It is a very common thing nowadays for people young, old, a long time resident of the United States, or a recent immigrant to want to travel abroad. Schools encourage their students to study abroad everyday and most take the opportunity while they can. There is even a chance for jewish people at the age of 18 to travel to Israel for free by Ancestry. Though these statistics are considerably good for the younger culture today to venture out and learn more, there should be restrictions on where US citizens go.
There are countries in war, infamous for terrorists, or any threat to foreigners and we seem the most vulnerable in some situations. In various countries across the globe that Americans should not be permitted right now to travel to for the citizens own safety. Why should we blatantly encourage our citizens to travel to a country where the practicality of having the airplane shot dow, being abducted, held hostage, or even murdered is very high? These third world countries are going through their own problems and the risk to our citizens are.
As a young citizen, you want to feel safe going on a vacation abroad and be able to enjoy your time there. In 2016, the United states lifted the majority of restrictions on traveling to Cuba as our relationship is in the process of being restored. According to the United States Embassy, “Travel to Cuba for tourist activities remains prohibited by statute. The 12 categories of authorized travel to Cuba are: family visits; official business of the U. S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational ctivities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions. ” Showing that though you cannot go to Cuba to be solely a tourist, you are allowed to travel to that country if it is for the other 12 purposes.
The reason that the Embassy has not authorized tourists to travel to Cuba yet is due to the fact that the locals in this country might still be a threat. Due to terroristic acts in Turkey, the United States still has their warning up for citizens considering traveling there. “The U. S. Department of State continues to warn U. S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey. ” the headline states followed by,” U. S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country. Recently, even traveling to Somalia or Kenya have been announced as a warning, or even restriction to citizens . The United States government even blatantly stated that they cannot help individuals traveling to restricted countries due to the fact that there is a “lack of a functioning government, the ineffectiveness or policies of local authorities, conflict, or bad governance.
In many countries where the United States does not maintain diplomatic or consular relations, the U. S. government has no means to provide consular services to U. S. citizens.  Overall with these at high-risk countries, they are mainly for our own safety. It may not be appealing to some travel buffs opinions when they’re trying to visit places very few have, but it is for our own good at the time as the main cause for travel restrictions is conflict or terrorist threat. The government will go to an extent when protecting United States legal citizens abroad and sometimes just cannot do anything if that citizen goes against intense travel warnings. They even strongly urged in one of their files that Americans should not travel to such strict countries, such as North Korea .
Officials in North Korea are seen as gods and any sort of disrespect towards them leads to long term detainment if done so within the country as they will only show you what you want to see. The government even unleashed that North Korea might be using tourism money towards their nuclear weapons program (10, 8]. With that being said since the North Korean government is very paranoid of war, we would all most likely die due to the nuclear bombing. A nuclear war is quite possibly biggest fear for most U. S. citizens, however; there is very little options the United States officials can do if North Korea poses as even more of a threat.
More people are becoming interested in traveling to such dangerous places and then acting out in a way the government there does not like. The United States government is unable to protect us in those circumstances. Overall, travel bans in any country are a good idea and are rarely unreasonable. Leaving Cuba in the dark for years and now being able to immerse in the Cuban lifestyle has really opened eyes towards the public on travel bans. We should immerse ourselves in other countries and learn more about their culture when we go, but what some should consider is acting in ways that will be acceptable towards that culture.
In North Korea, even just as disrespecting the government or taking unauthorized photographs is seen as a felony. There is multiple events documented where citizens have been detained, or even murdered due to acting out in unacceptable ways. A student was officially detained for 15 years in a work camp in North Korea as of January, 2016 for trying to steal a political poster from the hotel. Also, there is multiple crimes committed by pirates of various countries towards U. S. citizens due to the area being a high crime risk place.
Rather than just strongly urging citizens to not enter that country, there should be a sort of ban for that time when it poses a high risk towards Americans. If you consider it this way, why should you visit a country the United States government has placed under high-danger warning? The United States does not want to impose their citizens at risk abroad in areas that they have no power in. Also, as a citizen of the United States of America, if you travel to a country with such strict regulations, or has a terrorist threat towards anybody there, you are putting yourself at risk towards unwanted events, or even death.
