Visit these Countries at Your Own Risk

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Today’s post is a quick one to share something I came across that we can chat about. Although it’s not about preparedness entirely, it’s about travel safety, which is another one of my interests.

Australian YouTubers arrested in Iran

I did not see this report in mainstream media – this Australian couple visiting Iran got arrested a few weeks ago near the Iranian capital. They were detailing their adventures via Instagram and YouTube.  Some reports showed they camped near a military base. Their social media showed they shot drone footage – illegal in Iran and that is why they are in an Iranian jail.

According to an article from The Guardian, Australia (like the U.S.) has a warning about traveling in Iran:

The Australian government’s travel advice for Iran warns: “There is a risk that foreigners, including Australians, could be arbitrarily detained or arrested in Iran. We can’t guarantee consular access if you are detained or arrested. We also can’t guarantee access to legal representation.”

Why did they go there?

Reports indicated the couple set off in their travels to visit countries that have a bad rap and show it’s not what people think. This video shows more details and discussion.


Unfortunately, this has happened before – tourists who get in trouble visiting countries that are known to be dangerous. Last year, a D.C. couple were killed while bicycling around Tajikistan.

Travel Alerts versus Travel Warnings

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has travel alerts and travel warnings posted.

What’s the difference?

  • Travel Alerts are short-term such as natural disasters, terrorist event anniversaries, coups, high profile events, violence during elections etc.
  • Travel Warnings are long term – the country is deemed dangerous and unstable and the Travel Dept. urges Americans to avoid travel or consider the risk. Warnings are also issued then the U.S. government’s ability to help its citizens visiting the country due to embassy closure or reduction in staff.

Iran has a Level 4 Travel Warning – Do not travel. Tajikistan has a Level 2 – Exercise increased caution. Regardless of the level of warning, travelers need to be careful and not drop their guard.

They must be aware of laws wherever they travel, as ignorance is not an excuse.

Visit the Travel.State.Gov Travel Advisory page and look at various countries and their warnings. It’s very interesting.

I can understand if someone has to travel to dangerous places for work but for leisure, people should think twice before heading to a dangerous destination.

Have you heard this story? What do y’all think? Sound off in the comments.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay


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  1. If people want to be seen doing something radical, there are places in the United States that are too dangerous to walk in after dark, where gunfire is not uncommon and people feel trapped and in despair that they can ever live differently.

    If you’re going to do this sort of adventure tourism, why not do it in your own country and try to improve these places at home that need our attention? Here in the U.S. I have far more respect for a teacher who works in inner city Chicago or Los Angeles school than for someone with the money to travel abroad to places with travel advisories for sensationalism. Certainly, if a person voluntarily goes someplace overseas that has been under a warning, the military, politicians and taxpayers of their home country should not have to waste lives, time and money getting them back out. There is so much to be done in this country without going where you’re not wanted to make a sensation on YouTube.

    I grew up in East Los Angeles, watching TV from a quilt on the floor to avoid stray bullets from almost nightly drive by shootings. I thought everyone did that, and just accepted it was the luck of the draw if you lived past 18 without going to prison or having a child out of wedlock. If you were born poor and in that area, that was just your lot in life. A very brave pastor from an upper class white background decided to make a difference, and not only did I live past my teen years, I became a productive citizen with a college degree and a job. That pastor and his wife were willing to put themselves in danger every day to make a difference, and they didn’t need a passport to do it.

    I can assure you there’s just as much danger available at home for those who want that thrill, and getting even one child set on a different path, or helping one old person remain in their home safely, will be just as rewarding as any amount of up votes on YouTube.

    1. Hey Aunt Mary, So true, there are many places that are dangerous right here in the U.S. Thanks for sharing your insight- I appreciate your comment!

  2. I’ve been to Iran solo. Nothing but friendly people. Even walked out in the street late at night. I think if you use common sense and try not to camp near a military base or fly a drone, you should be fine. For example, you can get arrested flying a drone near the airport/military base ANYWHERE in the world. The ‘travel advisory’ from the US does include the countries they have either meddled with, invaded or plan to invade right?

    1. Hey Austin, Good to hear from someone who has visited, and had a successful visit. Common sense is key when traveling anywhere. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Go anywhere out side of the US is damn foolish. And sure in hell means Mexica. And that Includes Canada. You are under there laws and unlike all the illegals coming here you will not have any rights. Going to any Muslim country is so just damn stupide! There are many people and countries that hate Americans. And yes there a way to many very dangers places and cites in the US too. I have worked for a number of different defense companies any have always refused to take any job assignment out side of the US. Refused to go to the middle east several time. cost me a promotion one time. But that was cheap compared to what could have happened.

    1. Hi Old Guy, Interesting and makes sense even paid consultants for defense companies decline visiting these countries. Good to hear your perspective. Thanks for the comment!

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