Should I be afraid to go to Paris?

Or anywhere? …given some of the world events that have recently transpired.

I canceled a trip to Tokyo on March 11, 2011 because of a disaster. Should I consider cancelling a February 2015 trip to London and Paris, based on events in Paris that happened last week?

Police presence at the Louvre

Police presence at the Louvre

I think the short answer should be NO, but let’s review part of the January 9th “caution” from the U.S. Department of State:

…..continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness……

I feel fairly safe traveling in the U.S., including air travel. While I don’t expect my government to keep me safe, I think the TSA does a good job of keeping air travel safe here.

And, I think the airports in Europe also do a good job of keeping air travel safe. Can bad things happen? Of course. Bad things happen every day in all aspects of life. Driving my car to the store is a risk.

So….what are the chances I could be impacted (worst case scenario: killed) by an act of terrorism while in Europe? Hopefully slim and none, but being cautious while traveling is always a good idea for other reasons; such as the petty crime that is rampant in certain major European cities.

Does the need to be cautious detract from the experience of traveling? Perhaps. Should we be discouraged from traveling to places like Paris? I hope not. And based on how the Parisians are dealing with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, I think they don’t want us to be afraid to visit their beautiful city.

While I try to avoid dressing like a tourist – you’ll never see me wearing white tennis shoes or a fanny pack – my French isn’t good enough to really blend in. Should I break out my best Canadian accent, eh?, and pretend that I am not an American? I am not sure that would keep me any safer than just being me, but these are the types of things I am thinking about as I plan my trip.

There is no way to prevent being the victim of a random act of violence, but is the threat of terrorism going to become part of travel abroad now? Not to be flippant, but we do live in a scary world. And, I still want to see that world!

Have you changed travel plans because of a terrorist threat?


About jewelsworldtravels

I want to see the world! I am armed with the book "1,000 places to see before you die" and I am having a great time. I am also a dog lover and theatre snob.
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