“Are you sure you want to go on vacation this year?”
Believe it or not, I’ve heard that more than a handful of times this summer. We might not be traveling overseas or even that far away, but people have developed a fear of travel. Of leaving their home, exploring new places, and living life.
With all the terrorist attacks going on lately, I guess I can see why. People are becoming more and more scared to visit touristy places. Some people I’ve talked to have even cancelled their vacation plans because they fear being in a heavily populated part of the country.
In fact, I haven’t heard people talk like this since 9/11. Prejudice is alive more than I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime, and I hate it. People should not be afraid of a religion, race, or place.
Back in 2010, I visited London. It might have been seven years after 9/11, but people were still afraid to fly. As I went to get on my international plane, there was every type of person that you could imagine. Young people, old, Americans, British, and, yes, even some Muslims wearing hijabs.
As I got on the plane, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone was on edge. It took longer than usual for all of us to board and, once we did, we were sitting on the place for about an hour. I looked out the window and I saw men taking luggage on and off of the plane over and over again. The woman I was with was a reporter and went to the front to find out what the fuss was about.
She came back to tell us that people needed to be removed as possible terrorist threat. Immediately everyone looked at the Muslims on the plane. Instead, I looked out the window. I saw the white, American couple that boarded right before me before escorted off of the place.
The world is not all good, but it is not bad because of our differences. Prejudice needs to be eliminated. We can’t be afraid to live our lives. To explore. To find the beauty in this world. If we do, then evil wins. The bad guys get what they want — a terrified country.
So, just like Ariana Grande got back on the stage in Manchester, I will get back on the road to travel. Because when we are strong, it becomes contagious. Love always conquers hate.