Three years ago, we, like millions of other tourists, passed through the beautiful city of Barcelona. With so many of you, we were deeply saddened by the recent terrorist attack there.
When we began traveling internationally in the early 2000s, we knew little of the ins and outs of being a good...and safe…traveler. Back then, we heard the stories about pickpockets in Rome and Athens, how to keep your wallet and purse secure, and to not make yourself a target.
In the intervening years, those warnings pale in comparison to what could potentially befall any tourist looking to explore this beautiful world of ours. Today, the U.S. Department of State maintains a website with alerts and travel warnings for any American traveling abroad. Sadly, the need for those warnings are becoming more prevalent as more and more countries have become victims to the senseless violence that is not all too common place.
Trips today are now planned with one eye on the location and one eye on the potential for tragedy. Those warnings from years past about pickpockets pale in comparison to the possibility of shootings, bombings or trucks speeding down a pedestrian mall.
For those who like to travel, it is a balancing act of should I go or should I not. Do I go and possibly place myself at risk or do I stay home and miss one more opportunity to punch that bucket list?
While the question is deeply personal, and one each individual or couple should make based on their own threshold for risk tolerance, we think the answer is simple…Go.
Go with the enthusiasm you had when you took that first trip to England or Italy or Egypt or Israel or, yes, even Spain. But go with the wisdom gained through those many trips to take the appropriate cautions as needed based on the locale and the current circumstances there.
It is, we think, one way we as Americans can say to the world: Yes, we stand with you and look forward to meeting our fellow travelers around the globe. The savagery of terrorists must be met with a unified voice of support in remembrance of the victims.
Photo: Christopher Columbus statue in Barcelona.