5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 26, 2016 7:27 AM by mav RSS

Travel Fears

profchiara Alumni Steward Silver 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

I think back to more than 40 years ago when I first flew.  I was scared to death of the idea of flying -- and would under no circumstances get up during the flight since I was convinced it would increase the likelihood of disaster.  Since then, ever since I started flying 75-100,000 miles a year, I have come to love flying -- though not the flying experience.  I hate the TSA patdowns, multiple screenings, delays, cancelled flights, etc.  But I love flying.  I even imagine myself as a bird when the plane takes off and lands.

 

I came to these thoughts as I considered my recent travel plans.  I'd spent most of my years since age 34 travelling to Western Europe for research.  I was afraid of going places that seemed a little scary, or where there had been riots, terrorist threats, and so forth.  But I think all of us have come to know after the past 12 years that no place is entirely safe, and to live is to experience.

 

I went to Greece for the first time (before the riots and explosions) a year and a half ago.  It was mind opening (although not Athens, except for the Ledra).  That gave me the courage to explore more of the areas I wanted to know about so that I could teach better and write better.  Turkey was my next stop and most recently Egypt.  They have become the most wonderful experiences of my lifetime.  Now I'm off to Israel, and I'm no longer afraid.  While I would never go to a country in the midst of war, our chances of getting done in at home via cars or other things are probably far greater than while travelling.

 

My point is Carpe Diem, Seize The Day, Live!
ProfChiara

  • Re: Travel Fears
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Professor, I could not agree more!

     

    I was a regular passenger on Pan Am 103 and missed that fateful flight due to complications in DC.

     

    I was in the Frankfurt Airport the day before the bombing. Good friends were taken hostage at the same time in Lebanon and in Germany.

     

    I was often chauffeured around Europe in armored limousines when the Red Brigades were active, patted down in London during the IRA troubles, stopped on the Paris Autoroute when the Direct Action folks were active.

     

    I was certain that every hotel in which I stayed in Europe was bugged potentially so, so I assumed that any conversations were overheard or recorded or both. Paranoid?  Maybe so.  Safer? Definitely!

     

    The climate was and in one where you made sure of everything and everyone, and never complained that security took too long--on the contrary it was long enough.

     

    Being a smart traveler is rule number one for me and hopefully countless others.  Thanks for the reminder.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Travel Fears
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree also.   Travel really opens your mind and more accepting of other cultures.   Although I have never thought of myself as a bird!!!!  :-)      I fly around 185,000 miles a year on average and enjoy the experience for the most part.   Especially being in First/Business Class on the international flights.    I have never stopped going somewhere or refused to travel somewhere out of fear.   I just believe that when it's your time, it's your time.   My most interesting experiences were in Cambodia and Myanmar.  Without going into detail it was a "trying" time but I loved both countries and have been back several times to both.  I also had a very interesting 4 hours at Moscow's aiport trying to get through passport control due to my background in the Marine Corp.   I will say though that if you have any desires to travel to Syria in the future, which is a beautiful country full of history, that you will need to go there prior to going to Israel.   The one rule they have is that if you have an Israel stamp in your passport they will refuse you a visa.   I'm sure there are other countries (Iran, Iraq, etc. ) that have the same rule.   Just an FYI> 

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Travel Fears
      bradrimm Member
      Currently Being Moderated

      Almost every Arab country + Iran won't let you in with an Israeli stamp. I believe with the exception of Jordan, Turkey, Egypt. There are still safe passages to Egypt overland from Europe, but it's best to get the Israeli stamp on a separate piece of paper just in case. Unfortunately Israel faces these pressures in the region. In saying this Iranian immigration are very friendly to genuine tourists we write about this at sfiran.com blog, they are just concerned of espionage against their sovereignty (lessons from the past). I'm glad you're all writing about this wrongly placed fear, often reasons to travel there in the first place!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Travel Fears
        john_thai Platinum 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Many Arab countries have caught on to and dealt with the "Visa on a piece of paper" dodge. If you enter Israel on an inland crossing (rather than flying in) you will have an exit stamp from, say Egypt, on an Israeli border crossing. They will catch that and assume you've been to Israeli and bar entry even though there is no Israeli stamp in your passport.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Travel Fears
          mav Platinum
          Currently Being Moderated

             I have been to Israel { fascinating country} , had the visa on a piece of paper, and had  NO problems. I have been to the U.A.E. many times, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait  and Lebanon. Most of these countries I have been in  many times, especially Turkey. No problem.  I actually was in and out of Beirut 3 times after Israel and no problem. I will say be SURE to get the visa on a separate paper. My passport has NEVER been gone over so closly anywhere like it was in Lebanon. It was page by page, very carefully, not only on entry but on exit, all 3 times. 

             On another note it makes me very sad all the negativity and fear of the Muslim people. We have actually found  them to be the most welcoming and hospitable in the world. There are good and bad people everywhere, its not one group or another. Its individuals. Enjoy all your new adventures. You will find the perks in the Middle Eastern hotel rewards programs jaw dropping!  And the local people SO NICE!  Our favorite pastime is wandering, we meet  so many people and have found out its the people we remember the most and not the famous sights.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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