Now I can honestly say I have no experience with the title of this post. The most politically unstable situation I’ve been in was the 2010 G20 Summit right here in my hometown of Toronto. This topic popped into my head because of my plans to travel to Thailand. Listening to the news and catching up on current events over the last few months I read all about the government instability and corruption, protesting and public outcries in the face of marshal law. Without being on the ground in Bangkok I can’t very well make a call on public safety. Yet everything I’ve been seeing, reading and hearing has been fairly tame for the circumstances.
I think back only to Egypt in 2011 and following the overthrowing of Hosni Mubarak to see the violence, chaos and intensity that is caused in a country during revolution. To see photos from Thailand and it’s military posing with tourists and yes the curfew is worrisome but the day to day dangers aren’t causing me stress.
I remember a time when I was back in University. I thought I was young the world was ahead of me and I wanted to travel. I started planning and researching a trip I wanted to take to Venezuela. The country has always appealed to me. Caracas, Maricaibo and Angel Falls, seemed like just what I needed!
Unfortunately it was 2004 and Hugo Chavez was being recalled in an election. Stories of protests and military killings and general political unrest ran rampant. At first I thought, that wouldn’t happen in major tourist areas. I’m sure I’ll be safe as long as I avoid anything sketchy. But the more I read reviews from citizens and tourists I got spooked and when I saw that Canada had a travel warning in place I nixed the idea all together.
This set me back in my travel goals immensely and as I look back I think if I had’ve gone anyways it might have changed me at a pivotal time in my life. I could be a completely different person with a totally different life then I have now. We’ll never know what could have been but next time I think I’d rather be sorry then safe
I’d love to hear from anyone who had travelled among political unrest, how it effected you and what you learned!