It has been quite a long time since I have wanted to write about this topic. But, because of the fact that it’s a delicate argument, I wanted to be sure to have the right words to write.
If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that in the “Expat Thoughts” section I cover all the feelings, expectations and daily life experiences of being an expat, the good the bad and the ugly. Indeed, my aim is to give you a 360° view what it’s like living your life in another country.
To be coherent with what I just said, I feel the need to write about my thoughts related to all the terrorist attacks, or in general the bad and surprising events that are happening. Before going to the main part of the article though, I want to precise that what I mean by this is not giving a political view about it, but just sharing with you the feelings I have when hearing this type of news. Since I travel a lot, some of the places where these attacks happened were cities in which I lived or spent time, so it’s normal, I believe, to have fear, mental confusion or just even sorrow when thinking about it.
If you’re following me on Instagram you probably know that I particularly felt near the attack that happened in Nice on July 14th. My sister was there with her friends, and in the blink of an eye they were safe from what was an epic tragedy. We usually hear these kind of events on TV and it’s already shocking, but living it, it’s totally overwhelming. I formerly also lived another terrorist attack pretty near in November, I was living in Belgium in Leuven, a city 30 min by train from Brussels and during that time the first attack which hit the capital, happened.
Now, what I ask you is “Should you stop travelling to avoid any risk? Should you just stay home?” My answer to these questions is NO. Firstly, if you stop living your normal life because of the terrorist attacks, it’s like giving up on what people battled for ages, for open borders, for open-mindedness, for interaction with other cultures. On the other hand, the terrorists or whoever has planned the event, achieved their aim: to spread fear and terror. Secondly, unfortunately these events are unpredictable, it happened in Belgium, in France, in Germany, in Turkey…. the probability to be in the exact city where an attack is happening is less than being in a car accident. Bad events can happen anywhere, anytime… I lived in Nice for 1 month last summer, and I walked through the Promenade (the street where the van run over all those people) at least 3/4 times per day and nothing happened….my sister was there for the first time the day she arrived and…well, we know what took place…I believe it’s about being unconsciously in the wrong place at the wrong time or, as in her case, for fate, going away from the wrong place at the right time.. But, I repeat, this could happen anywhere, even on the street of my house if you think about it.
What we should actually learn from these facts is that life is not something that we can’t take for granted, at all, and maybe some of the things that we consider our daily essential (like our phones) are not so important. In the end we should be grateful for the truly important things in life, for example showing gratitude to our friends and family, and making sure they feel loved and they know how much we care about them. There are so many features of our lives that we do not take time to appreciate.
I want to conclude this post with this link: it’s an open letter that Marta Baggiani, an Italian student who, just like me and you loves travelling, exploring new places and cultures. Marta wrote this open letter to her mother entitled “Mum, I will die because of terrorism”. In the letter, she explains why despite all these bad happenings, she’s not afraid to take a plane, to keep travelling, and to keep discovering.
Unfortunately, the letter is available only in Italian, but if you’re interested I can translate it for you. Please let me know in the comments below.
What about you? What are your thoughts related to the recent unhappy news? I would be interested and curious to hear your opinion, and I’d appreciate you sharing it with me.
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