Remember when Hostel came out in 2006? Young college kids backpacking through Europe in hostels with their toenails being ripped off? Hostels are dangerous! Yeah, that's exactly what I thought. But looking back, what a damn fool I was because I've since stayed in quite a few hostels with anything but dangerous memories.
But that's the power (and danger) of media. My cousins in China believe the U.S. is quite dangerous now with all the gun violence. They were quite apprehensive to be frank before their first visit to the U.S. (but there's nothing like the thought of outlet shopping that erases any type of fear).
And before my trip to Zimbabwe? Colleagues and friends warned me to "be careful." Little did I know, I was treated with the highest levels of hospitality upon my arrival. And the Middle East? My friend showed me how easy it was to hitch a ride in Palestine because everyone is family. There is no negative stigma about hitchhiking because if a person on the road needs a ride, you just stop and give your "brother or sister" a ride. #mindblown
In a world overrun by information overload and so-called fake news, it's even more important for us to take a step back and not judge a book solely by its cover. Dive in and experience it for yourself before making any judgments and maybe...just maybe, the world will be a safer place.