Lately, I've been thinking about starting to play EVE Online, but looking at various sources, it seems like PvP is a pretty big part of the game.
That's a problem for me, because I hate PvP. If I get into combat, I want it to be because I've made an active decision to allow it - that means entering known, hostile territory, or turning on a flag. If I absolutely have to enter such an area, I want there to be a way for me to quickly get out.
I understand that I can't turn off PvP entirely, and I realize I won't be able to see everything without venturing into those areas - indeed, I've read that the best money making potential is in nullsec, so clearly there's an incentive to accept that risk.
However, I don't want to be left horribly behind simply because I choose to avoid that content. It's okay that things go a little slower, but there is a limit - e.g., if I can earn some amount in 1 hour in PvP areas, I don't want it to take 3 days when sticking to a PvE approach.
Alternatively, I can accept having to go into those areas if it's realistic that I can get in there, do what I need to do, and get back out, all while avoiding PvP - I don't want to spend forever finding a sufficiently safe area, and if I do see trouble approaching, I want to be able to get out before it's too late.
Is it even possible to pull this off? Do I need to do anything special to make it feasible? Is the game still enjoyable when played in such a way?
EDIT: Just to clarify: I'm not asking for 100% security. If the game is as PvP-heavy as my impression suggests, I am perfectly willing to accept that there will always be some degree of risk. However, I will want to keep that risk minimal - if the risk for some given task is low, or I can reasonably expect to be able to flee before it's too late, then that's okay.