Do you allow terrorism risk to dictate your travel plans?
Unfortunately we are living in a day and age where life is not all about sunshine and roses, in fact not a day seems to go by at the moment when I don’t turn on the TV or open a newspaper to a story about another unfortunate incident. This is enough to make you wonder what the world is coming to, and the one thing which makes you think that more than anything else in the world, is terrorism.
Now, I am writing this for a good reason. I currently live in Turkey, and as a foreigner living in a country which is on a high terrorism alert, I can understand to a degree why so many people have decided this year to cancel their holidays to tourist resorts in my second home, and to stay in their own back gardens.
Following the horrific attack earlier this year in Tunisia, people are running scared, and quite frankly I can’t blame them. The truth of the matter is however, that these attacks can actually happen anywhere and at any time, so whether you choose to travel or not, doesn’t really cut down on your degree of risk. Life at the moment is basically about juggling risk, and you either stay in and don’t leave the house, allowing these ‘people’ (and I use the word ‘people’ loosely. In my opinion, they’re not really high enough up on the human scale to even be afforded that title) to win.
Of course, if you’re thinking of heading off somewhere high risk, then you need to be aware of the risks and make an educated, informed decision based on this, it’s not just you that would be affected, if anything goes wrong, but your family and friends. But saying that, we each have our own paths, and hopefully afforded the freedom to make up our own minds.
Terrorism Travel Guide – So, how do you decide?
My family back in the UK called me a few months ago in a state of total and utter panic because of a story which had been printed in one of the large tabloid newspapers, urging tourists not to go to Turkey because it was unsafe. Now, how does this newspaper know for a fact that Turkey is unsafe? Do they have inside knowledge that they’re not sharing with MI5?
No, they are simply scaremongering, and in effect causing mass panic. What does this do? It affects people’s happiness, stops people from travelling, it affects the tourism industry in a country which relies heavily on it, ruins people’s livelihoods, and basically scares the family and friends of those who are living here very peacefully and safely.
I had to reassure my family countless times, and I still don’t think I managed it to great effect. Basically, the point I’m getting at is that unless you have solid evidence to prove a point, don’t go throwing your opinion out there and calling it ‘fact’ – you’re causing more trouble than you’ll ever know.
Tourism in Turkey has taken a massive hit this year, there’s no denying it; in fact, this year is probably the worst season I have seen in seven years. Of course this is due to people not wanting to travel because of the risk of terrorism, and whilst I can’t blame them for being worried, I don’t think this should necessarily stop anyone from travelling.
Terrorism Travel Guide – What do you think?
You’re not playing Russian roulette by getting on a plane, because you could say the same thing about heading to your nearest city for a day out shopping. These terrorist organisations don’t particularly care who they hurt, they just want to cause bloodshed and terror, and that could be in the UK, it could be in the USA, it could be in Australia, it could be in any European country, or basically anywhere in the world – the fact is, you don’t know, unless you have a crystal ball, and if you do have one then you need to be sharing this information.
I live in a very peaceful Muslim country, where western beliefs and customs sit happily side by side with the predominant Islamic religion of the country. I don’t see any negativity or terror in this, in fact from what I have seen, Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion; the fact is that these people causing all this bloodshed are doing it in the name of evil, not in the same of any god or any religion. This is what you need to remember – no god the world over would tolerate a single drop of blood shed.
So, how can you battle this evil? Basically, you can get on with your life and travel, because travel is a gift. That is my philosophy. You don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow, you don’t know if you’re ever going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and if you are, what can you do about it?
As sad as it is, and yes, we should not have to even consider these facts in this developed day and age, if your number is up, well, your number is up. I’m not suggesting you go out there and visit seriously high risk countries and put yourself in danger, of course you have to weigh up the degree of risk, but make sure you base this decision on concrete evidence, not some scaremongering newspaper report, written by someone who has probably never even set foot out of their own country, let alone been to the place they’re stating is ‘unsafe’.
The advice to listen to is government advice – head to your embassy website and find the up to date information, and base your decision on that. Believe me, Turkey is as safe as anywhere else in the world, and if nowhere is safe, well, you might as well get out and see the damn place, keeping your wits about you, listening to reliable advice, and enjoying the wonderful gift that is travel.
Don’t let them win.
Terrorism Travel Guide – by Nicola Curtis
This concludes our Terrorism Travel Guide. We hope you find this information useful. If you are looking for a specific piece of information, please do comment below as we may have just forgotten to mention it.
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