With tragedy and violence dominating the news, the world may seem like a more dangerous place than ever. But media narratives can be deceiving.
In many ways, the world is a safer place than ever to explore today–with the power of the Internet to conduct more extensive research (or to connect with local guides and new friends). And for the intrepid, exploration outside well-trodden destinations in Western Europe or Asia can offer not just an unforgettable vacation experience but also an opportunity to engage with cultures and practices outside one’s own experience–and, no less importantly, investing valuable tourism dollars in communities that need the support the most.
While it’s important to always take a degree of precaution before travel–checking the government travel advisories as well as local on-the-ground news–these ten destinations deserve the attention, and investment of both time and money, of travelers willing to take a bit of risk and go the extra mile.
Tara Isabella-Burton is a frequent contributor to National Geographic Travel. Follow her journey on Twitter.