People have been asking me more and more lately if I’m not afraid to travel, that “the world has become so dangerous”, “what if your plane crashes or disappears?”, “what about terrorists?” And the list goes on.
It’s sad that in recent weeks there have been terrorist attacks in two of my favourite cities. I once called Australia and France home so the terrorist attacks in Sydney and Paris hit home especially when I still have close friends living in both cities and visit frequently.
Yes these, along with the unfortunate plane incidents in the last year, have occurred but will they deter me from travelling? Are they enough reasons to say travel less or that it’s better to stay home?
And it has nothing to do with me being stubborn or ignorant of the issues. The issues are real.
Honestly I think I’m more scared of someone at home asking me that dreaded question “don’t you think it’s time you settle down, get married and have kids?”
But why stop doing what I love? My passion is to experience different cultures and explore foreign places through people, food, art, architecture and history.
If I were to be scared I would of considered not travelling after incidents like these:
- Fuel pumps failing on a 13hr flight to Singapore which eventually turned into a 22hr flight after making an emergency landing to fix the problem.
- Getting chicken pox as an adult in rural India. I was cured with Ayurvedic medicine and in a part of India that considered it auspicious for a woman of marriageable age to get chicken pox being akin to a Hindu Goddess entering her body. I was well taken care off to say the least.
- Stuck in a complete shutdown of Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris as a result of a “suspicious” package found. To the woman who carelessly forgot her handbag, you’re lucky I didn’t miss my flight!
- Having my own Tom Hanks moment from the movie The Terminal when I was pulled into an interrogation room at JFK after a long flight from Japan since my passport number was reported as stolen! I thank the Trini person who reported their passport stolen and gave a passport number off by one digit – my passport number – for my few hours in JFK airport, the day before Thanksgiving!
What many people do not realise are the benefits of travel – any type of travel. In my case how it has impacted me over the years will always outweigh any of the negatives.
- Travel is my therapy, my irresistible desire to travel helps me understand my very own existence.
- Travel has taught the low self-esteem little girl inside of me to be more confident and brave, to just not be afraid
- Travel has made me more independent and responsible over the years
- Travel has taught me to expect the unexpected and learn to always have a backup plan, even when you never thought you’d need one.
- Travel has made me realise we are all different as people in different cultures yet we’re all the same, why judge?
- Travel has given me many new friends around the world, people from different cultures who have become family over the years
- Travel has taught me patience and how to listen more.
My list could go on but you get the gist why I won’t allow recent events to deter me. It’s all about how we choose to deal with it I say.
So to all the people who are now scared to travel or considering canceling travel plans in light of recent events, as much as I respect your decision to do what’s comfortable for you, don’t let fear take over or give up on that dream trip you’ve been planning for. I know I won’t, there are too many facinating places around the world that needs to be discovered, food and wine to be tasted, people to meet and shopping to be done!