I personally feel safer there than here even though I carry in the states and obviously cannot there.
I look forward to seeing the friends I have made there. As you said, it opens the doors to an entirely new world.
I also like to think that the people I meet come away with a feeling that "americans don't suck".
I believe one of the best things we who can afford it can do is explore things outside our borders.... both to learn and to teach.
It has taught me to evaluate people as individuals and not as nationalities.... and face my own hypocrisies which I am constantly discovering.