After the recent events in Nice, I’ve had more and more people ask me whether or not it’s worth heading abroad to Europe at this time. With several tragic incidents in Europe that have occurred lately, it seems more and more like Americans should think twice about heading abroad. I wrote about a similar feeling we had a few years ago when travelers began questioning safety.
There’s no way you can tell someone to be careful on which locations are safe and which ones are not anymore. A few weeks ago, Nice would have been considered a “safe” spot. But when destinations that used to feel idyllic are suddenly become sites of tragedy, it can change whether or not you view traveling as worth the risk.
I remember traveling to Greece during the time when the country was asking for a bailout. There were riots in the streets with young police officers with shields and ak-47s. This should have been a sign that I should have left, but for some reason, I didn’t feel like giving into my fear. It ended up being one of my favorite trips because it wasn’t the “ideal” vacation. I learned a lot from staying, even though many might have told me to leave.
The tragedy in Nice is not the same thing, but I don’t think it is totally out of place to compare the fear I experienced in Greece to the fear others might be feeling as they think about heading to Europe now.
Terrorism has been such a concern lately, and as I have written before, it thrives on fear. The very definition of “terrorism” means that it influences others with fear more than any other emotion. I believe we shouldn’t give into this fear, and the best way to combat it is to continue to travel and to continue to experience the world. As a result, we as travelers can make more of an impact than any act of terrorism. We can change the world because we will know better than those who simply are too afraid to find out.
If you are worried about traveling abroad, that is a fair concern—that is exactly what the terrorists are hoping for. And it is scary. But as Ambrose Redmoon stated,
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.”
(Always) keep wandering,