Travel to hostile countries.

triggrhappy94

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I was reading an article about a Korean-American tour guide getting arrested in North Korea for the alleged crime "trying to topple the government." When one of the people in the comments posed an interesting question that I couldn't really answer.

The article with the comments is here:http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/01/18007161-north-korea-sentences-detained-american-to-15-years-hard-labor#comments
It's not important for the discussion, though.

The comment asked: Why do people travel to countries they know are hostile to their home country when there's so many other places in the world? The rest of the comment is dumb, misinformed and can be forgotten. But I couldn't think of a good answer for it.

So, why do people, or why would you, want to travel to a country where there is a risk of getting arrested on false charges?
 

SomeLameStuff

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Maybe because of the excitement? People do all kinds of things they're not supposed to for the adrenaline rush. This is another one of them.
 

StBishop

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They weigh the risk and reward and obviously think the risk is worth it.

I'm sure the case for many people is they think there's no risk (they don't think about it from the perspective you presented).

As far as travel to hostile countries, it applies to anywhere dangerous. I am genuinely too afraid for my safety to travel to the US. The idea that random [footnote]see: untrained, who don't require it to protect me ie. military/law-enforcement/security personel.[/footnote] people can have guns terrifies me.
 

McMullen

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Sometimes your chosen career demands it, or what you care about is more important to you than the risk. An acquaintance of mine did her fieldwork in rural Afghanistan recently. I was not so long ago considering visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo until I realized that not only was the town I was planning to work out of recently vacated by rebels, but my field site was where the rebels had retreated to. Even still I'm thinking of going to a place where tourists have been kidnapped before.

I think that the reality is that while there are more opportunities to lose your life to bad decisions, the risk is still not that much worse than wandering around in certain places in the US.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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McMullen said:
I think that the reality is that while there are more opportunities to lose your life to bad decisions, the risk is still not that much worse than wandering around in certain places in the US.
I always find it funny when people say that. Most of the "ghettos" in the US are nicer than the majority of cities in Russia. Then again, I guess there's a reason Russians are considered the scariest white people.

StBishop said:
I am genuinely too afraid for my safety to travel to the US. The idea that random [footnote]see: untrained, who don't require it to protect me ie. military/law-enforcement/security personel.[/footnote] people can have guns terrifies me.
Are you also afraid of going to China because you might get "Kung Fu'ed" on the street?
 

Cowabungaa

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Dirty Hipsters said:
McMullen said:
I think that the reality is that while there are more opportunities to lose your life to bad decisions, the risk is still not that much worse than wandering around in certain places in the US.
I always find it funny when people say that. Most of the "ghettos" in the US are nicer than the majority of cities in Russia. Then again, I guess there's a reason Russians are considered the scariest white people.
On the other hand I found it funny in a way (read: but probably not representative) that the only time the Top Gear crew was in any real danger was when they traveled through the US' South. And that says something (read: not that much of course) given the fact that they did an Iraq special.

But of course that all pales in comparison with North Korea. I can get why people want to go there though. It truly is a fascinating country in a macabre way. One of the most alien places one can visit. Sometimes I can still barely believe it exists, it's like 1984 come to life.
 

Bug MuIdoon

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Dirty Hipsters said:
I always find it funny when people say that. Most of the "ghettos" in the US are nicer than the majority of cities in Russia. Then again, I guess there's a reason Russians are considered the scariest white people.
I spent 2 months traveling Russia, east to west, and it really wasn't scary at all. Alien, yes, but not scary. I'd highly recommend visiting.

Israel wasn't as bad as I imagined either.
 

Nightfall2021

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The news articles I keep reading about this guy keeps blatantly describing him as Christian. Probably means he went there as a missionary.

If that is true, he was arrested for breaking the law. Just like most of the Americans that keep getting arrested over there. North Korea has "freedom of religion" but I guess it has to be government sanctioned.

In all honesty, while it sucks that people are suffering because of their faith, missionaries that go to countries like this to spread their word in defiance of the local law or culture ... are frankly wrong.

I have lived in the Middle East for almost three years now, and while raised christian (non practicing now) I do not infringe or disrespect the locals that live here. They have their faith, and I have mine.

I will tell you this. It is nice to not have people trying to convert you all the time though. No flyers, people on street corners or knocking at your door to spread the word.
 

