In light of the recent and horrible events in Paris, many are reconsidering traveling outside the borders of their home country. In a world where borders are becoming more like dividing lines than simple lines of demarcation, do we choose to venture beyond or stay within the relative safety of the familiar? Below are some ways to combat the ever-growing sense of unease that comes with travel, and remember that the world was meant to be seen, not feared.
Be Aware: You’d be surprised how many people arrive at unfavorable conclusions because they didn’t take the time to research where they were going. It’s not enough to purchase a ticket and pack a bag. A smart traveler does research on where they are visiting if there are any dangerous elements, and how to avoid them. This applies anywhere you can travel, from Colorado to Columbia, so keep a level head and do your homework.
Be Understanding: Though it’s pertinent to be aware in this day and age, the same can be said for being understanding. Assuming that everyone around you is a potential threat will only ruin your vacation and weigh heavily on your mind when you should be relaxing. You may not have control over what goes on around you, but you can certainly manage your reactions.
Be Realistic: While the attacks in Paris were awful, it’s important to be realistic when traveling. Statistics show that, at least in the United States, you are more prone to catch a stray bullet from an act of gun violence than be involved in an act of terrorism. Now, I’ve listed this as the third thing to remember because the above two are vastly more important. Statistics cannot replace alertness and will not substitute understanding, but they can offer some sense of truth in a time of concern.