Tsunami, earthquakes, flight crashes, terror attacks, Ebola, and car accidents, we have all seen it in the news. We see and hear about the many travelers and tourists affected. And it might stop some of us from travelling, as we are afraid this will happen to us as well.
I have felt this fear on my body as well. However, it has never stopped me from travel. But, I know several people that do not travel due to their fear of something happening to them. I often get the question if it was dangerous the places I have been, and people tell me that they are afraid of travelling to certain places, and think about staying home due to this fear they feel.
I do understand their concern, as I have also felt like them. But whenever I do, I remind myself of two things:
The first one is when I lived in a city named Jos in Nigeria. In the middle of an armed conflict, between Muslims and Christians. A place where it is not recommended to travel at all. A place with bombs, village attacks and killings. Most people would be too scared to travel to such a place. But the most ironic thing, while I sitting safe in Nigeria, I got the bad news about that it had been a bomb in my home country Norway (Oslo), killing eight people. Thereafter, I got the even worse news about that 77 people, most of them youths, was shot and killed during a summer camp at a small island called Utøya, right outside Oslo. You probably remember these horrible events as well?
My point is that before the parents sent their children to Utøya, they were sure that their children were safe there. Right before going to Nigeria, I had lived in Oslo for three years. I do not think that my parents were ever scared that something would happen to me in Oslo, but in Nigeria I am sure they were every day.
It is all just about being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Bad things can happen at home, as much as it can happen when you are out travelling. Even if you are in a place that is considered “safe” or not.
The second thing I remind myself, are the people that I have met that actually let the fear stop them to travel. The ones that just stay at home. The ones that are so afraid of death, that it stops them to have the life they wish they had. The people so afraid of dying, that they actually are afraid of living. If I die tomorrow, at least I lived my life as I wanted. I travelled, I saw the world. Furthermore, I am trying not to be worried about dying, but about not living. And staying home and not travel due to fear would for me mean not living.