We are surely living in crazy times. Just when you think the news can’t get any worse, something even more horrible happens somewhere in the world. Each of us struggles to make sense of it, but in the end, you just can’t.
People sometimes ask me if I’m “afraid” to travel in Europe, France specifically, or other places around the world since so many horrific events have occurred over recent years. My answer is always “No,” because bad things can happen anywhere. Today those of us who live in the United States sadly know once again that it seems that no one is “safe” anywhere.
Oprah writes a column in her magazine titled “What I Know for Sure.” I’ve decided that maybe there’s not much any more that I know for “sure,” so I’m going to concentrate on what I know “today.” It’s an ever-changing, fluid knowledge that is sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes beyond comprehension — but I do know today that I love exploring the world, I love meeting new people, I love being witness to all the parts of history you find mixed with the modern day when you dare to venture out into parts unknown as well as parts that are familiar.
What I know today is that we all have to be smart and vigilant, we have to PAY ATTENTION to our surroundings, you have to not be afraid to speak up if you see something, and we have to keep a watchful eye whether we are going to the grocery store in small town USA or whether we are going through the airport or a train station in another country. What I know today is that none of us really knows how we will react in the face of danger or if bullets start flying. I hope that I will have the presence of mind to do all the right things to get out of harm’s way should I ever find myself in that situation.
What I know today is that I’m looking forward to my next trip, to the next journey to a new and foreign place, to experiencing the sites, the people, the food, the culture, the art, the architecture, and the KINDNESS I so often encounter in another country. What I know today is that I’m not willing to give that up and replace it with fear of the unknown or fear of what “might” happen.
How about you? Do you still plan to travel, and if so, will you have a different attitude? Do you have any tips to share with the rest of us or a best piece of travel advice? Like I’ve said before, we’re all in this together. Let’s be there for each other, whether we know one another or not, and help each other stay safe when needed. Now, more than ever, we need to have each other’s back. That’s what I know today.