Real and Perceived Danger
Heather Markel, Writer, Speaker, Photographer, Traveler, Business Strategist
I’ve just seen a news article about the shooting at a mall in El Paso, Texas, and it’s gotten me thinking about danger. I’ve been traveling for a year and a half in places unknown, in countries with terrible reputations and my poor mother is worried about me every day. Why? Because it’s dangerous – there is danger lurking in every corner. In Colombia, I might have seen gangs with guns and drug dealers. In Buenos Aires, someone on a motorcycle was supposed to steal the cell phone out of my hand. In Peru, I might have been kidnapped. And yet, ironically, we think America is safer? In my year and a half of travel, the only consistent news stories about danger that I’ve seen are gun shootings. All of them have been in America.
As I think about all this danger and violence in the world, I realize something. Danger, itself, is an industry. It’s a very lucrative business when you come right down to it, one that governments can profit from, as much as individuals. I’m not saying they are, but think about it. People are willing to pay for safety. Sidenote – I recently learned you can actually buy kidnapping insurance! It doesn’t help you avoid kidnapping, it gets you a person to help ask for your return.
“Danger may be a business, and safety may be a perception.”
Think about this – if a city has a dangerous reputation, you may, or you may not, go. If you do go, and you do your research and learn about potential dangers, you’re going to be more willing to pay for an expensive hotel, maybe a bodyguard, certainly taxis or tour companies that have a good reputation for safety. The threat of danger will make you invest more resources into the local economy to prevent being in danger.