Recently I was having a conversation with my aunt who travels often, this was the first time that she’s expressed any kind of anxiety towards traveling. We began the discussion playfully with me asking is there any place that she hasn’t been or wouldn’t go. She went over her list of places she would soon be visiting and then went into a list of places she wouldn’t go if you paid her. Africa, Mexico, and Brazil just to name a few. Now this took me by surprise because I always here about people going to these places and everything being fine. They talk about Africa like it’s nothing you could honestly put into words. Mexico was the destination of many senior class trips and Brazil well for many guys Brazil is place to go to get your fantasies met.
So I asked her why… She turned to me, have you read the news. Those places almost guarantee that you’ll get kidnapped, raped and murdered. With Africa it depends on what part but Mexico and Brazil, yeah… no. I couldn’t believe it with my own two ears so me being me, I went and looked up this information and went search out a few more people to ask them.
All those that I spoke to said the same thing. Some went into more detail telling stories of those close to them that it has actually happened to. They gave exact places that you should avoid for now.
Hearing this I felt like I had been hiding under a rock. I kept thinking what does our government do for situations like that? What is the protocol if a US citizen is taken? Then I ran into movies based off true stories where young girls went out of the country and never returned home, with no explanation and no resolution. In many of the cases I read about the police force don’t really put too much effort into finding them, especially when it’s happening to those in the areas and they couldn’t find them either.
In articles like New York Times ‘Women Alert to Travel’s Darker Side, (‘https://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/travel/women-alert-to-travels-darker-side.html?_r=0)which speaks in detail about these cases and how often this is actually happening. In the article ’10 Worst Countries’ on International women’s travel center (http://www.internationalwomenstravelcenter.com/479/)they actually name the countries and specific areas that should be avoided at this time:
- Saudi Arabia
The question that is still out there, if this is happening more and more what can we do as women to protect ourselves when we travel? This was not a way to scare my readers to inform you so that you can be safe and know what to be aware of. So be safe while traveling and enjoy yourself.