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Why You Should Travel in Times of Terrorism

The first time that I ever visited New York City was in the months following the 9/11 attacks. New York saw a huge drop in tourism, so the tourism bureau created a package called "Paint the Town Red, White and Blue." The package included train tickets from Boston, hotel and theater tickets. For Christmas 2001, my mom gave this to me as my gift. I will never forget the moment that I climbed the steps from Penn Station and saw the lights of Times Square in the distance. In that moment something forever changed inside of me and I knew that New York City was my home. I was 15 years old. Mom and I fell in love with the city and started making almost quarterly trips (though we skipped the pricy train for the $10 Chinatown bus.)

Though I can't say for sure how New York tourism changed post 9/11 other than stricter rules for entering museums and having to take your shoes off going through airport security, I can say that I never felt scared. I never walked down the street thinking that I could get blown up. The magic of the city was too overwhelming for any other thoughts. With all the mass shootings of late, it feels like you're just as likely to get caught up in trouble in a small town. Destruction can happen anywhere.

Like the New York attacks, the attacks on Paris felt like they came out of nowhere. I think that Americans empathize with the Paris attacks more so than attacks in Lebanon or the problems in Syria because we associate those places with violence and they feel somewhere very far away. We have the "it won't happen to me" attitude, but in Africa and the Middle East this mindset doesn't apply. Paris is more familiar to us; their people are perceived more like us.

This is why I love Brad Rickman's article posted November 25 on cntraveler.com Why You Should Go to Paris (And Beirut, And Belgium, And...) Now More than Ever. We are becoming more and more of a global community and I think that the idea of thinking about being a global citizen is important for the future of the world. It is important to see these places, those people- to connect with them and build empathy and understanding. To not let THEM win. Because the moment we let several people's actions dictate where we go and what we do, they win.

New York

Read 1892 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 December 2015 17:38
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