Hosea 4:6

The fourth chapter of Hosea, verse 6 is a bible verse that, although it focuses on obeying God’s word, can be applied to every facet in life.  The scripture reads

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”

So why am I using this verse of scripture on a travel blog?  Perhaps because travelers are destroyed (perish) form a lack of knowledge and they have forgotten or are ignorant of the laws in the areas that they visit.  In this day of selfie kings and queens and everything being posted to social media, people must be mindful that two golden oldie norms still hold true.  The first golden oldie is to always ask permission before you video or take pictures of people.  Everyone is not photogenic or does everyone want you to capture images of them to be posted on your timeline and commented on by other strangers.

The second golden oldie is to educate yourselves about he cultural norms, practices and beliefs of an areas before you go.  Although that mosque may be the MOST beautiful thing you have ever seen and you want to share an image of it with your friends and family back home, it may be considered sacred and holy to the locals and off-limits or pictures (especially for selfies).  This golden oldie especially rings true when taking pictures of government facilities, security personnel and other sensitive areas.  What’s the worse that can happen you say?  Hmmm, imprisonment in rare instances for a thousand Alex?  In some countries you may be subject to stiff fines, deportation, and confiscation of your devices.  That is not as bad as imprisonment, but it is definitely a vacation buster.

One other thing to be mindful of is that pesky sign that says “Keep Out”, “Authorized personnel only”, “Do Not Enter”,  or “Forbidden”.  I know that you think it only applies to other people, but guess what— you are the “other people”.  So just do the right thing and follow the rules, they are in place for your safety.

So, before traveling, do a bit of research to ensure that you are knowledgeable of the dos and don’ts regarding the place that you are visiting.  Saying “I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to…” or “No one told me not to…” is not a good defense and certainly will not keep you out of hot water for violating a local law.  Exercise good judgment before you pick up that camera or cellular device and before you duck under that rope or hope over the fence to experience what others cannot.  The life (and finances) you save may be your own.