Monday, May 19, 2014

Fatalism May Be a Choice for Some, But I'll Choose Improvising, Adapting and Making Prudent Choices Any Day of the Week

Travelers have often asked me whether I truly believe that we really have no control over the outcome of events in our future. 

My response has always been an emphatic “no.” 

Many people believe that they have no control over what may happen to them during the course of a visit abroad.

I profoundly disagree.

As I have said so often in the past, "when we travel abroad, we are often in very short supply of validated information, simply because of our inability to field-test assumptions that we may make because everything we may know is being learned for the very first time." 

For clarification, let me give you an example.

In my native home of the US, most visitors to America have virtually no expectation of how long a "walk" illumination light actually lasts, until you've actually learned through experience what the expectation is, particularly if you've never visited the US before.

Many first-time visitors to the US quickly learn that that in the fast-paced tempo in America, new arrivals learn very quickly that the "white" walk light for pedestrians actually lasts only for a few seconds, at which point it promptly turns to "orange," where pedestrians quickly realize that they have less than thirteen seconds to cross the street before impatient drivers descend upon them.

If anything, first-time visitors learn immediately that motorists in the US are accorded much more respect than are pedestrians.

For many of us, our religious beliefs often mold our perceptions that we have no control over what will happen to us tomorrow. At the same time, I firmly believe that the choices we make now can and do change the outcome of events today and tomorrow and later in life.

From personal experience, I can assure you that by adapting, improvising and making prudent choices on issues directly effecting your personal security awareness will undoubtedly keep you alive and safe.

For instance, I do know that travelers who drink excessively become crime victims or get involved in risky situations far more often than do those who drink moderately or not at all. 

Similarly, we know from experience that foreign travelers who venture out late at night, particularly alone, who are seemingly oblivious to their risk exposure, also are more inclined to become crime victims.

Particularly abroad, always be prudent, improvise, adapt and above all else, choose wisely.