Writing Off Countries Is A Bit Dramatic, Here’s Why

I’m so over the fear porn…

Fear is a profitable. The media knows this and that’s why they’re cashing in on it. How many articles have you seen where a tourist gets murdered, robbed, discriminated against, raped, scammed, etc. and most of the comments consist of people saying that they no longer want to visit said country because of said incident? There’s tons of them.

The irony to all of this is that some of those same people have traveled to places where all of these horrible things have happened (and sometimes at a much higher rate), yet they’ll recommend it to others.

Something that also grinds my gears is when I would inform someone that I’m traveling to x country, and they start bringing up something bad they heard on the news. I’ve gotten this from a couple people when I told them I was moving to Taiwan. I also had an opportunity to go to [South] Korea as well and to that, people were also sighing in relief when I chose Taiwan over South Korea. Folks were bringing up something Donald Trump said about Taiwan or something about Kim Jong-Un since they’ve been hot topics in international news. Meanwile, I’m a lot safer in Taiwan (and South Korea) than the United States according to the crime statistics and many South Koreans aren’t even bothered by North Korea’s threats; they’re more worried about societal pressures.

I’m not saying to not feel sorry for those victims and be oblivious to foreign affairs and travel to war zones. What I am saying is to not let fear control you. Focus on what you can control. To be honest all of things you fear about in other countries can happen to you in your place of residence. In fact, many of those things are happening at home; you’re just not paying attention or unaware due to lack of mainstream media coverage. If we were to think about all of the possibilities of something life threatening happening to us, then it would be best to just quarantine yourself in your home.

When it comes to the media, it’s very clear that there’s a method to their madness. They exaggerate the concerns of currrent events in other nations, yet turn blind eye to the tragic events going on at home. Propaganda is one helluva drug, and it’s a shame that many of us are passing on seeing some really cool places because of it.

If you really want to know what a country is like (outside of visiting there), talk to people who live/d there and/or traveled there. As you begin to talk to the general population of people from these “scary” countries, you begin to realize that people are just people. They just want to live happy, successful and peaceful lives. While the information obtained from the locals, foreign residents and short-term visitors may vary based on socioeconomic class, race, gender, and some other social labels, you’re more likely to get a more accurate answer than media reporters who’ve probably never been to these places. The truth will lie most likely lie somewhere in the middle.

In the end, experience trumps all.

Self-reflections, sports, travel, and social commentary that may come with a splash of contrarianism. Twitter & IG @_nicolecoop