Boris Goodenough

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Nightfall2021 said:
It is nice to not have people trying to convert you all the time though. No flyers, people on street corners or knocking at your door to spread the word.
When I was in Israel I saw a fair few Hasidic jews trying to convert non-Hasidic looking jews, they completely avoided my family and I lol.
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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While I acknowledge that it is very paranoid i have a list of countries that I do not want to go to for various reasons, but now that I think about it it would be easier to say the countries I am comfortable going to, which are the US(home), UK, Japan, and Canada. Certain obvious ones are either hostile or dangerous, but others are just not interesting to me, other than the most obvious tourist destinations. I don't get going to hostile countries either, then again i would file it under the dangerous thrill seeking that i don't get in general. Although any one who has to go to areas like that for work I hope they are always safe.
 

Branovices

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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
While I acknowledge that it is very paranoid i have a list of countries that I do not want to go to for various reasons, but now that I think about it it would be easier to say the countries I am comfortable going to, which are the US(home), UK, Japan, and Canada. Certain obvious ones are either hostile or dangerous, but others are just not interesting to me, other than the most obvious tourist destinations. I don't get going to hostile countries either, then again i would file it under the dangerous thrill seeking that i don't get in general. Although any one who has to go to areas like that for work I hope they are always safe.
That's a pretty small list. What frightens you so much about the rest of Western Europe or Scandinavia, for that matter? They cleared up that whole viking problem ages ago.
 

rutger5000

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Dirty Hipsters said:
McMullen said:
I think that the reality is that while there are more opportunities to lose your life to bad decisions, the risk is still not that much worse than wandering around in certain places in the US.
I always find it funny when people say that. Most of the "ghettos" in the US are nicer than the majority of cities in Russia. Then again, I guess there's a reason Russians are considered the scariest white people.

StBishop said:
I am genuinely too afraid for my safety to travel to the US. The idea that random [footnote]see: untrained, who don't require it to protect me ie. military/law-enforcement/security personel.[/footnote] people can have guns terrifies me.
Are you also afraid of going to China because you might get "Kung Fu'ed" on the street?
I don't want to turn this into a whole pro/anti gun debate. But there's a huge difference in people being able to attack you because they went through years of disiplined training to learn an art that requires a calm mind and self control, and people people being to attack you because they've got a tool that any drunken/deranged/psychotic/etc etc etc fool could use. One can actual pose a danger to you without being provoked, and the other is much more likely to leave you alone. I let you figure out which is which.
 

Rob Robson

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triggrhappy94 said:
So, why do people, or why would you, want to travel to a country where there is a risk of getting arrested on false charges?
Well, I was told that this guy in particular, was farming photos of emaciated kids to use in his illicit charity brochures. Anyone capable of that kind of ethics probably wasn't arrested on false charges.

Branovices said:
Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
While I acknowledge that it is very paranoid i have a list of countries that I do not want to go to for various reasons, but now that I think about it it would be easier to say the countries I am comfortable going to, which are the US(home), UK, Japan, and Canada. Certain obvious ones are either hostile or dangerous, but others are just not interesting to me, other than the most obvious tourist destinations. I don't get going to hostile countries either, then again i would file it under the dangerous thrill seeking that i don't get in general. Although any one who has to go to areas like that for work I hope they are always safe.
That's a pretty small list. What frightens you so much about the rest of Western Europe or Scandinavia, for that matter? They cleared up that whole viking problem ages ago.
I found that slightly incredible as well. All of the Scandinavian countries outrank USA and UK on the Human Development Index, there are no places you can visit on the entire planet that will be safer. Or more fair if you do somehow get into trouble.

Hell, the only American I know who visited Norway stayed here permanently, and is now owning a successful chiropractic practice here.
 

Salad Is Murder

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Rob Robson said:
triggrhappy94 said:
So, why do people, or why would you, want to travel to a country where there is a risk of getting arrested on false charges?
Well, I was told that this guy in particular, was farming photos of emaciated kids to use in his illicit charity brochures. Anyone capable of that kind of ethics probably wasn't arrested on false charges.
I just want to go on record and say that I despise most if not all organized religions, but I will say this: people in North Korea are starving to death, malnutrition is widespread, there are reports of North Korea Is Best Korea begging neighboring countries for food and even rumors of cannibalism.

But I do know of a lot of religious charities that organize food aid and educational support for countries in need. If he's going to take pictures of starving, homeless children (from a country that is known to be hostile to foreign missionaries) to put on a pamphlet so that people can see what's going on and get them some help?

That's hero level game play. Sure, he might have been putting together bogus pamphlets to work a confidence scam on some grandmas, but I don't think that's the kind of thing you need to actually go to North Korea to pull off.

That's what interns are for.
 