Not imposing that a person sho t flv domestic and never learn new things abroad, but there must be limits at times when there is immediate danger involved. There is plenty of countries that are not at high risk of terrorist attacks and commercial resorts provided for tourists to habituate in. Cuba, as an example has opened many doors for Americans wanting a taste for adventure. We recently discovered to our dismay that Cuba has not changed industrially since the start of the travel ban. Now, family members can reunite with each other after such a long time, and tourists who enter the country with a study group can do so.
There is so much we can now do in places that were once restricted for citizens and learning opportunities. During that time of the travel ban to Cuba, it was fairly reasonable as entering the country would lean towards questioning from officials and even detainment or risk or terroristic crime acts. We are not presumably liked in certain countries we visit due to where we are from and political standpoints and during that time of conflict, it is the wisest decision to stay away from the risk. With the travel bans being said and done, it doesn’t necessarily stop people wanting adventure from visiting.
The government should take more action rather than just having no commercial flights there directly from the states. The United States government can make the travel warnings even more stressed towards citizens before they visit. Customs check of where you’re flying to once there and will typically ask for security reasons of why you’re traveling there, or is that the only place you’re visiting. With that being said, officials can only warn you if you do visit the country to stay with groups and follow the criteria before entering the country in order to come out unscathed.
When citizens want to fly to a country that might be high in terroristic acts or with strict regimes, they should have to go through more criteria in order to enter that country and to be more educated once entering the country in order to stay out of harms way. Visiting a place known to be high in piracy crimes or terroristic acts upon foreigners should be strictly forbidden. These people will hold an individual hostage, and rob, kill, or rape them. In order to prevent these events abroad, individuals trying to travel to these places should be urged not to.
For now as mostly it is only warnings set out towards American citizens wishing to travel, there should be more of an emphasis posed for the people attempting to purchase ticketing. Traveling abroad brings a wide range of learning opportunities for those looking for adventure. As a big traveller myself, I love to learn about new cultures and be able to see the customs set globally. Each country, or area has a different standard to it, whether historywise or country-wise. It is no question as to why would any person want to visit the whole world, especially if theres a set mystery about it.
Traveling also seems quite easily accessible nowadays as there is community service programs, cheaper travel fees, study abroad programs within the higher education, and even accessible in some high schools. Venturing out internationally seems as simple as clicking a button now, and as long as you are a United States citizen who meets the legal criteria-that is. Though traveling is now easy and strongly encouraged for any person, warnings and restrictions are set out for a reason. Learning about the restricted countries can be accessed through official government websites.
But if we want more of a cultural standpoint, we can just heed from the individuals who were fortunate enough to journey there and go see it for ourselves when the warnings/restrictions have been lifted. Individuals looking for an educational opportunity, or just a fun time looking to travel to these countries should educate themselves about these places and their laws before entering. Education about the place you are traveling to prior to departure is crucial. There might be set means and customs you must go through before entering the country.
For example from my own experience, if you visit Fiji, you are not permitted to bring in any sort of edibles because it might contain bacteria, or diseases the plants in Fiji were never exposed to and could face a threat to their food source population. If you do so, they will either throw it away, or hold your edible in customs until you return to the airport for departure depending if it is package sealed or not. In North Korea, most technology we own is banned and cell phones will be government monitored the entire time of your visit.
For foreigners, being a cause to a legal offender is not what most people with the right intentions would look for. It is preferred by locals and government officials if you follow the criteria when entering the country and not acting out in any sort of culturally offensive ways. Traveling to warning places might be “okay,” but are not actually okay on a safety standpoint. We can get hurt, fined, or sent to prison if us foreigners act in unacceptable ways, or even just put yourself at risk by going to high threatening terrorist-like places.
Consider your options next time you’re planning out your vacation trip and remember to keep updated with the media or government when it comes to traveling abroad. Some places might be in the clear, while others are not the best to visit during this time politically, or due to intense weather conditions. These can lead to multiple questioning, or files in order to return back to place of legal residency. Remember that travel bans of unsafe countries, or intense warnings are set out for a reason and if they are in conflict, there is not an exact chance of returning unscathed.