Interesting article on the most dangerous countries in the world… How many have we visited?

A turtle we spotted in a pond in Zarcera, Costa Rica.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Bottlebrush flowers blooming in the yard.

Business Insider online magazine/newspaper published an article this past June listing the 20 most dangerous countries for tourists in the world. I hadn’t stumbled across this story until this morning while reading the news on my phone when I awakened way too early to get up.

Information of this type is of considerable interest to us, and I was surprised we missed this particular article. Both of us are often on the lookout for information related to travel.

In May 2013, this boat came alongside our ship in the Gulf of Aden when two mercenaries boarded the vessel with “black boxes” and stayed on board for three days and nights protecting our ship from pirates. Here’s the link to that story with more photos.

Here’s the list of Business Insider 20 most dangerous countries from the least dangerous (#20) to the most dangerous (#1). We’ve been to those marked in red. More details may be found in the actual article listed here.
20.  The Republic of Congo
19.  Thailand (6 weeks)
18.  Jamaica
17.  South Africa (3 months)
16.  Guatemala
15.  Chad
14.  Bangladesh
13.  Mali
12.  Lebanon
11. the Philippines
10.  Ukraine
 9.   Honduras (cruise tour)
 8.   Kenya (3 months)
 7.   Egypt (cruise tour)
 6.   Venezuela
 5.   Nigeria
 4.   Pakistan
 3.   El Salvador
 2.   Yemen
 1.   Columbia (cruise tour)

The chaos in the streets in Egypt was comparable to what we’ve seen in movies. Often these types of areas are targets of attacks.

Although cruise tours may seem safer, and in many ways, they may be, we’ve often read stories of cruise passengers under attack at shopping centers, restaurants, public transportation, and on tour buses. 

As for the above listed six out of 20 which we visited and lived in, there is only one, South Africa, which we’ll visit (in this case a second time), where we’ll be living for many months beginning in February 2018. 

Not all areas of South Africa and these other countries are dangerous. Many remote locations have lower incidences of crime and terrorism. But, most tourists, generally staying only a short period, tend to prefer to visit the larger cities, where most crimes occur.

The stone wall at the property in Kenya not only inspired the goats to stop by to say hello but had broken bottle glass set into the mortar at the top of the wall to keep intruders out.  Here’s the link for this photo.

With primarily non-English speaking news on TV where we’ve lived over these past years, we can easily miss such an article as the above. However, whenever we begin research for future travels, we first investigate the political climate and crime rates and search the US Department of State Travel warnings.

Many of our readers have contacted us stating that they are in the process of changing their lives to travel the world and often ask us for advice and suggestions, which we’re always happy to provide. 

In many ways, our site is intended to be of assistance to both short and long-term travelers and those who’ve traveled in the past and dream of traveling in the future. 

Then, of course, we have those loyal readers who don’t necessarily care about traveling but enjoy seeing our photos and reading about what life is like “living in the world.” (We appreciate all of you, regardless of your motivation to visit us here).

We can’t stress more the importance of doing your research for those travelers considering future travel. And, as we all so well know, there isn’t any country in the world that is entirely safe, including our homeland, wherever that may be.

If seeing the Pyramids in Egypt is on your “bucket list,” you may decide to trade that dream for another, safer location. When we visited the Pyramids in 2013, even then, it was listed as unsafe and has become more so over the years. Without a doubt, we realized the risk when booking the cruise, which was further confirmed when we had a security guard on our bus with an Uzi in a holster beneath his black Hugo Boss suit coat.

Mohamed, our security guard, stayed with us the entire time we toured the pyramids. Here’s the link to that story with more photos.

Once we arrived at the pyramids, we felt fortunate when the above security guard, Mohamed, had taken a liking to us and suggested we stay close to him during the trek to the pyramids and back. 

We’d heard stories of horrifying tourist experiences at the pyramids but felt safer going on the cruise ship’s arranged tour, which many cruise passengers have experienced. Although, as mentioned above, these tours still may pose a serious risk.  

It was scorching and dusty. We wore our breathable and insect-resistant Africa clothing during this tour and others.  Here’s the link to this photo.

Please be careful when arranging private tours through local tour companies in any of the above countries. Reading reviews and doing extensive research is a must. Failure to do so may greatly increase the likelihood of danger, with many unscrupulous operators taking advantage of tourists.

We continue to strive to be safe and realize that we’ve taken certain risks in some cases. As the world becomes more and more dangerous, we’re seriously thinking twice before planning to visit many countries throughout the world. 

Our continuing goal to stay in more remote locations continues to provide us with a layer of safety that generally provides us with peace of mind. Only you can decide how much you’re willing to risk your safety to “step outside the box” in your world travels.

In each of our lives, wherever we may live or visit, we all have the opportunity to reach for our interpretation of “stepping outside the box,” whether it’s reading a book of a genre we’re never tried, tasting a new food we’ve previously avoided or in making the first step to meet someone new.

May your day present you with opportunities to try something new!

Photo from one year ago, September 25, 2016:

Private outdoor massage area at neighbor’s Piia and Thomas’ home in Sumbersari Bali, often used when a massage therapist visits the house several times a week. For more photos of this beautiful home, please click here.