Travel Quote: “No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be”

From Chuck Thompson’s excellent To Hellholes and Back: Bribes, Lies, and the Art of Extreme Tourism:

If there’s one lesson I’ve prized from my years of travel it’s this: no place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be. Government bureaucrats are more concerned with covering their asses by issuing ludicrous “warning” than with disseminating accurate situation reports. And our “news media” – if you want to call information largely regurgitated from self-interested corporate and government sources “news” — operates pretty much like your one crazy drunk friend, the guy who has a hysterical public reaction to even the smallest events, and gets in a tizzy over every opinion whether he agrees with it or not.


Founding Editor
  1. I can’t tell you how much flak I got for when I wanted to travel to Mexico City.

    Everyone was down my throat about how dangerous it was.

    To some I started asking them, “when was the last time you were there?” That shup them up.

    To others (closer friends), i told them that of course I take my safety seriously, and just like any city- there will be crime. I know that. I need to be careful. I’m not going to run around dark alleys shouting- I’m an American- hear me roar” .

    The other thing was, b/c of my family background, I could blend in fairly easily: i.e. I’m not a white w/ blond hair.

    Most everyones concern was b/c of what they hear from the news media, where legitimately speaking there are many problems along the border states.

  2. There is a lot of truth in the saying. You have to do your own research on the place you are visiting and learn about the place, its history, language, culture and so on.

  3. We agree with mixer m. We still get asked “Why Mexico?” every year before we go. The media has a lot to do with why some people are afraid to travel. So to answer the “Why Mexico?” question, we always say… Have you been there?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's Make Sure You're Human ... * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Subscribe to Our 'Under the Radar' Newsletter
If you love travel, you're gonna love this!