Is it safe to travel to….? It’s a question we hear often from friends and family before we take off to our next adventure. Over the past couple of weeks, we have traveled to both Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois for celebrations. For Americans, those locations are not ‘exotic’ or ‘rare’ but it will help reiterate the point when I am asked “is it safe to…”
DALLAS & FORT WORTH
In Dallas and Fort Worth, we partied with Texans at the historic Ashton Depot after a beautiful and, one of my most memorable, wedding ceremony at the traditional southern baptist church, Broadway Baptist Church. This topped off a great weekend where we visited The Shady Oaks Club (home of arguably the greatest golfer ever Ben Hogan), saw a GIANT EYE in the heart of Dallas, and witnessed parkouring at The Fort Worth Water Gardens.
Our Chicago trip was focused on the baptism of our niece, Sloane Agapi. It was a unique celebration for me being the first time to witness a Greek Orthodox Baptism. About an hour long, the ceremony will stick with me mostly because of the way the physical baptism happens. Our niece was fully submerged in the water several times which of course was frightening to her (and some of the attendees) bringing about much crying for her and many laughs/smiles for the family and friends.
After the ceremony at St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church, we had a traditional Greek celebration with fine cuisine, music, and typical wedding-like reception interactions at the Grand Piazza inside the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fall. It is a fantastic spot to host events in the near west side of Chicago (this was our second time there).
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO?
I bring up these two trips because it made me think of whenever we plan trips to ‘exotic’ places in different parts of the world, friends and family always ask ‘is it safe there?’ as if the rest of the world is in some chaotic violent state. The timing of these two US trips was unique because Dallas was just coming off of the tragic killing of five Dallas Police officers and Chicago’s murder rates were continuing to grow. That said, no one asked us ‘if it was safe’ to go to either location.
The year prior, we had visited Los Angeles, and just a week after that trip there was a disgustingly tragic random murder on the streets of West Hollywood. We had walked these exact streets the week before and nearly the same time of day. Yes, we thought it was safe to travel to LA and it is.
I hate bringing up these horrific acts but I felt the need to point out that there is evil everywhere. And there is peace everywhere. Just because the media might point to a part of the world that might have segments of violence going on doesn’t necessarily mean that the entire country or region is under turmoil. As always, be smart and do your research before traveling. Understand where and where not to visit. Check out the World Peace Index to get a sense of the country you are considering to travel to. You will find that the United States of America is ranked 103 out of 163. Eye opener!
There is so much beauty out there to be discovered. Don’t let fear or ignorance hold you back from experiencing all that travel has to offer.
Traveled July, 2016