Travelling, particularly to the developing world, is scary. Below are just some of the things that I’m scared about and I don’t even get on a plane until October. I’m hoping this is therapeutic, I suspect it will just make things worse seeing it in black and white.
- Getting robbed. Every book, every website, every blog, every damn piece of travel-based media keeps on telling me that everywhere I go is dangerous as hell. Helpful tips include “don’t be white,” which as the world’s most Caucasian man is not particularly helpful. Horror stories vary from a simple pickpocketing, ranging through to the delightful Central American practice of kidnap, dragging you to every cashpoint in the vicinity, robbing you blind until your account is empty, then killing you for the trouble. Which leads me onto;
- Getting killed. Specifically by some ne’er do wells. The murder rate in Guatemala is 66 (Sixty-six!) times greater than that of London. Not going to lie here, London scares me. People get popped off here like the Made in Chelsea cast pop champagne corks. Making matters worse, only 2% of murders result in prosecution, let alone conviction. Basically, there are some not-so-lovely chaps in Guatemala who pretty much do what the fuck they want and there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily, before the murderers there is…
- Rabies. Zika. Dengue Fever. Malaria. Tick-borne encephalitis. Typhoid. Cholera. Polio. You name it, the rest of the world has it. And as a couple we consist of the world’s most delicious person to mosquitos (Sadie), and the world’s clumsiest, unluckiest idiot (ahem, me). I await the hospital scan telling me that I am only alive due to having all the diseases at once, cancelling each other out Mr Burns style.
- Thankfully, it may never get to the stage of vomiting my spleen out of my eyes. That’s because of the array of transport I will be taking around the bloody planet. Frankly, the price of some of these flights does not exactly fill me with confidence. And that’s before we even start on buses that get hijacked by gangsters, taxis that rob you blind, tuk-tuks driven by drunks, coaches on roads too narrow for the Hairy Bikers, trains designed by (and not funded since) the Empire and god knows what else we’re going to have to do to get around this bloody rock.
- Last but not least, it would be foolish to discount the likelihood of my short and ultimately unimportant existence being wiped out by an accident. I am somewhat accident-prone (see point 3). I once broke my toe in the Philippines because I was staring at a pig and kicked a rock. While cliff jumping in Tenerife, I hit the bottom of the sea when my friends didn’t even get close. I concussed myself playing football by climbing on somebody’s shoulders and falling onto my head. I recently ruined my back for a week or so getting some chicken out of the oven. Combine this level of sheer life-incompetence with cliff edges, riptides, zip lines and mountaintops and I’m pretty sure we’ve got a fool-proof recipe for disaster.
So yeah, I’m crapping my pants. Not even going to mention that we’re quitting out jobs and have no discernible income for the next two years. It’ll be fine. Right? Right? Anyone?