Thoughts on International Travel

I lived a long time without every stepping foot outside the United States, other than a mile or two across the Mexican border back in the days when drug cartels didn’t control everything. I wanted to go to Egypt and the Middle East to see the ruins of towns I’d read about in the Bible. I wanted to see the pyramids, Valley of the Kings, and Karnack. I wanted to see castles and suits of armor of old England. I wanted to see the Swiss Alps and the Louvre. But it costs a lot of money to go those places so my dreams stayed as dreams.
Last year, Hubby and I traveled to London, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland. I fulfilled dreams that I thought would never come true. I walked through several castles and saw lots of suits of armor. I saw the rolling countryside with its miles and miles of stone fences. I saw ancient buildings preserved by the descendants of those who built them. It was a magical trip that almost seemed like a dream.
Hubby and I are signed up for a trip to the Alps in September for our 40th wedding anniversary. More dreams fulfilled! We plan to spend several days in Milan, Italy, then tour the Swiss, German, and Austrian Alps with the same tour group that we went to Ireland with, and finish up with several days in Munich, Germany. Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
We seriously considered taking a Great Rivers of Europe river tour that immediately precedes the date of our Alps tour, but we pulled out and bought a motor home instead. While that would have put the cap on the last of my European travels, we didn’t feel comfortable with spending that much for a few weeks of leisure and adventure. If I ever become a best-selling author, then maybe we’ll think about it again.
In the months since we booked the Alps tour, lots of terrorist activities have occurred in Europe which brings up the question, is it safe to travel overseas? Terrorists threaten airplanes, tourist hot spots, and people in general so should we put ourselves in harm’s way just to see the wonders of another continent? Should we go in defiance to the terrorists so they know they’re not going to influence us?
The answers to those questions are we don’t know. Meeting new people and seeing old places pulls me to say let’s go. I’ve read history and archaeological books for years and years, so actually seeing places and things that I’ve read about is especially gratifying. I cannot describe how emotional it was for me to walk in the British Museum in London and see the wonders of the ancient world artifacts there. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I want to feel that wonder again.
At the same time, we might put ourselves at unnecessary risk. It’s dangerous over there! But will it ever be safer? Should we stay home for fear of something happen over there? In the end, for me at least, I’m planning to go. If it’s my time, it’s my time, and here or there may not make a lot of difference.
But I’m curious. What do you think?