Dangerous Instincts: A Book to Help You Travel Safely

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dangerous-instincts-otooleFor the first time at My Itchy Travel Feet, I’m writing a book review that is not remotely related to travel — until boomers take a closer look. Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Feelings Betray Us, by Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D., is not a travel book; but it can keep you safe on your journeys.

How many times have you made a travel decision based on intuition or a feeling in your gut?

  • Have you booked a private cruise excursion with a couple that you just met on the ship? Which concerned you the most, your safety or how much fun the couple would be?
  • Did you check out the references for the guide in Rome that you found on the internet before booking with him? After all, his website looked professional.
  • Have you ever opened the door to your hotel room without checking to see if the person on the other side was a legitimate employee of the hotel? When you looked through the peephole, he was dressed like a hotel employee. But how do you know for sure?

Mary Ellen O’Toole knows all about gut feelings and how they can mislead us. Dr. O’Toole has spent her career studying the criminal mind. One of the most senior profilers for the FBI until her retirement in 2009, she has helped capture, interview and understand some of the world’s most infamous people. While reading Dangerous Instincts, Dr. O’Toole taught me:

Dangerous people don’t look dangerous

In fact, the most dangerous people go to great lengths to appear normal and fit into society.

Dangerous people prey on your vulnerabilities

Pickpockets are expert at noticing your weakness. Did you stand on that Venice street corner just a moment too long trying to decipher the map? Believe me, if there’s a pickpocket nearby, he or she has probably already lifted your wallet without you ever knowing it.

Gut Instinct is based on fear and emotion, not rational thought

How many times have you made a boomer travel decision because it felt right? Raising my hand here. Lucky for me, it turned out fine. But the next time, I’ll be using Dr. O’Toole’s four-step SMART system to help assess and mitigate risk.

Dangerous Instincts was not written to scare boomers away from traveling. Instead, Dr. O’Toole provides the tools to help you live life, including travel, safely. Stay tuned, because Dr. O’Toole will be here next week to share 5 Tips to Avoid a Travel Nightmare.

Have you made travel decisions based on gut instinct? Post a comment to share your experience. After my book review of O’Toole’s book, Alan and I will be a little more careful.

To show you the versatility of the information in Dangerous Instincts, take a look at how it applies to pet ownership in this post at Champion of My Heart. And Reel Life With Jane discovered 5 things that crime shows and movies get wrong from reviewing the book.

Hudson Street Press provided a copy of Dangerous Instincts for my review. I have included an Amazon Link for your convenience; however, My Itchy Travel Feet does receive a small percentage for purchases made at Amazon.com.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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