“Remember something, just because it's in print doesn't mean it's the Gospel. People write negative things because they feel that's what sells. Good news to them doesn't sell.” – Michael Jackson

What does the King of Pop have to do with traveling? Well, other then that he visited more cities in his lifetime than you and I combined. Or that he's internationally recognized in every culture throughout the world. Or that I've heard his music playing in literally ever country I've ever been…

I'm featuring a quote today by the late international pop star Michael Jackson because it reminds me of a reaction I get from non-travelers every time I mention a new country I'm about to visit. And that reaction is, “Isn't it dangerous there? I saw in the news…”

The media doesn't just write negative things about celebrities – they also sensationalize the dangers of traveling overseas. Why? Because like Michael Jackson says, “Good news to them doesn't sell.”

But the unfortunate reality is that it's more dangerous in parts of the USA today than it is in most 3rd world countries. It's just that the reputation of some countries are stuck in the 80s and 90s. Colombia is still known for its cocaine drug lords instead of its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and affordable cost of living for expats. And when people hear Nicaragua, some still think about the country's history of political unrest instead of its growing economy, year round tropical weather, and convenient proximity to the USA.

I don't mean to pick on either of those countries, both of which I encourage you to visit, but when was the last time you read something good about either place in the news? It seems that mainstream media only wants to focus on anecdotal stories of kidnappings, robberies, and government controversy so that you'll spend your vacation dollars domestically instead.

“Remember something, just because it's in print doesn't mean it's the Gospel.” And that goes for your next travel destination too. Read travel blogs from people who have actually been. Join expat groups on Facebook and get the facts straight from the source. Talk to your travel friends and get the true story. (You can join my Facebook group Paul's Travel Friends if you'd like.)

It's true that some places are terribly dangerous and I wouldn't recommend visiting, but don't believe everything you read. Including this blog post!