Travelling in the face of terrorism & becoming a global citizen

In the days and weeks following the terrible incident in Paris on the 13th of November many emotions have filled us all. From shock and horror to a renewed sense of hope given the global reaction. In the time that has passed the spirit of the people of not only Paris but the world has been amazing, but also there has been an underlying current of hatred which brings us great sadness. The world at the moment often seems like a crazy and confusing place, but what felt the most important was for us not to let these people win, to be defiant in our travels as well as not letting hate corrupt us.

Now with the attacks at the airport in Belgium, at an airport we have transited through. The bombings on Turkey, a country close to our hearts. The butchering of British tourists on the beaches of Tunisia and the countless daily and historic attacks it is easy to give in to fear. But we have to rise above that.

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Fear and living your life

The initial and understandable first reaction to the attacks is fear, the idea that you could be innocently sitting down to a meal in a restaurant or seeing a band live and be shot in cold blog is horrifying. In fact, the band in question “The Eagles of Death Metal” are a band we listen to and it’s likely had we been in Paris that night we would have been at that concert. That thought is terrifying that’s for sure.

 

 Travelling, traveling, in the face of terrorism, fear, defiance, Paris, racism, isis, eiffel tower, ground zero, 9/11, paris attacks, dealing with fear, global citizen, imagine, john lennon, peace, love, politics, immigration, lviv, ukraine, prejudice,
Fear takes many forms, but more often than not the inability to overcome it keeps you static and holds you back

 

Fear is also one of the most powerful emotions we feel, it can take over us, rule our hearts and heads if we let it. From seemingly smaller things such as being scared to spend money or step out of your comfort zone and becoming trapped in a self defeating safety net to a paralysing and twisting evil. It can make people demonise an entire race, religion or country, it starts wars, deep routed hatred and ultimately creates an us and them circle of terror.

 

 Travelling, traveling, in the face of terrorism, fear, defiance, Paris, racism, isis, eiffel tower, ground zero, 9/11, paris attacks, dealing with fear, global citizen, imagine, john lennon, peace, love, politics, immigration, lviv, ukraine, prejudice,

 

You might have read about our round the world backpacking trip we are setting off on in March next year. Our first stop will be Paris, the city that sent me on this path of wanderlust 10 years earlier in 2006. A magical city full of love, hope and an unbreakable spirit, somewhere I wanted Shorty to see for a long time too.

 

 Travelling, traveling, in the face of terrorism, fear, defiance, Paris, racism, isis, eiffel tower, ground zero, 9/11, paris attacks, dealing with fear, global citizen, imagine, john lennon, peace, love, politics, immigration, lviv, ukraine, prejudice,

 

But what do we do? Do we skip it out, pass it by? If we miss out Paris then where else is unsafe? Kosovo? Ukraine? Russia? Asia as a whole? Well if we do that we may as well stay at home, put the plans on hold and let fear consume us. If we compromise ourselves, our lives, hopes, dreams and plans for these people then they have won, they rule our lives. If you sit at home all day terrified of what might happen then they have killed you in another way. What if you never leave your home town for fear of a terrorist attack and yet step out of your front door and get ran over? You can’t spend your life asking what if?

 

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Lviv in Ukraine. Dangerous? All we found was a rich and fascinating culture to explore

Being a citizen of the world

Travelling in the face of terrorism isn’t about blind defiance, of course, certain levels common sense need to be applied but we can’t allow them to rule over us. We can’t allow them to create prejudice and assumptions. Travelling at it’s very heart is all about overcoming those exact things, about learning of other cultures, learning about the reality behind the veil of the media and being a compassionate citizen of the world.

 

 Travelling, traveling, in the face of terrorism, fear, defiance, Paris, racism, isis, eiffel tower, ground zero, 9/11, paris attacks, dealing with fear, global citizen, imagine, john lennon, peace, love, politics, immigration, lviv, ukraine, prejudice,

 

Despite being often obsessed by countries and crossing borders what often happens is the more places we have visited the less we have become concerned with the political idea of countries. Culturally we love the fact that you can walk across an imagery line and into what feels like a totally different world. But at the same time it makes no sense to us that people should be treated differently, left to starve, forgotten about or presumed an enemy because of an imaginary line. Terrorism only works towards reenforcing those divisions.

 

Perspective

People all around the world are suffering because of terrorism, we as travellers are privileged to be able to move around the globe as we want, to have the freedoms and style of life many could never even imagine. Many others have to make dangerous journeys across land and sea to escape those very terrorists. To continue to travel might seem like a small defiance in the light of what others face, but we all have to play our part in creating a world in which terror is not allowed to rule.

 

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The lyrics to John Lennon’s beautiful song, Imagine seem even more fitting in this age of war, famine, consumerism, terrorism and hatred. Lets all work together to create a better world of understanding, peace, love and happiness!

 

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today…

 

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

 

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

 

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world…

 

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

peace ✌

 

How do you feel about travelling in the current political climate?

 

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.