Why are people so afraid to travel?

Old Mar 11th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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Why are people so afraid to travel?

I saw a TV news stories about how Japanese tourists are afraid to go to Las Vegas and American tourists are afraid to go to Europe. The news story said that some airlines may become bankrupt as the war progresses. Why are people scared?<BR><BR>My opinion is that the Iraqi military is not so strong and their jet fighters can only reach Saudi Arabia if they are not shot down first. Their missiles can only go a few hundred miles, even the illegal ones. So what's the danger.<BR><BR>If the danger is Al-Qaeda terrorists, they have been around for several years. That risk remains stable. Targets will continue to be targets for several years. Anyway, is someone in Chicago or Sydney any safer than if they went to Las Vegas or Vienna? They may be at higher risk staying home. In Japan, there is was a poison gas attack in the subway a few years ago.<BR><BR>I suppose it is just general fear, isn't it?
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 06:49 PM
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I live in New York which as you probably know, has been on orange alert since Sept. 11th, so for us traveling to Europe has no more risk than staying home. But I think what most people are afraid of is being stranded and away from family members during an emergency.We won't travel without our kids now, and I think a lot of people feel the same way.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 11:04 PM
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Hiroshi, I think your last comment was spot on. It's a general fear. We live in uncertain times. And that is when people cling to what is familiar to them - and what is more familiar than &quot;hearth and home&quot;?
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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Media plays a great role in peoples perception of safe travel. It is hard to say if the stories reflect only isolated newspaper accounts of media perception or the general feelings of a particular poplulation. Recently there have been enumerous threads on fodors to travel or not, friendliness of allies, etc. Overall from those I've read, those who are inclined not to travel seem to be more 1st time European travelers from the US and Canada, those leaving children behind, and those who are taking group tours who may loose substantial deposits. (Just my overall observation not a forgone conclusion).<BR>Many traveling did not experience WWII because we were born after and even the Korean conflict or Viet Nam may be before their time. The question becomes with Iraq, Iran, North Korea, and terrorism, will it ever be the tranquil place we'd like before we leave the perceived security of our home towns? I am sure those who went to the towers in NY on 9/11, thought they were relatively secure.<BR>I cannot remember who said it (there may be more than one) but basically it was the best way to understand the people of the world was to travel and see the people. Hopefully, we will still continue to travel.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 06:17 AM
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I live in Chicago - and my wife and I are planning a trip to France and Italy in May . We are not afraid of Terrorists, or war - at least not of personal danger(the thought of being stranded is not so great). I can't understand why Americans are afraid to travel, but it makes airfare an all time low(good for people who are not afraid). What I am afraid of is the Euro and Dollar currency Gap, and we are a little concerned about getting an icy reception from europeans in general. - I doubt we will see many other americans on our trip this spring.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 06:27 AM
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I just find it interestint that it is never once own country thats all that dangerous but the rest..<BR><BR>just from going on other boards you get the picture.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 01:52 PM
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Hiroshi - I had a wonderful trip planned to Rome, Florence, Venice and Paris. I am going to reschedule it. Not out of fear but as one of the other posts said, not wanting to be away from family if something does happen.<BR><BR>I was in Paris during 9/11 and I know what it feels like to be stranded in another country. It was my first trip to Europe and I went alone. We had heard rumors from other Americans that we would be there at least 3 additional weeks. It's just not something I want to have to go through again.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 02:25 PM
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Very interestingly, I just signed up for a 2 week study course in Europe for September, the non-profit group who coordinates the programs sent me the most wonderful email newsletter. <BR>y friend, at this moment, sometimes it seems we are surrounded by bad news. The kind of news that makes you want to cover your head with your warm comforter and stay in the place you find most familiar. But, keep in mind that hiding from what happens in the world means that you cannot help change it. It is important for all of us to remember that every time we get on that plane to go to another country, every time we travel with the intention to learn another language and another culture, we do effect change, positive change, both within ourselves and within those we encounter on our travels. We are goodwill ambassadors when we do this and representatives, not only for the countries in which we were born, but of the majority of the human race who believe that all differences can be overcome peacefully and that the world can be changed for the better one person at a time. <BR><BR>That pretty much summed it up for me. <BR>I am going unless I physically *knock on wood** Can't
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 02:36 PM
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Thyra: I TOTALLY agree with you!!! My husband and I, along with another couple still plan to go to the South of France the last wk of May and 1st week of June. If we get stranded so what. Can't think of another place, I would rather be!!!! As far, as running into rude people. As you say, we are goodwill ambassdores for our Country. This will be a good chance to prove that all Americans are ill-mannered! Cheers!
