Jean's picture

Is it safe to travel to ... ?

JB Journeys in the business of selling travel experiences to some familiar places and some off the beaten path. We get this question all the time. Is it safe?  The question covers lots of ground. Currently it's Zika. Previously it was ebola. The Paris attacks.

Obviously, we can't guarantee your safety, but we will give you as much information as exists, and let you make a decision with which you are comfortable.

I wonder how I would answer if someone from abroad asked if it were safe to travel in the US. Right now, I don't know how I'd respond. How could I explain to a foreigner what is going on in our country, when I don't understand it myself?

I don't get this second amendment bullshit. Read it. Out loud. Again. Anything in there that says you need a high powered weapon in your home? Anything that says that you should carry it with you everywhere you go, just in case someone needs killing? Does anyone really believe, that at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, if everyone there had had a gun on their person when the gunman attacked, that there would have been fewer deaths? At the holiday party in San Bernardino last year, if all the gunman's co-workers had guns, would fewer people have been shot? Don't care how long you argue or how loud, you won't convince me.

I grew up in New Jersey and remember stories of bodies found in the cranberry bogs after the spring thaw. Just watch the Sopranos and you know what I'm talking about. I have lived in Texas all of my adult life, where open carry of weapons is allowed even on school campuses. Like the University of Texas, site of one of the largest shootings on a campus.

So for foreign visitors coming to the US for holiday or business, will they think twice? Knowing the gun culture, would you be concerned about spending your vacation here?  If I were German, Thai, Sudanese, would I cancel or postpone my trip due to the terrible killings lately? Even the police are targets. Could I safely walk around New York City? Houston? San Francisco? Dallas?  Would I google 'whitest city in the USA' and plan my trip there, so I could avoid what appears to be racist problems? (this site really exists, and it's Portland)  Or would I spend my travel dollars elsewhere?