Traveling to the Dominican Republic, Traveling Here: Everywhere's Dangerous.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Traveling to the Dominican Republic, Traveling Here: Everywhere’s Dangerous.

June 19, 2019 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Travel/Leisure, Weekly Columns

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( Recently, the Dominican Republic has been making the news in the U.S. because of the deaths and violent incidents of several tourists. Normally, it’s the DR’s neighbor Haiti that makes the news and often it’s about storms, relief efforts and the mishandling on relief funds, so this is new. That said, there are several things to consider.

Assuming Everything Will Be Alright: Quit That

When it comes to tourism, there is always the likelihood that visitors will die or be injured. It’s similar to robbing a house or robbing someone, the robber—or the tourist—usually assumes that things will go off without a hitch and that they will be able to make a getaway.

No one really considers that the residents will air them out, that they will with some injury, or they won’t leave alive at all. I mean, they’ve done it numerous times in other locations and sometimes even this location and nothing has happened. Why now?

That’s the funny thing about luck. Eventually it’ll run out. You can be the safest driver on the road, you’ve never had an accident or a close call and you obey the laws. Then one day, you get T-boned. Tourists can always account for themselves and what they do. It’s the belief that “I’m here for business/pleasure, I adhere to the laws, so nothing will happen to me.”

Just like while driving where you have to consider everyone else might not fully obey the laws—it’s actually highly likely that someone will run a red light, speed, or jaywalk—you have to consider that there are Dominican residents who aren’t respecting the law fully. That can span from not adhering to health regulations with food preparations to getting robbed on the streets or rolled in sheets.

Honestly, it’s the roughly the same here in the States or anywhere. You have honest working folks and you have people who do dirt. The honest folks aren’t really out squaring up marks while people who do dirt are squaring you up as soon as you turn the corner. And that’s in your own city or in another state. In the DR or anywhere you might go to travel, you’re presumed to be a mark once you set foot on foreign soil—but you don’t have to be a mark.

It’s No Dangerous Than Traveling Here

As I mentioned above, getting got in the Dominican Republic or anywhere over the border or across the seas isn’t any different than traveling at home in U.S. The difference is that you know your city or your state. From outside observers the optics might be “Birmingham is extremely dangerous”—to use my hometown as an example—but for the people who live there, it’s often “just another day.” They’re able to navigate that city or that state with minimal incident.

Now go elsewhere in the South and it’s a different story. My siblings love to travel and one of their favorite cities is New Orleans. While they’re visitors, they’ve gone enough to know how to avoid street scams, how to carry themselves and what places are safe to go at what times. These are things that natives either know about already or don’t have to worry about.

Here, if a city is known to have high crime but it’s a tourist city, that’s not going to stop people from visiting the city. As a matter of fact, people just accept that Birmingham or Chicago or wherever are “oh, so dangerous”. Those cities make the news or the The First 48 but it doesn’t kill tourism at all. When it happens overseas, it’s an entirely different story.

That said, I’m more surprised the Dominican Republic is just now making the news. Several people have come out since the incidents with stories of how things happened to them or their loved ones. May the media is saying “Alright, it’s DR’s turn” after years of pointing at northern Mexico over the kidnapping of tourists. Who knows? What I do know is that, everywhere is dangerous to travel from dense urban cities, to flyover country, to the backwoods, to overseas.

A safe trip is dependent on making sure you stay in the tourist-friendly areas, knowing where your embassy, is, learning the area, and a nice amount of luck. Having healthy pockets never hurt either. Nothing like being broke and having two days left on vacation, right?

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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