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 02:44 PM
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My husband and I are going to Amsterdam in April. We were in Paris during 9/11 and went to Rome after that. We were lucky that we did not get stranded. I guess it is general fear, the uncertainty of war and what's going to happen that is scaring most people. <BR><BR>Thyra, thanks for sharing the email newsletter. I also whole-heartedly agree with its sentiment!
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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I doubt if I would go to france right now. Will chance almost anywhere else, but the French are not very friendly under the best of circumstances, and look at Americans as uncivilized, to say the least. When we were there, we got the grand shuffle in hotels, witness cabs stolen from little old ladies, various shouting matches between folks on the street, shoving and pushing, inability to understand in any the fairness of the 'queue&quot;, etc. And they will not speak English to you, even if they know it. So why not go to England instead. They, at least, are our allies,and stand by us.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 03:27 PM
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Aurelia -<BR><BR>I'm sorry to hear your negative impressions of France; how long ago were you there, and what cities did you visit?<BR><BR>I'm curious because in my three trips to France in the last four years, I've experienced none of the sorts of things which you describe. If one was going to generalize (which I try not to do), I would have to say that people in the big US city in which I live are far more agressive and &quot;rude&quot; than the French people I've encountered. They also were very gracious about attempting to speak English if they knew any, though I do try to speak their language first.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 03:34 PM
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Ack - unclear syntax in that last couple of sentaces! Big-city Americans more rude than French in my experience; French people gracious about speaking English for me.<BR><BR>I often wonder how most Americans would respond to a French/German/Spanish tourist who approached them and began asking for something in their native language. My guess is with far less courtesy than Americans are granted when they do the same thing while traveling in other countries.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 03:47 PM
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I was also in PAris for Sept 11...I found the people there generous and supportive...I am Canadian, and I do speak french but found they recognized my Quebec Accent (lived in QC where I learned my french) and quickly flipped to English to accomodate me. I found the people of Paris and France to be wonderful...I'm sorry you had a bad experience there...my husband and I are going to be in Paris from April 25-30 and short of a Cdn gov't warning we are going no matter what!<BR><BR>Jamie
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 04:27 PM
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Just as a side note, I just returned from a trip to the UK and Paris two weeks ago and experienced a great deal more anti-US government feelings in the UK then in Paris.. but please note the distinction.. anti- US government.. NOT anti people.. I am sorry to hear you had a bad experience in France.. I have been travelling to France for over 25 years (speaking varying degrees of French) and have yet to encounter 1 instance of the famed French &quot;attitude&quot;... I get a lot worse from shop keepers in Beverly Hills....oh boy!
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 04:50 PM
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People's fears are not always in proportion to actual risks.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 06:28 PM
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I'm leaving for France on April 4, returning April 17, come hell or high water. I'm not in the normal category of visitors, as I have a house there I need to tend to and this year in particular I've got EDF and France Telecom issues to deal with - cables dug under the road up to my house and road work not finished in the aftermath. But, OK, I've got issues to deal with in France and actual French people to deal with to get these things done. Does anyone think I'll not get this stuff done because of Bush's stance on the war in Iraq? If so, you're nuts. My plumber will come and my electrician will come and all my workmen will come and we will get the job done. We probably won't even discuss politics and if we do it will be spirited but not acid.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 09:01 PM
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It's the press, folks. Notice how the <BR>Elizabeth Smart case that happily resoved in her return eclipsed WAR???<BR>The President warned us a few days after 9/11 the solution would take months if not years.This particular terrorist problem has been with us since the mid 80's.(Pan am,<BR>Mr. Klinghoffer, the slaughters at the Rome airport shortly after, and more recently the US Embassies bombed in Africa and slaughter at Luxor, Egypt, Bali etc.<BR>Read, educate yourselves. The &quot;bad guys&quot; are not powerful enough to be everywhere and their plan is to stop commerce and ruin our economy, so live on and keep the power!
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 09:10 PM
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Thyra;<BR>I love your first post here. Very well written and I agree with you wholeheartedly. Hopefully this thread won't attract the attention of all the naysayers that have jumped on some of the other threads on Fodors.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 10:21 PM
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We are going to Italy-late May for 18 days and nothing will stop the trip.Would be good if USA bombed Iraq before we go!!!
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