I’ll do my best to avoid sounding like an idiot American, despite a title like that.
So here’s the thing. In the last few months, as I’ve been gearing up for another few months overseas, I’ve received countless requests from worried family members (mostly my grandmother), urging me to cancel my trip and come home. This mostly comes as a result of increases in violent attacks and threats of terrorism over pretty much the whole of Europe.
And trust me, it’s not like I’m blissfully unaware that my chances of being killed in a terrorist attack in Europe increase exponentially by being in Europe. I mean, duh.
But terrorists have a thing for taking something joyful and amazing (i.e. The Boston marathon, Bastille Day celebrations, concerts, historic landmarks, airports in general) and making people hide out from them in fear. In the days following the marathon bombings, we did our best to resume business as usual. I went to class, I took exams, even though inside I was quivering with fear and jumping at the sound of car doors shutting. The city of Boston refused to give the Tsarnaevs the satisfaction of causing terror. And for that, we came out stronger.
It’s scary, yes. But if we give into our fears and spend the rest of our days hiding out behind the comfortable drawn curtains at home, they win. And I don’t know about you, but nothing would make me sadder than knowing I let them win.
So you know what’s better than changing your Facebook profile picture to represent the flag of whatever country has been the most recent victim of an attack? Fucking getting on a plane, going there, and posting up in whatever historic landmark attracts tourists, without any fear. Terrorism only works if we let it. So fuck em, I got a plane to catch.