The first question friends ask when I tell them that I’m heading to Europe for work is ” Is it safe to travel to Europe right now?”
My answer? I honestly don’t know.
I, alongside most travellers, go places because we want to go there. And because it’s somewhere worth visiting.
We all watch the news and see the heartbreaking violence. We all see the death and destruction, alongside the natural disasters. We also, all know that the world is a funny place, and letting the news dictate your experience is the worst thing you can do.
We all see the death and destruction, alongside the natural disasters. We also, all know that the world is a funny place, and letting the news dictate your experience is the worst thing you can do.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO EUROPE RIGHT NOW
Here’s the reality of the situation- there will always be something going on somewhere in the world. Whether it’s parts of Africa, the middle east or South America. We’re just conditioned to expect those situations. Europe is a different story for us.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t take some time to fully understand the political climate in any given region. A smart traveller has to be on top of current events, as well as, understand the cultural nuances that make any region special- regardless of what is going on in the region.
SHOULD YOU TRAVEL TO EUROPE RIGHT NOW
The current trepidation in traveling to Europe right now, and the understandable increase in the question of “is it safe to travel to Europe” comes as a direct result of the recent events. Events that are so horrific in nature, and somewhat out of the norm for what is considered to be the most modern part of the world.
Our heart broke every time we saw a tragedy in Europe, just as our heart broke seeing attacks in Bangladesh, and Turkey and the 10s of other cities impacted by the global political climate.
The sad thing is that it’s not going away anytime soon. This is, unfortunately, our reality, and once we must learn to navigate around.
Having just come back from France and Germany, I honestly say that I was a bit nervous. But that the cities are worth visiting over and over again. Just as every corner of the world is worth getting to know. Times like this is when you get to know what a place is really like. You get to see the kindness, hear about their fears or witness their bravery.
GO WHERE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE
As travelers, we crave the unexplored places, the hidden gems that we can tell our friends back home about, the beach destinations that make you feel zen, places like Salzburg where you can do awesome things, the secret routes and the kind strangers that we met along our path. None of that changes. And it shouldn’t.
We’re explorers. Our job is to go and explore the world.
Tell the stories that otherwise won’t be told.
I’ve traveled to countries that most consider dangerous for women to travel to, landed in a city a day after the government had been overthrown for the second time, wandered the streets of countries where I didn’t speak the language, and where people disliked all English speakers. But I came out of every single one of those places thankful that I went because the experience was far richer than I expected.
Not bad, not good, just different.
Life is all about taking calculated risks. We have zero control over where tragic events take place. None.
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The best we can do is be prepared, be smart, and learn how to survive in an unexpected environment. Whether that’s having a backup plan of where you can go, and emergency contact that can reach you easily, or just taking precautions, and fully understanding what part of the city you need to be cautious about. Being comfortable while travelling is partially being situationally aware, and partially finding things that make your life easier and lower your stress levels- things like knowing how to find the best hotel deals quickly, or insanely cheap flights.
Most importantly, the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families is learning to be comfortable in the choices that we make.
Because the world is as big or as small as we make it.