Traveling in the Age of Terror

It is almost impossible these days to determine which destination will be “safe” to visit and safety has become the most common question asked when travelers are choosing where they plan to travel.  The dilemma becomes the lack of a particular reason why terrorist groups are choosing their targets. For their plan to be successful they must stay one step ahead of governments and authorities in the name of “surprise”. Without that element of surprise they have no ability to be successful.

The other impossible aspect to consider is, when is it appropriate to travel to a country that has experienced a terrorist attack. The question everyone asks is “how soon is too soon”? How do we know how long it takes for a country to recover from such a traumatic event. How does a group of people slip back into regular day-to-day existence after they have been torn apart by bombings and rampant shootings?

Unfortunately each time another terrorist attack happens we are no longer affected by it in the same way. After the initial horror of the story the news becomes more commonplace. It’s almost like we begin to expect it to happen again and again. It’s just another example to us of the way our world is becoming.

Why The Only Response to Terror Attacks is to Keep on Traveling

Because of this, it doesn’t make sense for travelers to cancel their plans or to alter their travel schedules hoping to find a safer place to visit. Where will the next act occur? There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason. When will it occur?  It could be any time. This fight is not going to go away any time soon. It is an ingrained ideology that has been fostered from birth.  Terrorists have been trained to hate the West and everything it stands for. Anyone who believes that peace is imminent is fooling themselves.

What should our response be then?  We must keep on traveling. If nowhere is safe, then we must realize what it would mean for us as a society to withdraw into our little worlds, to not visit that country, to miss out on that fantastic festival, to not listen to that live music, to not visit that historical attraction.

Why We Shouldn’t Decide to Just Travel Domestically

As beautiful as our country is, we must continue to expand our knowledge and understanding about all parts of the world. Ignoring that we are part of a bigger picture would be seriously detrimental to our appreciation and tolerance for mankind. We must break outside our walls and figure out that there is something to learn in every market square, cathedral, temple and nightclub that we visit. Every human being has worth and every destination is a learning experience.

As I sit here in the sunshine, looking out at the snow-covered landscape, I imagine all the beautiful places I can visit. Our world is large and wonderful. My vision of retaliation is to stand and face the terror head on, with my passport in hand.  I hope you will join me!

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