I have never posted anything sad on my blog as for me weddings are a hugely exciting and beautiful time, but I have been shocked and hugely saddened at the latest news regarding these beautiful brides being murdered on their honeymoons in Africa and Mauritius.
I would like to mention at this point that my heart goes out to these families that are left reeling from these heinous crimes that have been committed.
It is always lovely to plan a wedding and then to elope off to some exotic country for your honeymoon but having travelled extensively when I was in my twenties, I think people do need to be aware of the dangers of travelling to these glamorous resorts that have sprung up in what are basically poverty stricken third world countries.
Whilst the five star hotels and resorts are fabulously luxurious and have everything you could possibly want at your beck and call, you only have to walk outside of these complexes and the difference in culture is shocking, they are literally surviving on nothing, starving, desperate people living by their wits. The close proximity to which these shanty towns are surrounding the resorts are really quite scary and it is obvious they are there for a reason to live off the money that the resorts are bringing in.
I have always found this shocking contrast in lifestyles difficult to digest and vividly recall one incident. I was working on the cruise ships many years ago in Mexico, a friend of mine had a classic accident of diving into a shallow pool and hitting her head, which resulted in a trip out from the comfort zone of the 5 star luxury hotel we were put up in to a godforsaken place without basic sanitation to have a head x-ray in some mudhut.
The images I saw that day have stayed with me, children literally sitting in ditches of raw sewage with wide eyes, no shoes and dressed in rags, wondering who on earth we were, they had nothing, and yet this was a 20 minute ride in a taxi from a glamorous resort and we were in some ramshackle hut set up in the middle of nowhere having a head xray which was also quite barbaric and I remember lots of screaming.
I was aware then of the threat we were under having left the resort and wondering why the taxi driver had taken us to this desolate place and when we thankfully finally made it back to the ship I was relieved to say the least.
My friend was unfortunately very ill and kept passing out so she was airlifted off the ship that night by an emergency helicopter and taken back to Miami with serious concussion. She stayed in hospital in Miami for 10 days and still had black eyes when I met up with her again.
I have been lucky, I have travelled around the world and come back in one piece, but if you do have to book these fabulously exotic honeymoons take your wits with you. In the case of the poor Irish girl murdered I don't think you can prevent this atrocity as she had not left the resort and was murdered apparently by staff there (which is even more frightening) but be aware you are visiting hugely deprived areas and don't leave the hotels or complexes just enjoy your time there and then take a taxi straight to the airport.
Extreme poverty and luxurious settings together are always going to be dangerous places to go.
On this note I have had brides even here in Spain that leave their sensible notions and ways behind and have been robbed here, so please do be aware where there are tourists there is always someone that wants your money, phones and jewellery so please do just be careful and sensible.