As an Australian, it is funny to see how foreigners view us.

But it is hilarious when some people actually believe certain information as truth because of ‘what they hear’, or even because of what their Government travel advisories tell them about the so-called ‘dangers’, or things to look out for when traveling in the Great Southern Land.

As a Aussie who travels A LOT, I have had my fair share of interesting conversations with Americans, Canadians and Brits most recently about why they would never come to Australia, basically…because they don’t want to die!

Are they for real?

Any traveler is aware of any possible dangers that they may face in venturing into a new place. As a foreigner anywhere, you always need to be on guard. But choosing not to visit a place because you are guaranteed to die? Seriously?

I will accept that it is a long flight to our shores. But its only 13 hours from LA and 24 hours to London (though you can choose to extend a layover for a few days if you can’t handle it)…so if that is the only reason you aren’t traveling there then you are really doing yourself a dis-service.

But after reading an article called Hate crimes, poisonous insects, dodgy footpaths, strong drinks: What UK, US travel advisories say about Australia, about the dangers that are currently advised by foreign Governments, I have to wonder…are people really that stupid or just gullible to believe some of this stuff?

True, like any place there are dangers to traveling ANYWHERE! Even the smallest town can have a bad element. Hate crimes exist and are not restricted to just one place. It is unfortunately the world we live in.

Vacationing In Australia Will KILL You!

I understand the fear regarding our weather. Cyclones happen in the top parts of Australia, but they are no different than a Hurricane chugging along the East Coast of The United States. Floods too…though we usually get warnings of areas affected, so the only people caught up in these areas are usually locals. Dust storms-is this even something to fear? I’d like to see one of those! Bush fires can be a worry-for all of us! But are at their worst in country areas on extremely hot days-not so much in city areas where tourists will no doubt be at the closest beach on a 40 degree day.

The article also points out that UK residents specifically are informed that Aussie drinks are stronger than those over in the UK…ah, where is that bar? Because as a person who has sampled drinks in many countries I would have to say us Aussies get a standard alcohol limit (sometimes less!) on our bartender made drinks in comparison to London, with drinks so potent I couldn’t taste anything but the alcohol. Go to the USA, and the alcohol is flowing in comparison to anywhere else!

The US, funnily enough focus on our sidewalks (or footpaths), which they say are narrow. Come over to the UK guys and see some of the sidewalks over here. I have never seen such uneven, cracked, basically accidents waiting to happen in some parts of London than I ever encountered back home; so I hope such an advisory is put forth for Americans in the UK too.

As for our insects-this one I will stand behind as being true. Yes you can be eaten alive when swimming in a beach, especially in Western Australia these days (white pointer sharks); or stung by a Jellyfish (have the vinegar ready people); crocodiles in rivers may target you (but if you don’t read the signs plastered around these places, it’s your own damn fault!); poisonous insects and snakes may harm you-true, but usually the deadliest of these types are found in the bush, so if you are out walking it pays to keep a lookout and wear proper protection on your feet!

On a side note to this-as an Aussie, the insect folklore that I receive in conversations let’s say with Canadians is quite funny. I mean they come from places which have some pretty wild animals that can eat you alive…Black Bears being one. On one occasion I was given a list of all the insects/animals that put the fear into foreigners like Funnel-Web Spiders, or Crocodiles, or Sharks…the only place I have ever seen any of these is in a zoo. But ask anyone from the US and Canada how many of their wild animals -that can kill you- have they seen around their local area, and its little wonder we aren’t all petrified to head over there!

I have spent a large amount of time in the bush growing up, as well as the city and the suburbs. Although our house spiders look scary- Google Hunstman spider and you will freak out!…I do every time I see one! But they can’t hurt you. They just scare the bejesus out of you when its late at night and you’re driving home alone and one of them runs along the windscreen! (It’s happened many a time!) Or there are white-tails which can harm you, and those spiders we do kill when they appear inside-sometimes walking on the carpet very quickly! We call them ‘killers’ in my house…so we know exactly which spider it is that we have spotted for Dad to kill!

On the positive, many people think Kangaroos and Koalas are ‘so cute’. FYI these animals can kill you if provoked. Kangaroos have a tail and Koalas have sharp claws. Are you sure you are fearing the right animals?

Australia Is A Beautiful Country

Australia is a beautiful country. It has amazing beaches, scenery, bushland great for hiking, food, shopping and sport to name just a fraction of it all. Why anyone thinks they could die visiting there is incomprehensible to me. No matter what country you visit there is always an Aussie around, usually over 18; which is a pretty good sign since it means we all haven’t died in infancy from all of these animals, weather disasters and crime that run rampant!

Australia is no safer or dangerous than any other place. So hopefully, people can look past these travel advisories and realize how amazing a trip they can have by visiting our shores and not fearing for their life the moment they land.

But if not; well it gives us Aussies a laugh.