Today I read the tragic story of a family poisoned at an upscale resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. This was the result of illegal pesticides used to kill bugs. The father has emerged from a coma but his two sons remain in critical condition.
There is inherent risk in traveling. Danger and precarious situations are the backdrop for many of my interesting travel stories. Pushing the envelope by visiting dodgy places off the beaten path allows me to escape the Prison of Posh. By doing so, I assume and understand the perils of my reckless behavior so if something was to happen to me, I would have no one to blame but myself.
But an event like above is one that can’t be anticipated and should never happen. How can a family go for a relaxing vacation for spring break and end up being airlifted to a hospital? In 2012 two girls died after staying in a hostel in Vietnam. This mystery remains unsolved though pesticide ingestion is suspected. Similar deaths have occurred in Chiang Mai and Koh Phi Phi.
I recall an unsanitary hostel I stayed at in Koh Phi Phi. I woke up the next day noticing that my forearm had ballooned as a result of an insect bite. After sending a pic to my dad and he concluding that it wasn’t life threatening, I decided that saving a few baht wasn’t worth the risk of staying at garbage places.
In the present case, the family was at an upscale resort in the US no less and today two boys are now fighting for their lives.
I wish there was a lesson to be learned from these horrific stories but ultimately no matter where we go, US or abroad, and no matter where we stay, upscale or hostel, we can do little to minimize the risk caused by the negligence of others.