Two ladies who I know only by sight were sitting in the lunch room during their morning break when I happened to come in to fill up my water bottle. They were looking at pictures of one lady's trip to Mexico or Costa Rica or Cuba (somewhere warm with Spanish-influenced architecture, for the sake of the story, I'm saying Mexico) and she was describing in great detail an area of her resort where there were games. The other lady kept saying 'wow' like she was rehearsing to be the next Sham-Wow sales(wo)man until she finally interjected to say that she'd be too scared to go. Having heard only part of the conversation, I assumed she meant on some ride or zipline or tequila drinking challenge. No, she meant she was too scared to go to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico!
I felt a lot of anger about the situation because it's obvious this woman believes what the media tells her about how unsafe the world is. After thinking about it though, I just felt incredible sadness for her. She will never know what it feels like to salsa dance with a young Cuban man, or listen to Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D- in a darken Gothic church while a bat flies above her, or jump off a dhow into calf-high water and stride towards the beach on Zanzibar with her bag on her head, or to watch one of the great games of soccer ever played on the world's tiniest TV with the receptionist at her Paris hostel, or to strike up a conversation on the S-Bahn with a little German child who wants her to know that he learned the English words 'witch' and 'Halloween' at school that day, or watch a thunderstorm in Venice and cry because she hasn't seen the ocean in five weeks and she's missed it, or to spend a rainy day in Clifton singing songs with a group of locals she's just met because they were also avoiding the rain by sitting in a pub.
It's such a beautiful world out there filled with beautiful people and beautiful experiences. It is a shame that this woman will never see it because her idea of adventure is a gated, all-inclusive resort in Mexico.