Travel in the Terrorism Era

Two nights ago, 120 people died and hundreds more were injured in several coordinated terrorist attacks across the city of Paris. I am heartbroken, as are so many others. Yet, I am concerned about the way we value some lives over others in our collective responses to tragedies. For example, Facebook created a temporary profile pic overlay of the French flag for users to display their solidarity with the people of France yet did no such thing when dozens of people died and hundreds were injured in bombings in Beirut just two days before, attacks perpetrated by the same terrorist movement as attacked Paris.

We were in Paris just about a month ago. It is a city we love, where we have friends and memories and dreams. Our friends are safe, thankfully. Our friends and family at home are understandably worried about us. International travel is anywhere from slightly to very scary for many people on a normal day, let alone the day of breaking news about terrorist attacks somewhere previously thought to be removed and safe from such violence. I took notice of my feelings and realized that I am heartbroken and angry and concerned, but I am not afraid.

We have dreamed about and researched and planned this trip for over three years. Every international trip we took with the girls during those years - Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico - were done with some thought about how this trip would be. We asked ourselves all sorts of questions. Where are we comfortable being self-sufficient? Where would we rather have guides? How far off the typical tourist path would we like to go in each country? What would we do if one of us fell ill or injured? How would we get help for any kind of problem we might have?

Also, what kind of wildlife would we like to see? What would it be like to drive through Europe for three months and stay in apartments and houses instead of hotels? How can children have fun at the world’s largest arts festival - Edinburgh Fringe - and what would they think about experiencing a major pilgrimage event in Pushkar, India that over time merged with a major camel-trading fair? What would it be like to visit Argentina from tip to tip and side to side? How would it be to spend major American holidays in countries that don’t celebrate them? How spicy is the food in Cambodia, really?

Those questions about what to see and do and learn are still much more on my mind than questions of safety and security. I will continue to stay aware of current events, of course, but I am not afraid to continue our travels. I love this world and am eager to explore it with my family. I am grateful for the privilege of being able to do so. My hope is for all people to feel unafraid to live and travel wherever on Earth they may be.

General Information

Where we were.

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Where we are.

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Where we're going.

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