Or the post I wasn’t going to write.
This week, one of the worst things that most of us can imagine happened on the streets of Paris: armed terrorists attacked and killed unarmed civilians to further a cause that uses bastardized faith to justify both their means and ends.
But I wasn’t going to write about that.
Then this week, across all media and social media platforms, news of all kinds of disasters, all over the world – natural and unnatural, yet all terrifying – started to pop up in my feeds.
Still, I wasn’t going to write about this.
Then, one conversation caught my attention:
A fellow traveler, another American girl like me living abroad, had written how she loved being out in the world but sometimes it’s a scary place to be. An older family friend responded:
“Well, you should just come home right now and you’ll be fine.”
This is a thought so many of us have had: ‘If I’m home, where I grew up, where everyone knows me, I’ll be safe.’ In our heads, it is only out in the world that danger lurks.
But I think what human history has shown us is that just staying home doesn’t grantee us anything. These acts can happen anywhere, but it is my belief that if we just sit in our houses and watch these evens on our screens, we are giving ourselves a huge disadvantage:
It is out in the world where you gain the perspective to see more than your our tiny world, your own life; even if gaining those worldviews is a truly scary experience. I’m not saying traveling is the only way to get this perspective, but it helps.
So, I’m not going to sit here and write not to be scared, or that fear is the only thing to be afraid of (although there is wisdom in that), or that if you stay afraid and at home, you’re letting the terrorists win, because that will never be my point.
What I want to say -in this long-winded way – is that if you want to go out in the world and learn, don’t let events like the one this past week be the thing that holds you back. As always, be safe in how you travel, where you go, what you do, but don’t hold back on experience and living and learning because of the ignorance of others.
Beyond fear, ignorance and, more so, settling for ignorance is the thing I fear, so go out, be safe, be kind, be open, and travel well. Now and always,
This is Leave on the WInd, helping (and hoping) you soar.