It's a Dangerous Business, Frodo

Have Faith, Go Out of Your Door

Bilbo Baggins once said, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” referring to the unpredictability of what could happen to you at any point, especially if you leave your comfort zone.

If you’ve been watching the news at all lately, you will most likely have heard of some sort of disaster overseas, whether it be a plane crash, a kidnapping, a murder or uprising, or another kind of freak accident that hits hard. These kinds of stories get to me in a terrible way, because as a traveler, I know that I could have been in any of those places when these things have taken place. Perhaps not the more dangerous locations, I’m not going to voluntarily put myself in an area with high alert and instability. I do have a very real fear of flying, and plane disaster stories get to me the worst. But I am saddened and frustrated when I hear that these stories get to others in a way that makes them scared to even travel, to even “go out of their doors,” or to even support others who do.

Dangerous Business Frodo

Okay, you could walk outside your house right now and get hit by a crazy driver who decided to park on your sidewalk. Sorry if that scares you, too, but it’s true! Traveling is just as real as staying in your home town, it just presents a different set of danger factors than the ones that are present where you live.

Let’s put it into perspective. According to TheWeek.com (The Week Magazine), the odds of someone getting killed in a plane crash are 11 million to 1 as of July 2013. That should ease my fear of flying. I may be afraid to fly, but I still do it anyway, probably because of these odds. It seems silly to me that someone would overlook the odds of all these situations and just see danger, just see another reason not to support world travel or try it out for themselves. There are people who just don’t get it.

Sure, there are risks involved with world travel, just as there are risks when you get into your car to drive to work everyday (odds are 1 in just 5,000 that someone will be killed in a car crash – The Week). A different set of dangers doesn’t mean that the odds are higher that something will happen to you, just because you are traveling overseas.

I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you aren’t the one who needs persuading that traveling isn’t technically any more dangerous than staying home. But I also know that many of our friends and family are the ones who don’t see eye to eye with us on this subject. So let this be just a bit of encouragement if that’s you. And perhaps you can gently remind your friends or family that the dangers of travel are just as real as the dangers of staying home. And in the meantime, you’re gaining an experience that you couldn’t possibly achieve at home. What weighs more in your life?

I love the thought of going where the wind blows and being on an adventure that I couldn’t possibly experience at home. There is a certain extent to which we can protect ourselves while we travel, being safety smart, and not letting our guards down, but the rest, just as if we were at home, is simply out of our hands. We can take it on and add these experiences to our lives, or we can pass them up because they might be dangerous.

“You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to,” as Bilbo said. (Sorry, huge LOTR fan). Well, here’s to keeping your feet about you, and being swept away on an adventure, perhaps something unexpected. 😉