“There has been another attack.”
Those words hurt my heart. They tear into my soul and send my mind racing. I hate those words and the stories that will inevitably follow. I feel helpless. Heartbroken. As if somehow I was directly impacted.Parenthood and Passports -Traveling with kids when there is terrorism I immediately hit my knees and pray. I pray for the lives lost. For the injured. For the families who have now been catapulted into devastating pain because of a horrible, senseless act of terrorism. I pray for those who caused this pain. That they’ll change. That they’ll stop this. That there will someday be peace.

“There has been another attack.” 

It seems every time we turn on the news, I hear those words. The start of a news report detailing a violent act of terrorism somewhere in the world. It happened again. Suicide bombers. Dozens dead. Hundreds injured.

“There has been another attack.”

As a family who travels quite a bit and has a deep love for countries all around the world these attacks are scary. They’re random. They’re unpredictable. And they’re becoming more frequent. They’re in places we’ve visited or places we plan to visit. They’re in countries where we have friends… Friends whom we consider family.

Parenthood and Passports - Traveling with Kids
Some of our friends across the pond.

“There has been another attack.”

Maybe you shouldn’t travel anymore. You should consider canceling your next trip. At least don’t take the baby. The text messages, emails and phone calls all come flooding in within hours of the news breaking. The world is dangerous right now. The world is scary. You shouldn’t be traveling… Especially with a child.

“There has been another attack.”

It becomes the topic of conversation over the dinner table. My husband and I hold hands and pray, and then the discussion follows. We talk about the current state of the world and the hostile groups who want nothing more than to inflict harm on the innocent. Should we still travel?! Is it safe?! But we always end the conversation the same. We’re still going to travel.

Why we will still travel despite terrorism

Parenthood and Passports -Traveling with Kids when the world is scaryNot everyone agrees. Not everyone understands. But as my husband always says after each attack, if we stop traveling, if we stop living our lives, if we become paralyzed in fear, terrorism wins. Those who are waging this war will become feared. As a result, that fear gives them power.

“There has been another attack.”

I’m sure I’ll hear those words again, although I pray I don’t. Despite the latest attacks and any future attacks, we still chose to believe the world is mostly good. We still choose to show our daughter that world. She and children just like her are our future. If they see the beauty of other countries and friendliness of other cultures, terrorism won’t win. Love, kindness and acceptance will ultimately prevail.

14 thoughts on “Traveling with kids when the world is scary”

  1. I was just talking with my husband about the Brussels attacks today. I felt a sickness in my stomach this morning when I woke up and heard about what had happened. I visited Brussels for the first time five years ago and loved the city. It has such an elegance to it. I pray the city will recover from this tragedy and show its resilience. I applaud you for continuing to travel despite these attacks. You couldn’t have said it better, “if we stop traveling, if we stop living our lives, if we become paralyzed in fear, terrorism wins.” Like you, I won’t let it win either.

  2. Weighing the lifelong benefits of travel for your children against the actual odds of being a victim – I, for one, agree with your choice to continue traveling. Rick Steves has an interesting clip on this topic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIsNJtN1UaM My work is related to traffic safety and he uses an example from our highway fatalities that hits home for me.

    1. Thanks for sharing this clip! This is so true. We make choices everyday that are far more dangerous than traveling the world. I love how he says at the end “the best thing to do is to keep traveling to help them understand us and help us understand them.”

      1. Exactly! I also have found it really helpful to be the ‘foreigner’ – I have always found gracious people that have welcomed me and helped me along in my travels. It’s only right to treat guests in the States to the same courtesy.

  3. I completely agree with both you and Lori. If we stop traveling, terrorism truly does win. I saw a photo today of Obama at a baseball game and upon receiving much criticism for it, he expressed a sentiment similar to yours. He said he went to the game as planned because “the whole premise of terrorism is to disrupt people’s lives.” Glad to see you keep traveling and passing that on to your child. The more of the world you see (particularly at a young age), the more accepting and empathetic you become.

  4. I love your post VERY much, and I completely think that y’all should never stop traveling. I pray that y’all will continue to be protected, and stay safe when traveling. Where are y’all looking to travel to next?

  5. The world is a quite scary these days but you can’t stop your lives and plans “in case”. Travel is the greatest joy and I take the line of be alert, aware and avoid any situation that looks dodgy.

    No amount of those 3 A’s can cover well-planned attacks which randomly shatter lives.

    Travel opens the mind to such pleasures and joys that it’s hard to stop, my next trip is always on the horizon!

    I felt very saddened last night at the dreadful news, my heart goes out to all the victims and the suffering that comes with the act. Thank you for your post, It’s exactly how I felt, I just couldn’t put any words together..

  6. These attacks are becoming so scary and random… I don’t travel as much as my husband does and these days when he has to go away, I find myself silently praying and laying away for days on end asking a higher power for his protection.

    The truth is we can’t decide to not live our lives… We can only hope for a better tomorrow and hold on to what little ray of life is left sometimes to keep on going.

    I really enjoyed reading this.

    My heart goes out to the families of souls lost.

    1. I agree wholeheartedly. I truly believe if we instill in our children the values of love, acceptance and compassion, if we show them other cultures and teach them to embrace differences in others, our tomorrow will be better.

  7. I agree completely.
    The world today is a mess. It’s been a mess for a while and in all honesty I’m not quite sure what we can even do to solve it. No matter what they try it just seems to be getting worse.
    It’s become a common occurrence to turn on the news and hear about a terror attack on a country that seems to be getting closer and closer to home each time. ISIS are the biggest threat to the world recently, and by the looks of it they will stop at nothing to get their point across: they’re everywhere and anywhere and no one is safe.

    BTW, I love your writing. I am glad to know you.

    Love,
    Aishwariya

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