away from North Korea but hundreds go anyway every year. Otto Warmbier was an American university student who, while visiting North Korea as a tourist in January 2016 tore a wall poster down as a souvenir. He paid with his life.

North Korea is not the only country that the State Department has warned not to visit. The State Department web site has a Travel Warnings list. The site is headed with the following warning statement.

“We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.”

There are 44 countries listed. Of those nine are from 2016. Surprisingly none in Europe which is on a Travel Alert list due to threat of terrorist attacks.

The Travel Warnings list includes Mexico. The Mexico specific statement says: “The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued April 15, 2016.” The site then identifies the cities and states that are particularly dangerous including Mexico City. Despite the warning a total 7.86 million Americans visited the country from January to October 2016, an increase of 12% from the same period in 2015.

Have you visited America’s national parks? My favorites are Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Have you visited Washington D.C.? Both Boston and Philadelphia offer interesting historic sites that I believe everyone should visit. The best part is that you are far safer and you might see a really great show on Broadway in New York City.

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