What makes a country too dangerous to travel to?

Last Updated on November 10, 2019


In September 2015 I set off on a solo adventure to India, one of the countries I had only dreamed about going to.  I was excited to experience the chaos, see the sights and taste the food.  There was just one thing that made me nervous to go…

I knew in my heart, I would be fine, but it seemed everyone else around me did not think that at all.  I had messages the day before leading up to a couple of hours before I left telling me about the awful stories they had heard that happened to people whilst travelling there.  At one point it felt like I was preparing to go to a country that was in a middle of a war.  With everyone telling me that it isn’t safe for me to go, there were several hours where I doubted myself.  I completely lost all of my confidence and ended up rolling into a little ball of self-doubt.  It really shook me up.  Obviously I know what happens in India.  It’s all over the media:  rapes, murders, foreigners being harassed.  But, what makes a country so dangerous that you should re-think about going there?

After my India trip I thought about several countries that I would love to visit but I know everyone around me would be worried sick.  Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, the list could go on.  Have you ever heard of a good story from the media from any of those countries?  All the media focuses on is the shock factor and exaggerating stories to make a country seem dangerous.    If you ask most travel bloggers that have travelled to so-called ‘dangerous countries’, they will probably tell you it’s the complete opposite.


What makes a country too dangerous to travel to?

Your safety is the up most importance and of course you should always be vigilant when exploring a new country.  What I don’t want you to do is completely tick that country off your list because the media has told you that’s what you should do.  Just take Will from The Broke Backpacker.  He has explored one of the countries that are often negatively conceived in the media: Pakistan.  Will has claimed that Pakistan is one of the safest countries that he has travelled in and has never felt more welcome than when he visits there.  I felt the same about India.


What makes a country too dangerous to travel to?

After spending 6 weeks travelling around one of the most spiritual countries in the world, I realised this:  never judge a country before you have experienced it for yourself.  I had never felt more welcome than I did in India.  None of the other countries and cities from around the world has made me feel like I am part of their family and they had never even met me before.  I had families on trains give me food as they didn’t want me to starve, I had owners of hostels take me to some local spots because they were excited to have me in their city, I had people stare and smile from ear to ear and tell me they are excited that I had come to their country despite the negativity on the news.


What makes a country too dangerous to travel to?

There are bad people in the world, but never assume a whole nation is bad because of the actions of a small handful of people.

So to answer the question what makes a country dangerous?  In my eyes, I do not consider media in any part of this question.  I look at the facts, recommendations from my embassy and ask people who HAVE been to that country.  It’s kind of like asking someone who doesn’t like ice-cream where the best ice-cream shop is – you’re never going to get to the most honest and helpful answer.  Do your own research.  That’s where travel bloggers can be a huge help on your travels.  Some have travelled to those so-called ‘dangerous countries’ so ask them for advice!


I would love you to tell me below what countries you would love to visit that are perceived as dangerous below!

check out a tour if you dont want to travel alone


Disclaimer:  I am not simply telling you all countries are not dangerous.  You need to do your own research beyond the media to find that out.  Use your common sense; if a country is in the middle of a war, you probably shouldn’t visit there right now.


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The Comments

  • Tamara Elliott
    September 4, 2016

    Totally agree- it’s important to take precautions but sometimes things are blown out of proportion. I’d heard a few concerns about Bolivia and Colombia, but when I visited there I felt very safe!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Tamara Elliott
      September 6, 2016

      Thanks for reading. That’s exactly how I felt about India!

  • Evan Kristine
    September 4, 2016

    Media is really a cruel thing when it comes to this kind of situations. Everybody believes everything what they read, see and hear from other people. I personally believe that fear should never be a reason not to be somewhere but you’re right, personal safety should ALWAYS be the most important concern. However, what is living without risk?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Evan Kristine
      September 6, 2016

      Totally agree! Thanks for reading 🙂

  • Bernard Tan
    September 5, 2016

    Awesome post! I have always heard others saying this country or that country is dangerous, but I believe most of the time is the perception, and its not because they have experience it themselves.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Bernard Tan
      September 6, 2016

      Yes definitely! I think if more people travelled to these countries their opinions would change quickly!

  • Carmen's Luxury Trvl (@carmensluxtrvl)
    September 5, 2016

    “There are bad people in the world, but never assume a whole nation is bad because of the actions of a small handful of people.” That is SO true! Love reading this and beautiful photos, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Carmen’s Luxury Trvl (@carmensluxtrvl)
      September 6, 2016

      Thanks for reading! I’m glad you agree 🙂

  • Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren
    September 5, 2016

    I so agree with everything you’re saying. More people need to hear this!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Lauren Meshkin @BonVoyageLauren
      September 6, 2016

      Thanks for reading 🙂

  • arzotravels
    September 6, 2016

    There is more than one aspect which makes me not want to visit a country at a certain time. But most of the time I still visit (though not alone maybe)

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > arzotravels
      September 6, 2016

      Yes exactly. If you feel a place might be dangerous then take someone with you 🙂

  • Vanessa
    September 7, 2016

    I think it’s ideal to do a mix of research in advance to be prepared but, like you said, wait to judge things for yourself

  • Jenn Coleman
    September 7, 2016

    Really really like this post, and it’s such an important issue to address especially in today’s day in age. We have a lot of people telling us places that we should or should not go, and trying to instill their fear into us as we look forward to our travels. I think your tips on checking with the embassies and talking to travellers that have already travelled to these places is huge. I think at the end of the day you can find violence and terror anywhere you go, but you can also find a beauty, love, and kindness. If you let fear limit your life, you will end up spending it on the couch.

  • Ryan Biddulph
    September 9, 2016

    Hi Anita,

    Excellent post!

    We left Istanbul last week after a month long trip there. Everybody told me it was a mistake because 6 days prior to the trip was the coup attempt and 3 weeks before the terrorist attack at the airport.

    No issues at all, and you’d never know in 10 million years this was the same place being destroyed by the news.

    We had a blast there!


  • Joanna
    September 24, 2016

    I actually never listen to others. Of course, I read about a country before I travel there and I am always vigilant, but from my experience people who tell you not to go somewhere, haven’t usually been to that country. A perfect example is my mum, who told me that ‘Cambodia is dangerous and I should never go there’. Well, we all know what the truth is.

  • The Barefoot Backpacker
    April 5, 2017

    My mother said exactly the same thing. Although she’s an intelligent and learned lady, I think sometimes she still thinks the world hasn’t moved on since the 1970s … She remembers what a place was like last time she heard of it, and Cambodia’s not a country that gets in the news that often these days! 🙂

  • John Peltier
    February 9, 2018

    I had the same experience with Haiti. I was very apprehensive sailing into the harbor there, but I was greeted by some of the most welcoming people I’ve ever met. They looked out for my safety and well-being and took me in as a friend. I’ve returned a couple times since then and it’s one of my favorite destinations.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > John Peltier
      February 13, 2018

      That’s amazing! It is always best to make your own assumptions about a country once you have actually visited 🙂