What terrorism won’t take from me

As many readers know, we plan to travel to Paris next month. I’ll be very honest: current events have us unsettled and saddened on many levels, including, of course, the impact on our trip plans. Here is why we’re still going.

paris-france

Terrorism won’t take my love of travel. A few, cowardly, misguided, damaged people won’t steal the joy I feel researching trips, complete with Google Maps and Rick Steves guidebooks scattered across my dining room table, TripIt open on my screen. Terrorism won’t take my children’s excitement upon holding a boarding pass in their hands, or their view of clouds and city lights and oceans and sunlight from their window in 32B or 18A. It won’t take our enthusiasm to try that talked-about Parisian cafe or our laughter when we stumble over new words and order the wrong thing. It won’t succeed in keeping our passports locked in a filing cabinet at home.

Terrorism won’t take my kids’ global citizenship. It won’t stop them from feeling wide-eyed awe at the sight of the Eiffel Tower or their amazement at glimpsing a Rodin or a Monet. It won’t take the smiles from their faces as they meet kids who are just like them, except that they dress differently and speak differently and eat different foods. It won’t stop my boys from joining pick-up games of soccer in Manhattan parks or conducting paper airplane-making sessions over the seat back of an international flight. It won’t stop them from making that mind-blowing connection that the kid in the school uniform in Costa Rica is just like all the kids they know, scrambling to get his homework done on the bus. Or that the mother stopping to comfort her fussy baby in a cafe in Brussels is just like their mother, and the mothers of all their friends back at home. And that the fathers are like their fathers, the brothers like their brothers.

statue of liberty

Terrorism won’t take my optimism that people are good and the world is beautiful. It won’t succeed in polarizing my family; we will not see terrorist acts as foreign problems or regional problems, but as global problems. We won’t hide at home, pretending we’re safer here than anywhere else. Terrorism won’t make me hate or suspect or fear based on a person’s religion or looks or language.

Terrorism won’t take my compassion. It won’t harden my heart to the suffering, the hurt, and the struggles both in my city and in my world. It won’t succeed in making me circle the wagons. It won’t stop me from saying ‘yes’ to my teens’ service trip to build homes for those who sleep on the ground, or my child’s desire to send aid money to those who are hungry or displaced or in the wrong place at the wrong time. It won’t stop me and mine from realizing that families are families everywhere, parents do their best everywhere, and children have the right to feel safe and healthy everywhere. Not just here. Not just me.

rappel into cenote

Terrorism won’t take our memories. It won’t take our round-the-dinner-table stories of past trips, like the time we saw a glacier calve in Southeast Alaska or the time Dad fell asleep on the bus in Spain or the time Mom saw someone try to pee on Stonehenge. It won’t make us look back on seeing the wonders of the Washington Monument cast in the glow of Independence Day fireworks or the twinkle of holiday lights on Champs Elysées or the Statue of Liberty against a perfect blue sky glimpsed from the deck of a ferry. It won’t take cozy pubs in Dublin or family photos at Mt. Rainier or tours of Pompeii. It can’t have the taste of pastel-hued macarons or chocolate crepes or poutine. It doesn’t get to take local wine or medieval castles or orca sightings or museum openings or cenote rappelling.

Because that’s ours. And yours. And all the other citizens’ of the world.

Don’t let terrorism take that from you.

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About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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Comments

  1. This is beautiful and good reminder that we fight the war on terrorism on a daily level in our families by living our lives and not letting terrorism win. My daughter’s choir is going to Paris in March, and I am praying they still go, because of course I want our children to be safe, but I also don’t want to let terrorism win. Enjoy your trip!

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