Navigating State Department Travel Warnings

Stay safe in this post Bin Laden world. There is sure to be some backlash; work on your Canadian accent ;-)

– A friend offers us some advice in light of recent events.

We’ve lived outside of the United States for almost 10 years, with more than four of them on this around-the-world journey. In that time, we’ve consumed our share of U.S. State Department travel warnings.

So what do those advisories mean to me? Do I pay attention to them? As an American traveling abroad, am I frightened?

I got to thinking about this because this morning I received a note from my mother suggesting that we be extra careful while we’re in Bali (making reference to the terrorist bombings in 2002 and 2005). She followed up with an article about the recent State Department travel warnings issued after the announcement of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

Ah, warnings. Mothers in general tend to worry about these things. My mother also happens to be a former diplomat. Considering all this, she’s usually exceptionally good about keeping travel safety concerns in perspective.

So when she asks me to be especially careful, I pay attention.

Navigating State Department Travel Warnings
Then there are all those State Department travel warnings are regularly released – some general, some country specific. Do we pay attention to them?

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