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Brian McKenzie

Brian McKenzie

To Travel18/03/2016

Dark Travel or Dark Tourism is the recent trend to visit places of tragedy, disaster or severe macabre. Some of the most notable sites are the World Trade center, Auschwitz, Normandy Beach, the Trail of Tears, Arlington Cemetery, the USS Arizona and even the marking spot of the sinking of the Titanic. One of the trends is to perform a sojourn to commemorate the loss of family, relatives, or an event that signifies a touchstone to cultural history. The other trend is to travel to places of conflict and danger - seeking the places that you have been warned against. This last year it would also be considered 'Dark' to travel to Ukraine, especially Eastern Ukraine - Doubly so if you are an American.

I have spent a military career assessing risk, finding the real intelligence to the situation, and completing missions of putting troops, equipment, ordinance and humanitarian aid on location, and bringing them back safely. I have served as flight intelligence specialist for A-6 Intruder bombers, P-3 maritime Surveillance and SH-60S KnightHawk Search and Rescue missions. My job was always to estimate the danger, establish flight parameters and brief appropriate risks from fuel, weather, terrain and enemy contact. For the other units I served in, it was my job to keep a discerning eye on Russia and everything they did or could do. To truly know your enemy - you must immerse yourself in their news, culture, language and politics. Because of this, for me, Ukraine - can be more than dangerous than standard Disney tours. The entire country is not at war, but I would not recommend venturing East beyond Kharkiv.

So I travel - often without documenting my foot print without showing my face, without geo-locating and time-stamping. It apparently goes against the very grain of the new Social Media Travel Trends. But I like my safety, more than I care for Celebrity.

Brian McKenzie
  1. Brian McKenzie
    18/03/2016 #1Brian McKenzie
    Dark Travel - Ukraine 2015 / 6 #ToMaldivesWithbeBee