Thursday, 24 June 2010
On our recent trip to the Faroes, as we crossed London by tube to get to the airport, it suddenly occurred to me that this was probably the point when we were at most risk from thieves. After all, the Faroes has one of the lowest crime rates in the world.
London is familiar. I feel pretty comfortable there, but I sometimes wonder whether that familiarity makes me overlook the little dangers in a way I never would if I was in a city I didn't know so well. Am I lulled into a false sense of security, or am I genuinely better at judging the threats around me in a place I know well? I have no idea of the answer.
There's definitely some level of safe-feeling which comes from familiarity, but there are other (more rational) factors in play when I suddenly start wearing a money belt overseas.
It matters less if I'm a victim of theft in my own country: I don't carry much cash, my cards are easily cancelled, and documents can be quickly replaced. The police are also familiar to me, they speak my language, and I theirs (at least, I know how to get a crime reference number!). Most importantly, I worry about my passport when I'm in a foreign country, because without it I can't get home.
Proof that it's all subjective: at the airport waiting to fly home from Colorado last summer, I overheard some American travellers discussing the extra precautions they were taking for their trip to England - just as I was about to relax my security from "holiday mode" back to normal.
Do you take more care when you're somewhere unfamiliar? Even when it's completely irrational...? All your thoughts are welcome, of course, but I'd be particularly interested in the views of natural city-dwellers (just because I'm really not one!)
I'm in Greenland! I promise to catch up on comments, and come round and visit you all, just as soon as I get home. I'll try to keep in touch via Twitter and my Facebook page.