Why fear should have your ears, not your balls you ask? I will do my best to explain why. With the recent events that have happened not just in western countries like Brussels and Paris but also in far-flung third world countries such as Ivory Coast, Kenya and Istanbul.
It would be impossible to say that fear is not at the forefront of every traveler’s thoughts. We are only human. To us and hopefully to you, life is still a precious thing. The same thing can not be said for the cowardly terrorists that are sprouting up like weeds all over the world.
Why fear should have your ears, not your balls :
Fear of traveling:Fear and your ears:
In the new world, it is important to keep ourselves vigilant. Keep our ears to the ground. We must all do this as a collective. You shouldn’t become paranoid however, just do your part. Stay observant as you travel through places such as airports, train stations and other public areas.
Terrorists are looking for the maximum damage and loss they can inflict on the world. It would of course make sense for them to target public areas. I am guilty of not observing my surrounding when l travel, being so involved in my own little bubble.
We (all of us!) have almost become immune to the overhead announcements that tell you not to leave your bags unattended or to report any suspicious packages. It is about time we start listening again.
You never know whose lives you might save. Listen to your iPod, talk on the phone or what not, but still keep an eye out for things out of whack. It seems the security personnel pay so much attention to foiling our innocent attempts to bring our water that they fail to notice the freaking guns/kids/bombs right under their noses! ;-) :-) . Learn to trust your gut instinct.
Fear and your eyes:
Don’t prejudge people. Every person you see wearing a hijab is not a terrorist. They do not want to blow you up or cause mayhem. They want to catch their train, bus, plane….just like you and go home to their loved ones.
I have noticed something in common with all these terrorists that l see captured. They all seem to be young men and women from middle class families. I tend to believe that most of their parents truly have no idea that their kids are brainwashed.
I think they believe they are giving their kids structure, discipline and guidance when they send them off to the mosques. Think of when christian kids attend church. The parents are proud and you consider it a good thing.
Unfortunately, the house of worship seems to be quite the recruitment “offices” of these terror cells. The kids heads get filled with manipulated teachings of the holy Koran. Promises of virgins that will be theirs in the next life being one of them. What wet behind the ears, real life frustrated virgin kid wouldn’t be swayed by that?! Thankfully, they are a tiny percentage of the whole.
The rest of the Muslim world want peace. I come from Nigeria, and we definitely have had our share, and still have more than our share of terrorism. I will not give them credit by mentioning their names.
You should know that despite what you see on the news, the Christians get along well with the Muslims and most live harmoniously side by side in most parts of the country.
I feel tensions are understandably frayed. