Updated from 2016
Why travel and how to stay safe? Actually very few countries are safe, you can get shot or blown up in almost any country and even in relatively safe countries like New Zealand, many foreign drivers die in road accidents through their own negligence.
With the spread of terrorism, some people are becoming afraid just to go to work let alone travel. The violence the Middle East continues to escalate with recent attacks in Paris, Egypt and Turkey as Europe struggles to maintain law and order due to the influx of refugees.
Therefore, wherever you go in the world your own safety must be a priority. This means you must choose your destination wisely with the understanding that there is nowhere that is 100% safe. For the moment, popular destinations in southern Europe and the Western Mediterranean are relatively safe as is Morocco.
Avoid Turkey - A coup attempt on July 15th 2016 has given the government great powers and Sharia Law is in place. Women have no rights.
Avoid France - a new attack in Nice on July 15th kills over 80. See on social media or your TV news.
Avoid the USA, you could be shot or robbed. Sweden At Breaking Point: police have made an urgent plea for citizens to assist them in solving serious crimes amid a spike in violence. Express News
Wherever you go it's good to be mindful that the world is at war and who is fighting who often seems as clear as mud. So if you see an isolated package or piece of luggage, give it a wide berth and advise someone in authority. To further protect yourself, avoid crowded places and trust your instincts. If you have a sudden urge to leave a place, just go.
Attacks as we have seen tend to occur around transportation, markets and other gathering places. They also happen in popular hotels, so to avoid putting yourself at risk, try taking the road less travelled instead of travelling as a tourist, become a traveller and get to know the locals.
The United States issued a travel alert aimed at those thinking of visiting Europe, warning them of the risk of potential terrorist attacks “throughout” the continent. France is still operating under a state of emergency following the attacks. It will soon host the European football championship, the world’s third-biggest sporting event after the World Cup and the Olympics. Few doubt that terror groups have a beady eye on the event—least of all France itself, which is deploying 90,000 police, soldiers and security guards to watch over the tournament." ~ The Economist
New data shows that hotel activity in Paris dropped twelve percent in January 2016, largely due to the November 2015 terrorist attacks. But occupancies in France’s countryside have increased. ~ CCTV
Due to extremism, train, bus and airline passengers, and those entering many public buildings must expect an unpredictable mix of security layers that include hand carry inspection, trace detection measures for drugs and explosives including advanced imaging technology and canine inspection. If any passenger refuses the full-body scan, regulations call for enhanced head to toe pat down procedures and if security staff are suspicious, internal body cavity inspections may be carried out. Note that baggy or loose clothing often draws extra scrutiny from security personnel.
However, Islamic pressure groups are pressing hard to prevent any screening or pat downs of Islamists and if security staff are Muslim, they may let fellow Muslims pass unchecked - so watch who you travel with.
With the influx of refugees into Europe, rape has become an epidemic. But even veiled Muslim women are not safe, they stay home at night and are careful where they go by day. "Sweden and Denmark have the most sexual assaults in the EU" The Independent.
The Zika virus is spread by bites of infected mosquitoes in the Aedes genus that typically bites during the day. This mosquito also carries dengue fever which is far more deadly and is also spreading in the tropical regions. While it can be particularly dangerous to fetuses and newborns, it is not generally dangerous to children or adults. Learn more.
Tickets and boarding passes
As you travel, besides your passport these are your most important documents and you must take good care of them during your journey. But in this information age some tickets and most airline boarding passes contain a bar code with all your personal information loaded onto it. Therefore if someone else gets their hands on it, they have access to your name, address, phone, email and any other personal data that you have supplied to the ticketing agent. So once you have used these documents, you really need to dispose of them carefully because your information can be used by thieves and hackers.
The vulnerability of women
In the new Europe, gangs of unsocialized refugees and migrants often roam the streets and the new game that is spreading across Europe is known as Taharrush. Translated, Taharrush means rape game.
This game has been going on all over Europe for several years but the media and the authorities have not been speaking publicly about it for fear of offending the sensitivity of these volatile perpetrators. Women who have been victims are even being ignored by the police and other authorities because the activity and subject is too difficult.
The real safety is in numbers, if you are in a party of six or eight people, and if you remain as a collective then you can probably deter similar numbers of attackers.
Taharrush is a game where a gang of generally young men will surround and accost mostly younger women. They have a preference for pretty girls and initially they may be very nice but if they have the opportunity, they will completely surround their victim then rob, molest and sometimes rape her.
These young men are getting more organised, initially one of two may make a conversation and when the girl is comfortable enough to walk with them, they will organise their friends to meet up. Once a girl is surrounded, passers-by are not going to take much notice of a group of boys standing around so this can happen in almost any public space.
Once a girl is isolated from public view, these young men do whatever they like from robbery and molestation to gang rape and leaving the victims lying naked on the street. In areas where there are large groups of these young men, girls are not safe even when boyfriends are present because they are likely to be beaten up, robbed and even raped as well.
They surround the victim in circles. The men in the inner circle are the ones who physically abuse the woman, the next circle are the spectators, while the mission of the third circle is to distract and divert attention to what's going on.
If there is enough men, the woman is dragged along by the mob, while the men take turns ripping her clothes off, grope her, and inserting fingers in her various body orifices.
Taharrush is noted in Egypt as a kind of "lighter sexual abuse or gang rape" and occurred during the Egyptian Revolution (The Arab Spring) of 2011 in the unrest at the Tahrir Square, where Egyptian women and in some cases foreign journalists were surrounded by groups of men, often having been touched with sexual intent and partly undressed, stripped naked and gang raped." Speisa.com
To travel safely and even to enjoy your life, you need to understand that we live in a world descending into global conflict. When looking at the world from an enlightened perspective one can see that we live in a world where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroyed knowledge, the press destroys information, religion destroys morality and the banks are destroying the economy.
This time to think about your life and the world you live in. Travelling to some far-off destination can be restful and rewarding, but it should also be meaningful otherwise you are just wasting your time. So instead of following the tourist trails, were not correct yourself a spiritual adventure?
Kidnappings in the Southern Philippines
"The local economy there is so heavily dependant on the kidnap business that it has become an engrained way of life. The profits are shared between corrupt officials and military commanders, religious leaders and tribal elders, distributed down to local villagers who provide food and cover, not to mention the foot-soldiers of Abu Sayyaf and their arms procurers.
The simple fact is that it is in nobody’s interest locally for these kidnappings to end when there are so many beneficiaries from the system,” said a security analyst. “There are millions being pumped into the local economy by this business.” ~ The Telegraph