On a trip to Portugal and Spain last month, my brother elected to take a minor detour and visited Morocco in the midst of “a revolution sweeping the Arab world” as he wrote on his blog. He was monitoring the protests in the other states and determined that despite minor rumblings in Morocco, the coast was clear. The risk was more elevated than it was maybe six months ago, but still within his appetite for risk.
I would have exercised a bit more restraint; after all, there were massive protests underway only two doors down in Libya. But this illustrates how each of us has a unique risk appetite. The amount of risk I am likely to expose myself to is different (read: less) than my brother. Why go to Morocco if you don’t have to?
Building on this point, the same week my brother was travelling to the Arab world, my significant other wanted us to take the two hour drive across the border to Buffalo, NY from our home north of Toronto. Buffalo is an interesting place. Right on the edge of Lake Erie, a minor snowfall in Toronto can result in 2 feet of lake effect snow in Buffalo. This is not my favourite winter destination (despite the Cheesecake Factory and Target) because the snow may just come out of nowhere. Even though I grew up in Montreal and drive pretty well in the snow, and the storm wasn’t expected to hit the area until hours after we left town, I was in no mood to get trapped on the I-190 with nothing but a slice of Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple.
My significant other mocked me for not going. It would appear her appetite for risk (and cheesecake) was greater than mine.