On going camping in Iceland:
“Be careful! Don’t get hypothermia! That whole country is pure ice!”
—I think you mean Greenland. Iceland is fairly temperate, especially in August.
On going to Cancun, Mexico:
“Be careful! How will you even get around? Do you even speak Mexican?”
—In fact, I do speak Spanish, and so do Mexicans. I also speak English, and so do Mexicans working in very touristy resorts.
On going to Tanzania during the Ebola outbreak:
“Be careful! We don’t want you to catch ebola and come back and make us all sick!”
—You do realize that ebola actually is around 4,000 miles away from from me in Tanzania. In fact, you might be closer to it than I am in the Eastern US. You should be careful.
On going to Kenya after seeing the movie Captain Phillips:
“Be careful! Don’t get kidnapped by any pirates! They’re nearby, right?”
—Pirates typically operate at sea. Nairobi is nearly 300 miles away from any ocean. I think I’ll be safe.
“Be careful of elephants then. I hear they just roam the streets! You don’t want them to step on you!”
—You’re absolutely right, that is a TOTALLY valid concern! I’ll keep it in mind if I visit the zoo. Elephants don’t typically roam around cities the size of Chicago.
On going to Bangladesh:
“Be careful! We don’t want Al Qaida to try and recruit you!”
—Yeah… that’s on the other side of India.
“You mean where Slumdog Millionaire was from?”
—No, that IS India…
On going to Rwanda:
“Be careful! Are you sure you want to go there? What if you get caught up in the fighting? Don’t go anywhere near that hotel.”
—The Rwandan genocide ended over 20 years ago. It’s now one of the safest countries in Africa. I don’t think this will be an issue.
On going to Guatemala:
“Be careful! Don’t get caught transporting any drugs back here, the DEA will deport you!”
—Facepalm. That’s not at all how that works.
Bonus non-travel related irrational fears:
“Be careful! If you ever have a child without blue eyes, it will mean one of you was cheating!!” (side note, my husband and I both have blue eyes).
—Um, one of you? The only possibility here is that I was cheating. Also, why is this something that keeps coming up?
“Be careful! You know if you share chap stick with your sister, you can spread AIDS!”
—What? That is a very highly unlikely way to transmit HIV. Plus, it would also require one of us to already have it since HIV does not spontaneously grow on shared chap stick.