Is it Safe To Travel?

No Fear

I refuse to let fear lead me.

Lance and I are often traveling to areas of cultural importance and events with large crowds. Carnival, Oktoberfest, Christmas markets, concerts, UNESCO world heritage sites, or even just the train station I pass through everyday for work … every time we go, it crosses my mind…it could happen here.

Acts of terror and violence are happening everywhere. And it seem to be happening more often.  Acted out by groups, by individuals;  acted out with bombs, with cars…with guns.

When I first told friends and family that we would be moving to Germany, several people gasped in fearful astonishment. “Whitney! It isn’t safe over there!”

(And is it safe in The United States of America? Forgive me if I sound bitter; perhaps I am. Honestly, I feel heartbroken. Mothers, grandfathers, daughters, uncles, friends… they went to a concert, and 58 of them never came home. I’m sad. I’m angry. Something has to change with gun control in America. Something has to happen with mental healthcare in America. Surely we can reach a middle ground that keeps Americans safe from gun violence? But don’t get me started…)

I didn’t start this post to argue about gun reform. I’m writing about fear. I will not stop seeing the world because others seek to make me afraid. The world is too beautiful and full of good not to explore it with childlike eyes of wonder. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to take a vacay to Syria or Iraq anytime soon, that would be reckless.)

The diversity of humanity is too beautiful to stereotype and fear. The beating hearts across this globe are too inspiring to leave room for discrimination against whole groups, all for the atrocities committed by a few. The Bible says that men are created in the image of God, and so how can we know God truly without embracing and loving His/Her (yes, I said it) many faces?

For some reason, when a white man attacks, he is a “lone wolf,” or “crazy,” but if a person of color commits a crime, a whole group of people suffer the social ramifications of said crime. I refuse to be afraid of people because they don’t look like me, speak like me, or pray like me. The world is richer because they don’t.

I will celebrate the coming of 2018 in the crowded streets of Paris. I will see Saint Patty’s day in Ireland. Romania, Africa, Asia show me your best! I will go to concerts, parades and street festivals. Because what is life if we refuse to live it? And everyday I will breathe air deep into my lungs with thankfulness for the life, beauty and diversity abounding in this world.

Where do you suggest we should go? Has anyone gone to Istanbul recently? We would love to go before moving home. Comments welcome!

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