Travel in Tumultuous Times
Discovering the world is a priceless experience for those who are fortunate enough to do so. The modern traveler spends countless hours levitating in metal containers and tolerating turbulent moments of stomach-dropping anxiety with the certainty that, once the wheels of the plane touch down safely in a foreign destination, the journey is worth the risk. Through travel, we are transported to worlds that share little resemblance to the places we call home, and we do so with the purpose of gaining more knowledge and understanding about the planet we live on.
Travelling teaches independence and exposes us to cultures outside of our own, setting us on the path to becoming more well-rounded people who can see multiple perspectives. Those who take the time to explore other countries are able to unlock an encyclopedia of history and information about the world that can only be accessed through interaction.
Today, turbulence in airplanes is no longer the sole cause of anxiety when people choose to travel abroad, as international terrorist attacks seem to be the new norm. Most recently, several incidents have occurred in popular tourist destinations of both Germany and France. Because of this, people will be hesitant to tour Munich’s historic WW2-era structures. They will think twice before they consider spending their vacation days on the crystal beaches in the south of France. This is most unfortunate because it affects the people who want to travel, as well as the businesses abroad that depend on tourists for revenue.
These ruthless attacks on innocent people are slowly changing the way many of us think about travelling. Since it is nearly impossible to determine where and when the next attack will take place, people are beginning to rule out going to other countries as a whole. Additionally, students who have a strong desire to see the world through study-abroad programs are being denied by their deeply concerned parents, who fear for their safety now more than ever. This means that more young people who want to stimulate their minds through travel are unable to because of growing risks.
The public’s increasing reluctance to travel is an issue that must be taken seriously for several reasons. Refraining from international travel will not only have a detrimental effect on those who have a desire to experience other cultures; it will also hinder the economies of countries that heavily depend on tourism for income. If people allow terrorism to prevent them from going to other countries, the small businesses centered around travel and tourism will suffer. The charming tour guides in Nice may lose their jobs because the agency can no longer afford to pay their salaries. The cute family-owned bed and breakfast in Cannes may go out of business because tourists are refusing to travel to the south of France. Ultimately, these terror groups are driven by the fear that they cause, and to change our lifestyles because of these threats would be to let them win.