Prime_Hunter_H01

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Rob Robson said:
Branovices said:
Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
While I acknowledge that it is very paranoid i have a list of countries that I do not want to go to for various reasons, but now that I think about it it would be easier to say the countries I am comfortable going to, which are the US(home), UK, Japan, and Canada. Certain obvious ones are either hostile or dangerous, but others are just not interesting to me, other than the most obvious tourist destinations. I don't get going to hostile countries either, then again i would file it under the dangerous thrill seeking that i don't get in general. Although any one who has to go to areas like that for work I hope they are always safe.
That's a pretty small list. What frightens you so much about the rest of Western Europe or Scandinavia, for that matter? They cleared up that whole viking problem ages ago.
I found that slightly incredible as well. All of the Scandinavian countries outrank USA and UK on the Human Development Index, there are no places you can visit on the entire planet that will be safer. Or more fair if you do somehow get into trouble.

Hell, the only American I know who visited Norway stayed here permanently, and is now owning a successful chiropractic practice here.
The fear list is the obvious ones, mostly the rest is just disinterest. UK is the easiest because of it being an English speaking country. Canada because, again English speaking and it is close in the relative sense of no ocean crossing. Stick to what is familiar. The odd ball of that list would be Japan, and that is because it has to be one of my favorite non western culture, historically, culturally, pop culturally. Also being one into technology and gaming, the US and Japan are the best places to be, while technology is fairly universal, well just look at all the other threads in Gaming Discussion about European releases. Its late so I am not in the best of mind, so count this as a foot in mouth for alienating the rest of Europe. There are plenty of other places that seem cool but I am afraid of external factors or my own actions getting me in to trouble. For instance I would also love to go to South Korea since they have a great gaming culture, but to my knowledge the biggest cities are in range of whatever the North is capable of. Its funny I would prefer to stay with the easy English speaking countries but then immediately want to go to the extra effort to be able to function in Japan, a sort of both extremes approach.
 

Albino Boo

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Prime_Hunter_H01 said:
The fear list is the obvious ones, mostly the rest is just disinterest. UK is the easiest because of it being an English speaking country. Canada because, again English speaking and it is close in the relative sense of no ocean crossing. Stick to what is familiar. The odd ball of that list would be Japan, and that is because it has to be one of my favorite non western culture, historically, culturally, pop culturally. Also being one into technology and gaming, the US and Japan are the best places to be, while technology is fairly universal, well just look at all the other threads in Gaming Discussion about European releases. Its late so I am not in the best of mind, so count this as a foot in mouth for alienating the rest of Europe. There are plenty of other places that seem cool but I am afraid of external factors or my own actions getting me in to trouble. For instance I would also love to go to South Korea since they have a great gaming culture, but to my knowledge the biggest cities are in range of whatever the North is capable of. Its funny I would prefer to stay with the easy English speaking countries but then immediately want to go to the extra effort to be able to function in Japan, a sort of both extremes approach.
My experiences of Norway and Sweden is that everyone speaks English and to be honest you fill find people easier to understand than most of the UK. the UK has some extreme accents that people from other parts of the country can't understand let alone someone the US.
 

Strazdas

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Dirty Hipsters said:
StBishop said:
I am genuinely too afraid for my safety to travel to the US. The idea that random [footnote]see: untrained, who don't require it to protect me ie. military/law-enforcement/security personel.[/footnote] people can have guns terrifies me.
Are you also afraid of going to China because you might get "Kung Fu'ed" on the street?
You know my most fond memory of US? a nice guy coming up to me and explaining why if i cross street X i will get shot. He may just very well saved my life. Now, would i get such fond memories in China?
 

SecondPrize

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I don't know why people choose to travel to 'hostile' countries for non work-related purposes. I've always figured that the State Department issues travel advisories and warnings for reasons other than wanting something to do.
 

RicoADF

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StBishop said:
They weigh the risk and reward and obviously think the risk is worth it.

I'm sure the case for many people is they think there's no risk (they don't think about it from the perspective you presented).

As far as travel to hostile countries, it applies to anywhere dangerous. I am genuinely too afraid for my safety to travel to the US. The idea that random. people can have guns terrifies me.
I hear that mate, I enjoyed visiting the states but I must say I've never been in a place that's felt so dangerous in my life, will go back again though as I wont let fear win.

Captcha: I'm blessed - why yes captcha, yes I am.
 

Thaluikhain

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RicoADF said:
I hear that mate, I enjoyed visiting the states but I must say I've never been in a place that's felt so dangerous in my life, will go back again though as I wont let fear win.
Out of interest are/were you in the ADF, and if so, what did you do?