I just returned from an amazing vacation to Paris with my Mom, a voyage that had been in the works for over a year. So, when the Paris attacks occurred two weeks prior to our departure, everyone from family to friends just assumed we were going to cancel our trip. But, even with the copious phone calls and the wide-eyed stares when we said that all bets were not off, the two of us continued to pack our suitcases.
Yes, what happened in the City of Light was horrific and our hearts went out to our Parisian friends and unknown residents alike—but the truth of the matter is, where is travel safety really a guarantee these days? The answer is nowhere, as we are living in uncertain times where it’s hard not to have a perpetual feeling that the lull before the storm is near. While this is enough to make many people vacation as far as their backyard, it’s definitely not how I’m choosing to live my life—and I think many people would agree that fear is exactly what the terrorists want.
I keep getting asked how the “mood” was in Paris. Well, while I can’t speak for what’s happening behind-the-scenes as a resident, but as a visitor I can say that it was as bustling and jovial as always—particularly at this time of the year in all of its holiday splendor. The main difference, as you would expect, was heightened security. It wasn’t uncommon to see packs of fatigue-clad soldiers patrolling Paris with machine guns, and if you were entering a department store or tourist attraction, you had to open up both your coat and purse to security. In my opinion, these additions should give the nervous traveler peace of mind.
If my opinion doesn’t matter and statistics do, I completely understand. With that said, I leave you an article I read from the Miami Herald right before I went on my trip. Travel safe (and often), dear reader.