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I'm a 37-year old Seattle girl who was bitten by the travel bug on my first tour of Europe in 2004. This personal blog follows my attempts to visit as many countries as I can, as often as my budget will allow. Since starting this blog in 2007, I've also worked as a freelance copywriter for an online travel publication. This only served to add even more must-see locations to my already extended list.
Follow me as I try to balance "real life" with exploring the world, all while trying to conquer a wickedly ironic case of homesickness.



2.5.11

Prudence vs fear

I've been asked several times already whether or not my husband and I are still going to London in two weeks given the US State Department's newly issued Worldwide Travel Alert to American citizens.

My answer is an emphatic YES,
for a myriad of reasons.

I'm not saying we, as travelers, should cease to exercise common sense. I am saying there is a difference between a prudent traveler and a prisoner of fear. Right now, this alert gives us absolutely no specific information whatsoever. It essentially says that anything could happen, anywhere, at any time, including within America itself. Of course, absolutely nothing could happen, as well. No one really knows.

Yes, if something does end up happening, within America or abroad, it will be horrible, it will be scary and it will be heartbreaking. But right now, there is no way of knowing, and if we live our lives dictated by that kind of vague speculation, we're setting ourselves up for a lot of disappointment. Besides, the entire point of travel is to deliberately step out of our comfort zones to expand our own knowledge.

For that reason, unless a far more tangible, definable and legitimate threat presents itself between now and then, we are packing our bags, we are standing in all the painfully long TSA lines, we are getting on that plane and we are spending our holiday overseas as originally planned. I can only encourage anyone else with upcoming travel plans to do the same.

If that still doesn't help, think of it this way: there are an estimated 90,000 flights worldwide every day. Not only are the statistics on our side, but an increase of vigilance surrounding our airports and subway systems just made our travels much safer than they were yesterday.

"Courage is the knowledge of how to fear what ought to be feared
and how not to fear what ought not to be feared."
David Ben-Gurion

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I am glad that you are going to go through with your trip.

In February 2003, I went to England, despite the fact there was a high security risk at Heathrow (according to the BBC, tanks were on the tarmac.) My parents tried to talk me out of going, and I was really nervous, but nothing bad ended up happening (other than a huge anti-US protest in Picadilly). I had a KILLER time. I can't believe I almost gave that up for a "what if".

Be safe and have fun!!

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