Even in some of the most dangerous countries, the odds of being involved in a crime, as a tourist, are low.
My home town of Baltimore is more dangerous than most tourist areas in Mexico as an example.
Don’t believe me?
Go read the statistics.
Most cities in Mexico made famous for violent drug crime are still safer than many cities in America even.
All that being said…
Crime does happen, and if you let your guard down and make yourself an easy target, you are at risk.
That’s what happened to Nomadic Matt.
What happend to Matt
Nomadic Matt is one of the biggest travel bloggers in the world.
He’s a very seasoned traveler.
But even a seasoned traveler makes mistakes.
While in Columbia, Matt Kepnes was walking out of a cafe.
He wasn’t paying attention and had his phone out in his hand.
I don’t want to spoil the whole story as his account of the events are the best place to learn about it.
(Link to the story at the bottom of the post.)
For those who don’t make it to the link I will say Matt is alive and well.
His injuries were not overly sever and will make a full recovery.
Although he will likely be left with a few small reminders of why it is important to stay vigilant.
Columbia is a beautiful country and I have many friends who speak highly of the country and what if has to offer tourists.
But this is a reminder to all in the travel community to stay safe.
The two most important tips for this are:
1. Don’t make yourself a target.
Keep a low profile by not flashing expensive merchandise around.
Leave the fancy watch at home.
Don’t go sporting expensive computers, phones, etc out in the open.
When out at night, don’t walk the streets alone.
Come to think of it, it’s probably best to not walk the streets alone at any time.
2. Stay vigilant.
Always stay aware of your surroundings.
Thieves look for easy targets.
They want someone who isn’t even aware of their presence.
Your gaze can often ward off a thief by letting them know you know they are around.
If you see something sketchy, stay away from it.
Cross the street if need be.
Events like this would never deter me from visiting a place and they shouldn’t deter you either.
Crime is unfortunately a fact of life.
The rewards of travel far outweigh the risks.
When you look at the statistics, your chances of being like Nomadic Matt in Columbia are very low.
If there were statistics for those travelling safely vs those who didn’t follow basic advice, you’d be shocked at how low of a statistic this is.
Travel far my friends.