Here and There with Current Affairs- Your GTG’s guide to why we should keep up with the news
Hi there Globetrotters and welcome to our latest edition of the GTG. With the (relatively) volatile state of the world at the moment, it may feel like setting off on adventure has become a little more risky. Your GTG will always argue that being well-informed is the key to keeping out of any trouble as much as possible. This time around, your GTG explores the role of news media in helping you get your information.
Know you’re heading to a dangerous place
Most people would know visiting North Korea comes with a certain amount of inherent risk. For some this is the exact reason to be attracted to visit. In the case of Australian student Alek Sigley, a visit to North Korea resulted in being detained. Now while your GTG may not been keen to give North Korea a 5 star rating or review, the aim isn’t to discourage people from visiting. Here a look into Sigley’s experience. can reveal the simple things that drew attention and one can remain alert but not alarmed.
Know if you are supporting a side in a local conflict
Visitors to Bangkok during the Red Shirt protests or to Paris during the recent Yellow Vest movement will undoubtedly have sensed something going on. Trouble is, if the protest is against a government, you might not be getting the full story in what’s happening. Without knowing what the conflict is all about one can end up supporting either side of a conflict without meaning to. In some cases, even using the internet to check your usual news sources from home may be restricted so always good to do a quick bit of a search along with your packing and planning.
Natural disasters will happen
Earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, all have the potential to interrupt your trip and more significantly put you and the locals at risk. The other side of this is that if an event has just happened somewhere, it may be a strain on much needed resources for you to go ahead with your visit so it could be really difficult for a community to host you at that time. Keeping one eye on the news may on the one hand warn us if such events are expected and on the other hand give us a handy hint to visit another time or be prepared to help with the clean up.
Look, let’s face it, sometimes particular topics can be controversial depending on the audience. If I was to visit the UK right now, I’d be very careful before mentioning Brexit. Those poor people have enough on their plate. The point here is that discussing some things can be upsetting, even traumatising for locals and leave you with a frosty reception, which is generally not what we aim to get out of a trip. If there is something we want to talk about, keeping up with the news can at least give us some context of the impact on people’s lives.
Some changes may apply directly to you
Your GTG was absolutely disgusted to see it formalised that people were/are prevented from travelling to particular places based on their religion or country of origin. Nevertheless, that’s exactly what happened in the USA since the election of Donald Trump. This kind of arbitrary decision-making can occur from time to time and some us us can find ourselves on the receiving end of discrimination that can inhibit our freedom to travel as we like. News of this kind does travel fast but again it pays to be informed.
At the end of the day, your GTG could go on about the news till the Australian Government finally decides to act on climate change and energy policy but the main point is that you might not even know how useful knowing the news can be until it unexpectedly gets you out of some sort of trouble. Til next time!