Why does the idea of going to S. America scare me?

This makes no sense. I came thisclose to booking my ticket to S. America, but fear got the best of me. I cannot explain it… Perhaps it’s the idea of going there as a DN as opposed to a tourist or backpacker. Maybe I don’t like the idea of taking my laptop and other equipment to S. America. Maybe I’ve read too many horror stories in travel forums about people getting mugged or having their possessions stolen. At least those are the stories you always seem to remember even though they’re just a tiny fraction. Anyone else go through moments like this?