Dianne Newcomer(Photo: courtesy)
"Hurricane Dorian has devastated the Bahamas" was the tweet that went viral on Twitter last month, but here's the deal: it was wrong!
Dorian was the 2nd most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean since 1950 when she rolled ashore on September 4. With winds gusting up to 220 mph, she was the storm that would not leave. For 38 hours, Dorian lingered over Abaco and Grand Bahama destroying lives, homes, businesses, and island infrastructure. We saw the pictures; it was the worst time imaginable for these two islands, but, folks, it was not "the Bahamas" being pounded.
"The Bahamas "are the 700 islands (and over 2,000 rocks and cays) scattered over 100,000 square miles of ocean in the Atlantic Ocean, starting just about 50 miles south of Florida. They are an ecological wonder and home to the clearest water on the planet. In "The Bahamas," you can actually see your toes as easily as you can the worlds third largest fringing barrier reef and, by the way, it is still there!
Dorian only affected the Abacos and the Grand Bahama Island, so don't panic. Nassau and Paradise Island, the Exumas, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, Bimini, Andros, the Berry Islands and Cat Island, along with many of the other smaller islands in this destination, are alive and wll and would sincerely love to have your business.
Nothing has changed in these locations.The same natural beauty, charming culture, high rolling casinos, stunning golf courses, and warm friendly people are waiting for you to discover their beaches and wonderful resorts. The Bahamas need you, so why not go? Besides, we all know everything is just "better in the The Bahamas," right?
And, speaking of a place that needs your support and in case you missed it last week, I would like to remind you the FBI has completed its investigation of the 11 Americans who died in the Dominican Republic this year. Their conclusion confirmed the findings of the Dominican Republic authorities. All of the deaths were the result of natural causes pneumonia, pulmonary edema, cardiac arrest and cerebral tramaedia.
What great news this is for the D.R.! This island, which is one of my most favorite destinations in the Caribbean, has suffered so much from the misleading speculations and the media frenzy that oncentrated on all those "mysterious deaths.
Now, I will not deny these deaths were tragic, but, when some 3.2 million tourists "survived" their vacation last year in the D.R., it was difficult for me, as a travel agent, to reach that fever pitched level of outrage encouraged by the media--especially considering these deaths occurred over a 6 month period of time and not in a couple weeks span like the media suggested.
How nice it was to finally and officially learn nothing nefarious --like tainted alcohol or poisonous insecticide in the food-- actually happened in the Dominican Republic ! So, at Monroe Travel Service, where I work, it is business as usual for us at the DR. Of course, I might also add it is important to be as cautious in the DR as you would be in New Orleans. It pays to always keep your wits about you no matter where you are.
In an effort to keep traveling our world simple enough for all of us to understand the risks, the U.S. State Department has created a program which targets destinations and assesses them based on risk. They placed a level 2 travel advisory on the Dominican Republic. This means travelers should exercise increased caution due to crime threats. Yet, don't be too alarmed with this assement as most destinations (even Italy and France, as well as almost everywhere you travel) will be at a Level 2.
In order to put these levels in perspective, it should be noted the highest security advisory issued by our government is a level 4.Currently, there are only 11 countries where travel is not suggested and, probably we all can easily discern the reason why. The places where our state department says Americans should not travel are Afghanistan, Central African Republic, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Seems to me that, based solely on our government's assessment of the risk and danger situation for travelers, there are a whole lot of places where we can still go! Why not step out into this big wide wonderful world and enjoy some life-changing travel moments?Go experience the kindess, laughter, beauty and joy that comes from interaction with others in new and different places around the world.
Whether you dream of warm sunny days, beautiful resorts, and the crystal clear blue waters of the Caribbean or maybe walking the cobblestoned streets of Spain, then give us a call at Monroe Travel Service. We would love to show you the way. Life is like ice cream. Enjoy it before it melts.
Dianne Newcomer is a travel advisor at Monroe Travel Service, just off North 19th and Tower Drive in Monroe. For all your travel needs, call 318 323 3465 or firstname.lastname@example.org and let us help you explore our world.
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