Terrorist incidents in the 21st century have defined the way we travel, from the stringent airport security measures to living in fear of unexpected attacks. Recently, terror groups like ISIS have repeatedly warned of more mass bombings in several major European cities and true, they carried out some of them like the Paris concert hall attacks and the Brussels airport bombings. Other attacks have been made in Istanbul, Madrid, Mumbai, Nairobi, London, Bangkok, New York, Boston, and many other big cities with a high number of tourists.
These attacks are made in reciprocation for strikes against major terrorist groups, especially in the Middle East and Somalia. The terrorists’ aim is to hit targets of countries in the coalition against them and that’s why they target the embassies, hotels, citizens and cities of the coalition members.
Despite the heightened fears, you can still travel to your favorite destination, whether Paris, London, Madrid, New York, Nairobi, etc and make it back safely! How? It’s something to do with changing your misperception of the unexpected and how you can remain vigilant while on your trip. You shouldn’t be a cower into such threats and then miss out on the best adventures, making friends, tasting splendid delicacies or enjoying that conducive weather you’ve always desired.
Sometimes we need to rely on statistical probability to figure out our chances of becoming victims of terrorist attacks. You may do well to refer to some statistics provided by the US Department that show that there were fewer Americans killed in terrorist attacks abroad than in similar incidents at home. For example, between 2001 to 2013, 350 Americans were killed in terrorist incidents abroad which are roughly far lower than the 3,030 Americans killed in similar incidents at home.
You may also need to know that according to statistical evidence, many places Americans visit abroad are safer than most U.S cities. The probability of a terrorist attack happening at a certain place in a given period shouldn’t be equated to the probability of becoming a victim.
Do you really know where the high risks are? You may need to know that there are some realistic risks to you as an individual traveler than just becoming fearful of unexpected terrorist attacks! Think about the overexposure to strong the sunshine, the hygiene risks in places like a cruise ship. These less-publicised risks are more certain and dangerous than the risks of becoming a victim of uncertain terrorist attacks.
Additionally, we shouldn’t develop a fear of risks that are relatively unfamiliar to us while ignoring those that we have lived with for a very long time. We also tend to develop a strong fear of incidents that happen less often and even far away than those within our own control, i.e. cancer, diabetes, car crashes, shark attacks, heart disease, etc. This may all be something to do with our psychological fear that’s instilled in us by the highly publicized news headlines of random terrorist attacks but we get little or none at all about the silent risks that are severer.
The point here is that we shouldn’t prioritize unlikely risks to the point of ignoring more likely risks in which there are greater chances of us getting affected. The more frightened we become, the more unfortunate decisions we make. Remember that the terrorists’ main aim is to instill prolonged fear in you. It may take long for you to realize the more imminent risks to you than jumping up and down about something you’re really unsure of. Something to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t give in to fear about something completely unrelated to you to the point of ignoring the dangers that are just close to your door. That is why terrorist attacks shouldn’t even deter you from enjoying the best part of your earthly life.
Just stop trying to weigh the likely risks of an attack based on historical records. Some of the current nice places to travel to were once no-travel areas. Those historical records may not seem relevant to your travel plans if you try to measure how much progress has been made to make those areas safe again. You should focus on how to gain the most from your trip while staying vigilant and avoiding risks over which you have more control.