Over the course of this month, I’m going to be traveling to a lot of places I’ve never been before, staying with people I don’t really know too well, and walking around with some expensive gear in foreign countries.
Sounds like a recipe for trouble, doesn’t it?
Well, you know what? No. These days, a lot of people are quick to judge and make assumptions that everywhere you go – danger lurks right around the corner. I’ll be going to St Lucia next week on my own, and if I were to think that way, I’d probably never get to see the real side of the country.
Today, I arrived back in Long Beach airport from my trip to Bellingham. (The only thing that sucks about this JetBlue All-you-can-jet is that San Diego only has flights going out to the east coast – to get anywhere on the west coast, you have to take off from the Long Beach hub.)
Now, I had an event to work at 5:30 PM, and my flight got into the airport at 1 PM. The drive down takes about 2 hrs, and traffic from LA can be a pain at times. The next bus out of Long Beach to SD was at 3 PM, and that involved taking a risk of being late due to traffic. So instead, I opted to try out Craigslist’s “rideshare” feature.
This basically involves paying a little gas money for a lengthy trip between cities/states. Luckily, a guy named Arun happened to be heading out of LA the same day I needed a ride – so we exchanged a few emails to coordinate timing.
When I told my girlfriend about this, she was terrified. “WHAT??? YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! YOU ARE GOING TO GET MURDERED!”
I reassured her that I would be perfectly fine, and that I looked him up on facebook & he was a student at Pepperdine.
“OR SO HE WANTS YOU TO THINK!” She exclaimed.
After many hearing many claims about how I’d be taken to a drug den, kidnapped, held for ransom, murdered and thrown in the east river, and taken to Afghanistan, I decided that I would be okay.
Arun turned out to be the engineering student he appeared to be on facebook, and the ride was relatively harmless aside from some old-lady-style driving on his end.
The moral of the story is, you can’t base everything you do off of what you hear on the news. Yeah, there are some pretty bad people in this world, but not everyone is one of them. And you can’t go around thinking you’re going to get robbed going to a foreign country or you’ll never be able to really experience the scenery, people, and surroundings. I feel like over time, people have become a lot more reserved in terms of meeting & trusting new people. Not saying that you should be completely naive when walking around the lower-east side of New York at 2 AM, but give people the benefit of the doubt.
I asked him to take this picture of him so I could have it for my blog, or in case it could be used for evidence if he murdered me.