Is It Safe to Travel After Terrorism Attacks?
Should I continue to travel solo after a terrorist attack?
I keep getting asked, "Will you let the recent terrorist attacks put delays in your plans to travel abroad?"
Now is the time to have the discussion with everyone who is curious, concerned, or apprehensive about the topic of terrorism and traveling abroad. It's a touchy subject, especially for those who are close to me, whether or not it is safe for me, or anyone, to keep traveling during times of distress in the world. I do not wish to deter anyone's beliefs for what they think to be safe for themselves, but here is my open and honest opinion about the state of the world and my role within it as a traveler.
A day I’ll never forget.
We all remember where we were the day of 9/11. I was in 7th grade living in Colorado Springs with my parents and grandmother. Before I left for school that morning my father called to tell me to turn on the t.v. and watch the news. “Which channel,” I asked? “Any,” he said in a concerned voice, “Something horrible has happened to the U.S. and history is being made as we speak.” I was confused. I saw two towers that looked as though they had some sort of explosion occur. My father explained to me what the twin towers were, how they were a huge part of our economy residing in the great city of New York, and that this was what the media was calling, “A terrorist attack.” I was still confused, as a young girl I had no idea at the time what this meant for us as a nation. My heart felt heavy for those families who had lost loved ones as I sat in class that day glued to the television. Even the teachers sat wide eyed and with jaws dropped at the devastating events of that morning. We came together as a nation and encouraged one another to stay positive and remember that we would not let the terrorists win. All politics aside, that is the positive I found as a young girl in the midst of a confusing attack that seemed to have happened for no apparent reason. I have always kept that with me even to this day - I will not let the terrorists win.
Terrorism is defined as a state of fear and submission due to acts of terrorism.
As a young woman who travels the world on her own, I am frequently being asked if I am scared? I usually respond to people with, “Scared of what?” They ask if I still plan on traveling due to the recent terrorist attacks and if I fear for my safety, and even my life by continuing to travel. Truth be told, yes and no. Yes, I will continue to travel until I reach every destination I dream of seeing. No, I do not fear for my safety or my life any more while traveling than I do walking out of my front door each morning. Now, I say this with a small grain of salt because you have to be somewhat concerned of your own safety while traveling, but I believe that to be true of many things in my life and in the world. However, being aware, being as prepared
as possible, and knowing things can go wrong does not mean I am afraid or concerned for my life. I am a firm believer that if it is my time to leave this life, then it is my time regardless of what I am doing or where, and perhaps this belief is the reason I’ve taken myself as far as I’ve gone.
Fear is defined as a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined.
For those of you who have a fearful heart when it comes to this matter, I do not intend to make you feel ashamed or wrong for having these feelings. You have loved ones, families to look after, and goals of your own you wish to accomplish in this lifetime. But, when you really think about it, fear is what holds so many of us back from achieving the things we want from life. Not only when it comes to this topic of travel and terrorism, but even applying for a new job, asking for a raise, or asking the boy out you’ve been crushing on. Fear holds us back. Period. If we lived in a world without fear can you imagine the things we would conquer? Nothing great was ever achieved by being too afraid, or not daring to try. A wise woman by the name of Annie Griffiths told me, “Never make a decision out of fear.” Annie Griffiths is the first female photographer for National Geographic, because of her fearlessness, her job took her all over the globe where she was able to experience and capture the raw beauty of humanity, the Earth, and all of its divine essence. I ask of you, before you make a decision to do anything in your life, that you ask if it is out of fear? We can and will accomplish anything we believe that we can, my friends.
I have to keep going.
I will travel until planes can no longer fly, until cars or trains no longer run, or until my own two legs give out beneath me. I will do this because I am not afraid and because I believe in humanity. Seeing and experiencing what I have during my travels reminds me of this every day. There is absolutely more good than bad out there. Regardless of what a group of extremists are doing, on my own turf or anywhere in the world, I will not let terrorism win. That is what they want, for us to live quietly and afraid, and although things that happen in the world can be terrifying, they do not determine nor distract me from the life I believe I should have. I wish all of the love and support to those who have suffered during these hard times, whether directly or indirectly. I firmly believe we must be pro-peace to encourage positivity and not anti-war which would continue the cycle of negativity. It’s the same idea that darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can drive the darkness away. You cannot celebrate anyone’s death or loss regardless of whose side they were on. I hope this answers or brings reason to anyone who has ever asked me if I am afraid to travel during these times of terrorism. The answer is no, and I hope in my heart of hearts you still believe in the wonder and beauty that surrounds us all. Write me about your feelings, experiences, and thoughts on terrorism in the world of travel, and if you’ll join me in being #fearlessfortheworld?