If you've read the news recently, you may have seen that the U.S. State Department issued a worldwide travel alert as a result of terrorist attacks and scares in Paris, Brussels, Bamako and elsewhere.
The circumstances surrounding this travel alert are sad and scary, but before you start freaking out and canceling your vacation plans — stop. Don't cancel those plans.
This particular alert, which was last issued in December 2014, is an understandable one. What it means is that travelers need to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings no matter where they are in the world. U.S. travelers should also enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program and download the app before leaving on a trip. What it does not mean is that you should avoid travel altogether.
There are things in this world that are ugly and truly terrible. There are also things in this world that are amazing and unbelievably beautiful.
I bring this up because there can be a lot of fear mongering when it comes to the media, so it's important to read beyond the headlines and understand the message. I also believe it's detrimental to fear travel. There are things in this world that are ugly and truly terrible. There are also things in this world that are amazing and unbelievably beautiful. It would be a shame to miss out on the latter because we've become consumed with fear of the former.
So, while I can't speak in any official capacity and am only speaking for myself, I absolutely intend to keep traveling. I am immensely thankful I am able to travel more.
I know travel has enriched my life in unimaginable ways, and for that I am profoundly grateful.
There is so much travel can do if you let it. Travel connects us, empowers us, pushes us and teaches us more about ourselves and each other. It makes us more open-minded and empathetic individuals and takes us out of our comfort zones in a way that helps us grow. Travel also gives us a break from the stress of our daily lives and can even help us in our careers. I know travel has enriched my life in unimaginable ways, and for that I am profoundly grateful.
Everyone should understand the travel alert and pay attention to what it entails. But don't ever stop exploring the world. Have an adventure, meet others along the way, learn a lot and be thankful for your experiences. I plan to do just that.
Why are you thankful for travel?