Sometimes travelers need to hear the obvious.
You’re not immune to danger when you travel.
Do you ever look at other travelers and wonder what they are thinking. Here is a general rule that works for us: if it’s not safe or smart at home, it probably didn’t improve when we went into a third world country.
“But mom, that guy is feeding the wild monkeys.”
Let’s review a few of the things we have seen as we traveled:
Wild monkeys bite. If you think otherwise, you might be in for an unplanned side trip to the hospital (at least that’s what our guide told us). In Malaysia we actually watched a tourist tease a wild monkey with some food. We didn’t really want to see the aftermath, and we generally don’t hang out with stupid people so we left.
In Belize an Ocelot walked into the open air restaurant where were eating. (We learned later that it had been hand reared and returned to the wild.) I took my cue from the staff who kept a barrier between the ocelot and themselves as they pushed it away.
The man at the next table, a future Darwin award candidate no doubt, decided this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. He actually tried to hold the wild cat as his wife took a photo. We saw him the next day with his arm bandaged up covering his new stitches. Clearly he was not immune to danger.
Image Credit: Public Domain
If you are going to leap from a cliff, be smart like my niece and ask the people about to jump if they are locals before you take the plunge. Our personal family logic is that locals generally know the safe places.
We stumbled upon another New Zealand danger near Rotorua. The graffiti covered sign reads: Do not put head in water – amoebic meningitis is fatal and caused by water entering the nasal passages. Would you enter the water? These people did:
In Morocco, more monkeys, this time with parents allowing kids to feed them.
A moment of serious thought to those who think it is is okay to feed wild animals. When you feed the monkeys, the squirrels and the wild cats, the animal learns that humans feed them. You may not be the one who gets bit, but it might be the next person without food to come upon the animal (often a child as they are small and less threatening to the animal) that gets bit.
In saying that, I think most of us think we are immune to danger at some point in our lives. What is the most dangerous thing you have done, that you now roll your eyes at and wonder why you thought you were immune to danger?
Except where noted, all photos ©Rhonda Albom 2011-2012. All rights Reserved.