I’ve been to some of the more dangerous places on this Earth, and each time, my friends and family sent me off with a warning and a plea to be careful.
No one ever warned me about Tuscany. Yet it was there—and not the slums in Haiti or the backstreets of the Congo—that I fell off a wall seven years ago, and narrowly escaped death. I shattered my feet and cracked my pelvis. Three others fell from that wall in the months before I did—I was the only one who lived.
I feel very safe when I travel. The more time I spend in the remote corners of the planet, the more I find that people are people, the food isn’t as scary as it looks, and that life kind of just goes on the same way there as it does here—wherever here is. That it was Tuscany, Italy, that almost did me in and not one of the places everyone’s always scared about amuses me tremendously.
It points to the fact that our fears are mostly a smokescreen. They’re unhelpful and they can blind us—and that applies no matter where we travel or even if we travel at all.