If You Stop Travelling, The Terrorists Win.

Keep Calm

After yet another appalling terrorist attack in Paris, travellers are once again asking is it safe to travel. Allow me to tell you why I will never allow terrorists to stop me from travelling the world.

Paris, Egypt, Sinai, Turkey, all of these have hit the headlines lately as increasingly violent and cowardly attacks have targeted innocent civilians and popular tourist destinations. As a result the justifiable horror and outrage is generally followed my mass panic and hysteria.

After any terrorist attack like this airports introduce yet more draconian security measures, the travel warnings go into meltdown and travellers and holidaymakers cancel their travel plans and allow the mass media and overblown government safety advice to lead them onto a path of paranoia.

That means the terrorists are getting exactly what they want.

My thoughts, along with the thoughts of every sane and decent human being go out to the victims of these tragedies. Of course they do. No one will deny that the attack in Paris, or the atrocities in Egypt, Turkey and so many other places in the past weren’t horrific. They were, and should be denounced as such. But what they were as well were single isolated incidents. One attack in a city of millions. One plane in a sky filled with them.

That isn’t in any way, shape or form lessening the tragedy of these incidents. Each and every life lost in attacks like these is one too many.

But it is putting these attacks into perspective. It is saying that the fear is far from the reality. The truth is, the fear and paranoia that follow these incidents is both unwarranted and unnecessary.

The actual risk of another attack in these destinations is minimal. Security will be tightened, everyone will be more alert, but more importantly than that the fact that these isolated incidents will have happened and the actual chances of another tragedy occuring will return to being very low.

Many more locations around the world such as Beirut and Iraq have been targeted by the same indiscriminate and horrific violence, but have not been the subject to the same media outrage or scrutinisation. Places like London or New York hold some of the highest crime rates in the world yet no one states that these destinations are too dangerous to travel to. The truth of the matter is a terrorist attack can happen anywhere at any time, it can happen as easily in our own countries as it can in that tropical getaway or popular tourist resort, yet no one declares our own countries as no go areas.

There is far more to it than simply reminding oneself of the absurdity of paranoia however.

Giving into terrorists is never an option.

Terrorists want one thing. Terror. They want people to be afraid. They want to create fear and paranoia.

I for one will not give them what they want.

I am British. We have a strong, proud tradition of never backing down from bullies and cowards, and that will not end now because some spineless weakling thinks civilians are a justifiable target. I will not accept that this has anything to do with whatever their twisted, warped and pathetic minds think religion is all about. This has nothing to do with religion. Nothing to do with race, culture or creed.

In a few days I am booked on a flight back to Europe, and I will be adding Paris to that as soon as possible. I will be doing that for two reasons. First, because it is absolutely safe to do so. Second, because I can and will stick two proud, British fingers up to any despotic coward who doesn’t have the stones to do anything other than target innocent civilians.

I urge all of you to do the same. You don’t have to come to Paris, but if you are already booked to go there don’t cancel your plans. If you are thinking of a festive break somewhere think about Turkey and Egypt. Wherever you go just keep travelling. Do not let the terrorists win.

Letting these recent tragic events change our society, change who we are and how we live our lives will be handing victory to the terrorists. Keep travelling. Show them that they cannot win.  

What did you think of this article? Would you cancel or change plans after a terrorist attack? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

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Michael Huxley is a published author, freelance travel writer and founder of Bemused Backpacker. He is also a charge nurse by vocation with an interest in emergency nursing and travel medicine, but his real passion is travel. Since finding his wanderlust a decade ago in South East Asia, he has bounced from one end of the planet to another and has no intention of slowing down.

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Posted in Travel Talk
29 comments on “If You Stop Travelling, The Terrorists Win.
  1. Claudia says:

    Brilliant post, Mike.

    I was in New York on 9/11. I was in London when it was attacked. Nowhere felt as safe as New York or London after the attacks – security checks were tightened, police was everywhere and in fact, the petty criminals that were all over the cities on a regular basis were also gone.

    I will never give in to terrorism. I will never give up living.

  2. I totally agree with you. We will not cancel our plans to fly to Paris next weekend. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

  3. bcre8v2 says:

    Thanks, Michael! Once again, words of reason, wisdom and inspiration. Travel on!

  4. Cafe says:

    I agree with not giving in to the fear generated by terrorist attacks. We do have to find a different way …

  5. Stephanie says:

    Yes, yes, yes! What an amazing message. This is exactly why I love your blog!

  6. Jake says:

    i came back from 7 months in asia a few days before the recent bombing at a hindu temple in bangkok, im going back for malaysia, indonesia & philippines next year, all countries with supposedly high threat, but the FCO in a lot of cases is just politically motivated rubbish, scaremongering and blowing things out of proportion

  7. Mr Adam says:

    I totally agree!

    Changing plans, living in fear etc is exactly what they want. And I won’t give it to them!

    Also, if I’m going to die, I would prefer it to be while living my life rather than hiding in fear at home.

  8. Loved this post and I couldn’t agree more. As a New Yorker who lived with the lingering scent of jet fuel after 9/11, I don’t back away from bullies either. The acts of terror that have been committed around the world are meant to cause panic. Turn off the endless negative media loop and refuse to be terrorized. It is the only way to win against such brutality.

  9. I won’t stop travelling, why would I? Bad things happen all around and misfortune might strike at home as well, and actually that what often happens. And, as you say, you need to put things in perspective. The fact is that you’re more likely to suffer in a car accident or by attacker by a local thug.

    Yes, we should be careful wherever we go, I take exactly the same precautions at home as I take during my travels.
    I wouldn’t travel to a war-zone, but everything else… It’s just the fate.

  10. Himanshuh says:

    I absolutely agree with you and truly believe that we as travellers can make the difference and bring this world closure.

  11. Himanshu says:

    I truly agree with and believe that we as travel can bring the world closure. I will never quit travel and they cant make us do this.

  12. Biswajit says:

    People of world stand together against travel more! we believe travel will connect people and help to transcend the barriers of religion, culture and language!

  13. Helen says:

    Hear hear! I wish more people would look at it this way instead of flying into an irrational panic every time something terrible happens.

  14. maninahuff says:

    That’s the British spirit right there!

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a published author, qualified nurse and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent 15 years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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