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Photo’s taken, L to R: Kortrijk Belgium – Newport RI – Egypt – Berney Arms England – Aswan Egypt – Sierra Leone  – NY State and Shanghai Maglev China

Background: County Donegal coast , Rep. of Ireland

Searching for….. Routes Beyond

The Safety of Travel?

I am not reckless, but I am really concerned that we have perspective when deciding/worrying about travel.

  • Over 40,000 car accident deaths in the US alone. The drug crisis in the USA,  kills way more than that too.  Lets not thing Covid19
  • Danger overseas put in perspective:  The Economist in March 2018 reports that since Sandy Hook in 2012 there have been 240 school shootings in the USA, 108,100 suicides using guns and over 63,600 gun killings in the US.  The odds of you being caught up in a terrorist incident in a distant country are thankfully very small. 
  • We have now gone 14 years since a jet commercial airliner accident in the USA (until August 2023). That is a stunning achievement!   So next time you are sitting on the runway it is worth remembering that.     

Above: The Crown, an institution,  Belfast Northern Ireland

A Bit of Common Sense

Good manners, appropriate and respectful dress and showing interest go a long way.

You can reduce the chance of something bad happening simply:

  • By not getting involved in daft stuff, drugs etc and drinking to excess in unknown areas
  • By being smart. If in doubt – do not wander around after dark unless you have reliable advice
  • By driving late at night in unknown areas – not a great idea
  • In some places you need a Guide and / or car and driver

Oh, and lets not add to the growing list of tragedies caused by Selfie photography.

Review :

The US State Department maintains a very good web site detailing information about health, visas and security.


The US Depart of State has a vast library of current information that can be seen here and of use for all,

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a very informative web site on health in different countrieshttps://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries

I have been to quite a few of the countries where travel had Advisories.  I arranged and traveled accordingly.  The rewards of visiting places on these ‘Routes Beyond’ the normal trip is great, and your welcome greater.

Left Sierra Leone – taken just as the Ebola outbreak was contained

It Is A Wonderful World

Now  you might have to take my word for it….BUT the adjacent photograph was taken over the Mid West USA on 21 August 2017, around noon, and shows the Total Eclipse that happened that day.

It was not as dramatic at 35,000 feet as I expected but you can clearly see the darkened sky.

Open Minds

“With affordable global air travel, the internet and telecommunications,…..we are more connected than ever in the history of the world.  Yet it seems, that we are also more divided than ever before”.

It has always been there, but currently there is so much media coverage about race, tribes, our differences, religion,  that it is now ‘OK’ to be hostile to people not like us.

Left , Stone Town, Zanzibar

Open Hearts

“When traveling, I am often the minority, the visitor, the person lost, looking for help and so on.   So that openness to things different is a fundamental of travel and that quest for common ground is the key to progress.  Play your part by visiting places where folk are not like you and spread a bit of goodwill and eliminate resentment and suspicion if you can.

Left , Train trip in Java, Indonesia

My Perfect Day

and in a new town or city includes:

  • An early start, sort out local public transport options and tickets if there is one
  • Find a place for decent breakfast to observe commuters…I enjoy that nowadays!
  • Visit local museum of national or regional significance – often of course has military significance
  • Explore old town, or similar on foot.   Likely this includes the main station. The main hotel area.  Perhaps a Guided Walk.
  • Most places have a cathedral, church, temple or mosque which will expose more of the city; often they have coffee shops or volunteer events and you can get chatting to folk.
  • Choose what looks like an interesting suburb and head there
  • Time for food
  • In the evening find a sporting event if possible, or local show or theatre
  • A ‘swift one’ (that’s a drink in local pub).
  • Likely will have walked 10 miles – and so to bed.

Left , Merida, Mexico

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