What's more exciting than going on your first vacation with your friends, independent from your family, in one of the biggest cities on the earth? Now, imagine nearly hours from your bus, leaving your parents and secretly wanting to call off the whole thing. That's what my two best friends and I experienced this past weekend while traveling to New York City.
On July 15, 2016, the anti-terrorist group Anonymous called for a "Day of Rage" in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. There were to be riots and protests in 37 cities around the country at 7 p.m. ET. One of those cities was New York City in Times Square, just 2 blocks from the hotel my friends and I were staying at. You could understand our parents' concerns. As we ventured around the city Friday afternoon and we veered closer to Times Square, the number of police officers exponentially increased and we even saw a few SWAT team members.
All in all, we were very lucky that nothing actually happened and that there was no threat to our safety, but the whole scare got me thinking.
We are living in a world right now that is in fear, as it rightfully should be. You can hardly go a week without turning on the news and hearing of the most recent terrorist attack around the world or the most recent police/minority shooting here in the U.S. People are afraid to go see the world because they worry that, if they do, they are going to be stuck in the middle of the next devastating act of terrorism or hate crime. Do I believe domestic issues could be solved here in the U.S.? Yes I do, but that's a whole other topic to get into. But, the world will be much more difficult to pacify.
I guess what I'm trying to say here, though, is that we cannot let fear extinguish our desire to travel. The world, no matter what turmoil is going on with it's inhabitants, it a breathtaking place. We have so much we want --no, NEED --to learn from the world, that travel is a necessity in one's life.
Are you going to let the fear of a potential terrorist attack stop you from seeing the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, or the Great Barrier Reef? If you think about it, there's potential anywhere at any time. That's the point, though. We cannot predict when and where they will happen, and if you have that perspective, you will live your whole life in fear!
When it comes to traveling, be safe and be smart. My friends and I traveled to one of the largest cities on the earth, one that many people wait for the day that it will be victim of the world's next attack, and we were fine. The world is a dangerous place right now, yes, and you could make an argument as to why you shouldn't go to nearly any major city in the world for that reason. But, is all travel going to halt? Obviously not.