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Safety is one of the most essential considerations during travelling. When discussing the issues involving travel safety, Gustav (2000) argued that travel safety is paramount, unless a person is embarking on an inevitably risky travel expedition, such as news coverage on war-torn regions. Recent developments on travel safety have been characterized by issuance of travel advisories, safety guidelines and travel warnings, resulting in Gustav (2000) posing a question as to whether the world is increasingly becoming a dangerous place to travel. On the other hand, Cliff (2003) argued that travelling is inevitable in the post-modern world, and governments and travel companies have reinforced their security and enhanced travel safety, especially after the September 9/11 attacks. Cliff further asserted that the world is increasingly becoming a safer place due to the tightened airport security policies and measures, and that the public are increasingly becoming aware of their safety and security during travel. These divergent views increase the complexity of the issue of travel safety, since it is difficult to ascertain whether the world is a dangerous place to travel or that people have to devise their own methods to ensure that they surpass the hazards associated with travelling. In addition, Lauvik (2008) claimed that travel is a multifaceted aspect, making it difficult to measure the degree of safety or hazards that one is likely to experience when travelling. From a personal standpoint, travelling is dangerous because of increasing cases associated with kidnapping and terrorism, exotic diseases, violence and travel accidents.
Eime (2012) believes that travelling is a passport to death and suicide; as a result, people should consider alternatives to travelling such as telecommuting. Eime discusses the most significant dangers associated with travelling and their corresponding risks and claimed that the most significant travel hazard is the case of accidents, which are messy and fatal. The probability of surviving an airplane crash is minimal although there is a less chance of its occurrence than of one during the ground travel. When emphasizing on the dangers associated with airline crashes, Eime (2012) reported that the official United States statistics point out a death rate of approximately 0.01 per billion passenger miles. In addition, location and carrier play a vital role in ensuring that one arrives at the destination safely. Gustav (2000) also claimed that accidents and crashes are evident at the ground level, although the chances of survival are relatively high than air travel. The risk of ground travel is attributed to poor road conditions, unfamiliarity with the local traffic rules, and ignorance for personal safety. Eime (2012) considers the minibus as the most dangerous means of travelling across the globe. Eime insists that public transport comprises mainly of unregulated vehicles that are managed by unregulated entrepreneurs, which in turn results in the increasing number of motor accidents. Eime stated that the minibuses are “metal caskets” (p. 5).
The second danger of travelling highlighted by Eime (2012) is the risk of exotic diseases that are likely to attack a naive traveler, which can inflict pain and death. In his book, Travel Safe - Travel Smart: a Comprehensive Guide to Travel Security, Lauvik (2008) reports that malaria, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Ebola virus, and tuberculosis, are some of the most common diseases that are likely to affect travelling people. Exotic diseases are also likely to be caused by unfavorable weather conditions; as a result, Gustav (2000) suggested that pre-travel precautions are paramount to counter such diseases. In addition, personal hygiene and conducting a little research on the potential outbreaks that may have hit the destination area will play an integral role in mitigating attacks associated with exotic diseases. Some of the pre-travel precautions suggested by Gustav (2000) include ensuring access to emergence phone numbers like the local police department, physicians and family members.
Eime (2012) asserted that kidnapping and terrorism are some of the real travelling hazards that are on the rise. Eime defined terrorism as “a form of political expression, whereby the perpetrators perceive it as a noble cause” (p. 5). Kidnapping is defined as “a criminal activity aimed at extracting money from the family or the employer” (p. 6). Eime (2012) claimed that United States citizens are the primary targets of terrorist activities, making them vulnerable to any terrorist activity within and outside the United States. Gustav (2000) also highlighted that cases of assault, suicide attacks, robbery and theft are other travel risks, especially when travelling to unfamiliar destinations. Eime (2012) pointed out that approximately 200 foreign travelers are subject to kidnappings, with only 10 percent being reported. Eime further claims that Columbia has the worst record of kidnappings, with reported statistics of at least 10 kidnappings on a daily basis. According to Gustav (2000), kidnappings pose a potential risk of death, especially at the beginning and in the end. This is because terrorists and kidnappers are usually tense, and are likely to conduct themselves irrationally. Gustav suggests that it is extremely vital for one to maintain calmness and alertness, and manage individual behavior. Travel safety is worsened by the fact that acts associated with terrorism and kidnappings including bombings and random shooting are unpredictable. Eime (2012) based on this assertion to conclude that the world is not a safe place for travel, and labeled travelling as a “passport to death” (p. 5). According to Gustav (2003), there is no apparent need to travel, this is because technological advancements has facilitated the monitoring of almost everything at the comfort of one’s home, which in turn results in significant saving of time and money.
On the other hand, Cliff (2003) argued that travelling is essential during these modern times; people do travel for various reasons including leisure, work, adventure, and family visitations. Cliff (2003) further insists that the onset of the September 11 attacks played a significant role in tightening travel security, as evident in airport security and checkpoints and other modes of travel. In addition, Cliff (2003) claimed that notable improvement has been noted in terms of public awareness in terms of public safety. The emphasis on national security and counter-terrorism has resulted in significant improvements regarding safe travel. Cliff (2003) further argued that safety during travel relies on personal efforts, and not the circumstances of the world. Therefore, travelers must ensure that they avoid unfamiliar places that make them vulnerable to travel hazards. This requires pre-travel planning before embarking on any journey.
As a concluding remark, it is arguably evident that travelling is a dangerous venture. The evidence presented in the paper is a clear indication that the world is not a safe place to travel. The authors claiming that travelling is dangerous cite the risk of exotic diseases, kidnappings, terrorism, and accidents. These assertions have been supported by evidence and statistics collected from studies to emphasized on the hazardous nature associated with travelling. Trends in travelling denote an increasing trend, implying that travelling is inevitable. Therefore, it is upon the individual to devise personal initiatives that can guarantee safety during travel, instead of relying merely on the established safety procedures. The underlying fact is that the world is not safe for travel due to the unpredictable nature of events associated with kidnappings, terrorism acts, accidents and assaults during travel. As Eime (2012) put it, “travelling is a passport to death” (p. 5).