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.
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