I am writing this article as I hear the latest news about the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. This bloody event adds to the long list of attacks, the only difference being the shooter was not a terrorist. But it made me think of terrorists and bloody attacks. Boston, Madrid, Ankara, Brussels and many more cities were the background of mass killings in the last years. These attacks left the world in tears and fear. People are afraid of crowds, they are afraid of people who seem to belong to a certain race or ethnicity. And some are afraid to travel.
But I am not! Yes, I know I might become victim of a terrorist attack on my next trip, but I won’t let this stop me. I refuse to let terrorists stop me from discovering the world. I will continue to travel, even if my friends and family ask me if “it is safe?”.
To answer their question, I do think traveling is safe. If I am destined to die in a terrorist attack, so be it! But I’m afraid I am more likely to die in a car accident at home. When you talk about traveling to unknown places you instantly think about safety and this is natural. But living in constant fear is not natural. People who organize mass killings want us to live in fear, so if you give up on your plans because you are too afraid to travel, you let them win.
Don’t give them this opportunity! Stick to your plans! Continue to travel the world!
If I stop and analyze how many times I felt I was in danger while on the road and then compare to the number of times I felt in danger at home, the latter is a bigger number. Unknown places are scary for us because we are creatures of habit, but they are not necessarily dangerous.
In fact, I think I put myself on a plate for danger when I take the shortcut from my office to my home, on a dark street. And I used to do this every weeknight, for about 4 years. I was confident, because I was “at home”, in my own city, my territory.
When I am in a foreign country I never take the shortcut and I never walk on dark streets. I never cross the street on a red light (as I do at home, sometimes) and I never talk to drunk people or beggars. When I am at home I tend to let my guard off, which is something that never happens when I am abroad.
What is safety? Can someone be safe? No!
No one is safe nowadays, regardless where they live. Terrorism is unpredictable and attacks can take place anywhere. However, I believe they are more likely to occur in big, cosmopolitan cities, rather than small mountain villages, but this is only my opinion.
Living in fear won’t make us safe, but it will eat up a lot of energy. Looking at the numbers, the chances of actually becoming a victim in a terrorist attack are small, so the only thing you can do is carry on with your life.
In other words, carry on traveling!