Risky places to visit

By | Category: Travel rumblings
San Francisco is projected to have a major earthquake yet doesn't appear on a list of places to avoid unlike Tokyo - also prone to earthquakes

San Francisco is projected to have a major earthquake yet doesn’t appear on a list of places to avoid unlike Tokyo – also prone to earthquakes

About twenty years ago, Thomas Cook analysed a typical holiday and whilst the theory was that people would find the whole experience enjoyable, there were several points of the holiday at which they felt nervous.

That nervousness could be reinforced by a new book called “Risk, All That Matters” as the authors list ten places you might not want to visit.  In truth though isn’t travel composed of risks ranging from the risk of losing your baggage or missing your flight to the risk of having your money or passport snatched?

Written by Clive Steeper (once a team manager for a motorsport team) and Sue Stockdale, (the first woman to ski to the magnetic north pole) the book is a series of summaries of how the two have coped with risk, run seminars about it and applied it with clients. It isn’t highbrow or academic in its approach but would the average Just about Travel reader pick it up? Probably not. Those that would might be readers who plan everything down to the n’th degree in the hope of never having anything go wrong on a holiday or a trip. In my experience, life is quite good at bowling googlies at you when you least expect it and hadn’t planned for it. But then this book might help you deal with that.

In the wake of the attack by terrorists on tourists visiting the Bardo Museum in Tunis, I wondered whether to even review this book. After all, how can you guard against terrorist attacks whcih, by the very nature are intended to be random? The answer is to use caution which the authors come back to time and time again but in none of the ten examples of places to visit is violence covered. The place where most murders happen on this planet isn’t listed nor where you might be mugged.

But since they talk about these ten places that you might wish to avoid should you? Some might. You might be surprised to learn that one such place is Tokyo-Yokohama in Japan which the authors claim is one of the “world’s riskiest cities, its 37 million inhabitants regularly face threats of floods, tsunami, earthquakes and monsoons”. But then San Francisco sits on a geological fault and that isn’t mentioned.

Las Vegas is listed, presumably to deter gambling addicts and the Dubai Mall which has over 1,200 shops in it. Is it risky because you might get lost or because you might overspend?  If you are allergic to bee stings then the authors suggest you avoid the Pinnacles National Park in California which has the highest known bee diversity of any place on Earth, Stay away from the Namaqua National Park in South Africa if you have pollen allergies because it has the world’s largest concentration of succulent plants. And staying away from Mount Everest or the Atacama Desert in Chile which is the driest place on Earth seems to make sense to me for obvious reasons. To others it heightens the appeal.

This list isn’t that of the riskiest places on earth not is it based on anything more than subjective judgement. In truth, I am not sure why it is included since sometimes it is just as risky to walk outside my house and down the lane when the ice and snow has compacted making it slippery. But then I grit outside and use caution and probably that sums up the theme of this book.  You cannot completely remove risk, just minimise it. And that applies when you holiday or travel as well. For those that don’t, make sure your travel insurance covers everything it possible can!

“Risk, All that Matters” by Steeper and Stockdale was first published in late February 2015 by John Murray Learning and is available from bookshops both online and those on the high street.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , ,