So this was brought to my attention without the intention of writing about it, but it's still on my mind so here goes.
Just today I read a post about it. The other day I discussed it with my partner. The subject matter, travel alerts. On November 23rd, 2015 the U.S issued a worldwide travel alert set to expire on February 26th, 2016, surely inspired by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.
Let me start this by saying I believe there is a place for these notices, and to some degree these alerts are grounded in sincerity, but I ultimately don't buy it.
Let me explain.
I find it interesting that we receive travel alerts about certain places and not others. Places that would be detrimental for Americans to travel to, as some experts would advise. I'm aware of journalists, bloggers, artists and countless others who have been imprisoned or worse killed in certain regions. It's a sad reality of flawed ideology that perpetuates such acts but that's another discussion.
From my position these alerts seem to be biased. I invite you to hear me out. I did a recent search down the list of travel alerts. This is what I found..
What I found intriguing is that many of these alerts include the usual culprits. Countries in the Middle East, Africa, North Korea, you know the "evil doers" of this world. Yet Paris was absent from the list, even though a horrendous act had just occurred.
On the State departments website there's a function to search by country. I gave it a whirl. I was trying to find one country in specific, "refine by destination" it read, I typed "United States" I got nothing.
Nothing, really? No travel alerts for travel within the U.S?
I went to the internet brain called Google and typed 'U.S domestic travel alerts". I got a lot of articles hinting at the worldwide travel alert issued, and other links that lead to no concrete information.
At this very moment you can likely turn on CNN, MSNBC, or FOX (pretty much any US based news station) and hear about mass shootings, murders, police brutality happening around the country. One might come to the assumption that our country seems to be a pretty dangerous place. Such a place might warrant an alert or at minimum an advisory.
Now lets revisit the list above. On the list you'll see a country on the list called Burundi. I don't mean to be condescending but it's likely a large portion of U.S citizens could not even locate Burundi on a map. Why would there be such an alert on a place so obscure? Sure there might be violence in Burundi, but, is it any worse then what's occurring in our country?
Why don't we receive travel alerts domestically?
There are cities in our county that might garner a travel alert, places like Chicago, IL. The city that has seen 365 murders to date. There have been more deaths in Chicago at this very moment than there are calendar days in the year, and were not even finished with 2015. It's gotten so bad the city goes by an unofficial title of "Chi-raq".
You would think that stats like these would go beyond just an alert, maybe a cease to travel alert. That's not the case.
Is this convenient?
See from within our place of comfort here in the U.S, we can look at the other parts of this world and turn them into the "other". The "other" thing that is far too dangerous, reckless, scary for us to fathom. This fear mongering quells us just enough to forget about what's happening on our own soil.
What I'm trying to do with this article is give context. Please don't jump to assumptions about the world you've not seen. Sure expert advice can be helpful, but sometimes that same advice can be swayed and biased.
Ultimately you adhere to the advice you want to. I for one will continue to go into the world, without advice from the Department of State. We obviously don't see the world the same way.
For some additional context check out the articles below.
U.S Travel warning effects
Foreign Travel Warnings
Father, traveler, self trained creative, and spectator of life. The quest is to live a life intentionally, to construct a life of my choosing. I left the comfort of home at the age of nineteen and have been enjoying the Viaje as it unfolds ever since