You’re Not Immune To Danger When You Travel – Don’t Pet Monkeys! (AtoZ)

immune to dangerSometimes travelers need to hear the obvious.

You’re not immune to danger when you travel.

Do you ever look at other travelers and wonder what they are thinking.  We have a rule, if it’s not safe or smart at home, it probably didn’t improve when we went into a third world country.

“But mom, that guy is feeding the monkeys.”

S0? We are not lemmings.

Or are we?

Let’s review a few of the things we have seen as we traveled:

Wild monkeys bite. If you think otherwise, you might be in for an unplanned side trip to the hospital (at least that’s what our guide told us). In Malaysia we actually watched a tourist tease a wild monkey with some food.  We didn’t really want to see the aftermath, and we generally don’t hang out with stupid people so we left.

immune to danger

In Belize an Ocelot walked into the open air restaurant where were eating.  (We learned later that it had been hand reared and returned to the wild.) I took my cue from the staff who kept a barrier between the ocelot and themselves as they pushed it away.

The man at the next table, a future Darwin award candidate no doubt, decided this was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.  He actually tried to hold the wild cat as his wife took a photo.  We saw him the next day with his arm bandaged up covering his new stitches.  Clearly he was not immune to danger.


Image Credit: Public Domain

If you are going to leap from a cliff, be smart like my niece and ask the people about to jump if they are locals before you take the plunge.  Our personal family logic is that locals generally know the safe places.

jumping into haruru falls

We stumbled upon another New Zealand danger near Rotorua.  The graffiti covered sign reads: Do not put head in water – amoebic meningitis is fatal and caused by water entering the nasal passages.  Would you enter the water?  These people did:

funny sign   immune to danger

In Morocco, more monkeys, this time with parents allowing kids to feed them.

immune to danger

A moment of serious thought to those who think it is is okay to feed wild animals. When you feed the monkeys, the squirrels and the wild cats, the animal learns that humans feed them.  You may not be the one who gets bit, but it might be the next person without food to come upon the animal  (often a child as they are small and less threatening to the animal) that gets bit.

In saying that, I think most of us think we are immune to danger at some point in our lives.  What is the most dangerous thing you have done, that you now roll your eyes at and wonder why you thought you were immune to danger?

Except where noted, all photos ©Rhonda Albom 2011-2012.  All rights Reserved.


The AtoZ challenge 2013 is nearly over.  I hope you have been enjoying my Travel Tips I Learned the Hard Way.

Related Links:

Travel Tips to Cruise the Mediterranean (#AtoZ -Xebec No More)
Zeus says Bring a Sense of Humor (AtoZ Travel Tips)
About Rhonda Albom

When I met my hubby he was looking for a traveling companion. Together we have moved to New Zealand and visited over 42 countries, most with our now teenage girls. Things rarely go as planned, and generally we have an amusing tale to tell. That's what Laugh Quotes is about - the fun side of our adventures and our expat life.


  1. I rolled down my window at a wildlife safari and took a shot of an ostrich over the roof of the car – and then had to duck inside as he came running around the vehicle and pounded at the window I barely rolled up in time. (That was here in the states, too!) In my defense, I was a stupid teenager.

    However, I watched the Dirty Jobs episode with the monkeys – not a chance I’d go near one.

  2. Who says you need to travel to enjoy danger? Most people would say skydiving and scuba diving (both of which I’ve done) are dangerous, but they’re also fun!

    The most dangerous thing I’ve done while traveling was much more mundane than either of those activities. I went sightseeing with a taxi driver I didn’t know well. Another woman had recommended him, but as we were walking up to a deserted landmark in India, I realized that I was all alone with a stranger. I was young and foolish. Fortunately, everything turned out fine. :-)

  3. Although I take a lot of social risks, I don’t think I’ve done anything of a physical risk. I’m just not one to do stupid things like this.

  4. You just can’t fix stupid and your sure ran into a lot of stupid. Wild means just that.

    Have a terrific day. :)
    Comedy Plus recently posted..Silly Sunday #78My Profile

  5. The dumbest thing I did, that I still realize was overly stupid was I carried my hotel key, money and the kids snacks, etc. in a small backpack as we were at a zoo. The backpack was cutting into my shoulders so I took it off when we reached a bench in an enclosed area. The kids are very distracting and took off quickly so we left the enclosed area quickly and I left the backpack on the bench. It had a few hundred dollars in cash in it and my ID. Fortunately, two older women who had been just behind us found the backpack, complete with cash and ID. They approached us and recognized me from the ID and returned the backpack complete with cash and all. Stupid yes, lucky – very much so!

  6. …”future Darwin Award candidate.” No kidding. That’s some crazy stuff. On a side note – I just posted award nominees for ‘Very Inspiring Blogger Award’. You’re so on the list!
    Julie You Jest recently posted..Very inspiring…Who? Me!?My Profile

  7. yeah, why is it we do dumb things when we travel we wouldn’t normally do when we’re at home? I went hitchhiking in Ireland! Yikes! (don’t tell my mum)

  8. I’m always cautious, but that still doesn’t mean I’m immune. Great post.

  9. As forrest gump stupid is as stupid does meaning a person is as stupid as the stupid acts they commit.
    I would never ever get in water that sais do not enter because creepy crawly things will crawl in my nasal cavities. I mean, if they can crawl up in my nasal cavity, what other cavities will they crawl into. YEEEESH!!..
    Annie André recently posted..Long Layover? How To Sleep In An Airport A Guide For BeginnersMy Profile

  10. I was actually laughing out loud as I read of the stupidity of some tourists. Thanks for this post!
    Gina recently posted..Searching for SomethingMy Profile

  11. I’ve been stunned by stories of people taking pics with lions and leopards, etc. who’ve supposedly been hand-reared. When things go wrong, it takes seconds to tear flesh from bone. People should respect wildlife more.
    Wise and thoughtful post. :-)
    Lexa Cain recently posted..Celebrating BIG Things: I have an Agent!My Profile

  12. Yeah, I’d be hospitalized.
    ❤ Julie Maloney ❤ (@Momspective) recently posted..Enter To Win A $300 Prize Pack From McDonald’s!My Profile

  13. Sometimes it is really hard not to pet ‘em, they are usually too cute:) but I know that they can be dangerous as well, although I couldn’t picture myself that they would bite…
    bonooobong recently posted..Hírek a 3D nyomtatás világábólMy Profile

  14. Wow! there seems to be a lot of stupid people about just asking for trouble gawd LOL

    Have a bitelesstastic day Rhonda LOL
    stevebethere recently posted..Music Monday – Retro Mix 8My Profile

  15. I don’t know why, but I seem to take far more dangerous risk when I travel than I ever would at home. It should be the other way around. I love the photos and your stories. I am a new follower from the challenge and I am delighted that I found your awesome blog.

  16. I would still probably have fed the wild monkeys. I’m a sucker like that. I also love monkeys. And feeding things.


    Valerie recently posted..X is for X Marks The Spot… On my faceMy Profile

  17. Wild animals are just that – wild. That guy who picked up the ocelot got what he deserved.

  18. Wow, you have some cautionary tales to tell! I will heed your advice, absolutely–no feeding the monkeys!
    Sherilee recently posted..A-Z blogging challenge: Y is for YellowMy Profile

  19. Wow, I can’t imagine the ocelot just walking in like that. They’re beautiful creatures, but I would’ve been terrified!

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