Baghdad or Bust

Here at Gadling, we often have conversations revolving around where we want to travel next. As we run through our lists, inevitably the conversation will turn towards the opposite question. Where wouldn’t you go? The usually hot spots always get named: Iraq, Afghanistan and, of course, Houston in August. But the New York Times featured a group of travelers bold enough to travel to Iraq. And they’re not just a collection of kids who are too naïve to be scared or veterans who have seen danger zones before. Nope. They’re middle-aged and older American citizens with a zest for life and a desire to see the world.

Surprisingly, they found Iraq to be much safer than expected. In fact, they reported feeling completely safe while walking back to their hotel at night without a security escort. They often eschewed the security detail in order to make travel less restrictive.

Neither the tour provider nor insurance companies would provide travel insurance for such an adventure, which is why the travelers tended to be older and financially secure enough to deal with any complications. However, the biggest problems encountered were more nuisances than dangers, such as hours lost at checkpoints.

It sounds like an incredible trip and only strengthened my desire to travel to places that most people avoid. Besides, if people are too scared to go there, you don’t have to worry about being caught in a swarm of tourists. Which means shorter lines at the bathrooms!

So what is on my list of places that I wouldn’t visit? Nothing. I’ll travel anywhere. Well, except for Houston in August. Too damn humid.