Fausta’s advice: Do heed those travel warnings.

Yes, you’re adventurous, and yes, your bucket list includes driving the PanAmerican Highway, crossing Russia, and checking out the Angel Falls.

But you will do well to read the State Department’s travel alerts and warnings before you go travel abroad. Each country’s warning/alerts pages also link to additional information.

For instance, the Colombia travel warning starts by saying,

Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogota and Cartagena, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities.

Mexico’s travel warning has state-by-state details, and was updated on January 9. While the situation in some states is very dangerous, other areas are relatively safe.

The Venezuela travel warning is way more alarming, for good reason (since the country has the highest per-capita murder rate), and divides Caracas in yellow, orange, and red zones for all U.S. direct-hire personnel and their families assigned to U.S. Embassy in Caracas, who “are required to take an armored vehicle when traveling to/from Maiquetía Airport.” As a tourist (emphasis added),

U.S. citizens should be vigilant of their surroundings at all times and in all locations, especially when entering or exiting their homes, hotels, cars, garages, schools, and workplaces. Whenever possible, U.S. citizens should travel in groups of two or more persons; avoid wearing jewelry and carrying large sums of money or displaying cash, ATM/credit cards, mobile phones, or other valuables; and avoid walking at night in most areas of Venezuela or walking alone on beaches, historic ruins, and trails. Incidents of crime along inter-city roads, including carjacking and kidnapping, are common in Venezuela. Motorists should avoid traveling at night and always drive with their doors locked to deter potential robberies at traffic lights and on congested city streets.

Sadly, Monica Spear and her husband Henry Thomas Berry (who owned an adventure travel business) ignored these warnings.

Heed the warnings. It may save your life.

Fausta writes at Fausta’s blog on Latin America/US politics and culture.

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Olimometer 2.52

It’s Wednesday and January 2014 continues to be the worst month the Tip Jar has seen since I started using it toward the mortgage.

Yesterday the combined take from the since January 1st finally passed the goal for a single pay week.

As for this week, we are not even 22% of the way to a full paycheck on a Wednesday. and we are on the pace for our third consecutive shortfall.

Hopefully a late surge will change that, but it can only change with your help because if we fail to meet the weekly goal

Olimometer 2.52

Then the monthly goal and the Mortgage becomes in doubt. (don’t worry Fausta DaMagnificent Seven is always paid first.)

Now if we can get 57 1/4 more subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills the problem will be solved on a more permanent basis.

It won’t cover CPAC but it will do all the base bills and that’s what counts

Can you be one of them?