I've walked down Las Ramblas. Of course I have. It's a Must when visiting Barcelona. I've crossed the London Bridge (not to be confused with the Tower Bridge although I've crossed that as well). Of course I have. It's a Must when visiting London. I didn't see a concert in Manchester but I did walk quite a bit of that city. Any one of these attacks could have taken place when I was there.
|Manchester (May 2016) - Attacked May 2017|
|My kid at the London Bridge ( May 2016) - Attacked June 2017|
|La Boqueria on Las Ramblas, Barcelona (November 2011) - Attacked August 2017|
I'd go to Barcelona right now (well, maybe I'd wait until tomorrow because it's bed time here). I'd go back to Paris or London or Manchester. I'd go to Finland, which was also the site of a "murder with terrorist intent" this week. I went to Venice last weekend (no, it has not been the scene of a recent attack). None of this will stop me from traveling. If anything, it makes me want to travel more. It makes me more determined to go and see and be out in the world.
My heart aches for what is happening in places like Charlottesville, VA. Fear and hate cannot be allowed to plant roots and grow.
When I was in the Peace Corps we had three goals:
1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
The 2nd goal is something I feel like I am still doing now. I hope that the understanding people have of Americans is a positive one based on their encounters with me rather than a negative one based solely on the news. I trust that the good in people will prevail and the recent outbursts of violence and bigotry will be squashed and smothered by the displays of love and tolerance and acceptance. I find travel, meeting people, and learning about new cultures and customs is one of the best ways to expand one's understanding and tolerance and acceptance of people who are different from you. We're all human regardless of where we're from or how you feel about durian fruit.
How do you feel about travel given what's happening in the world right now?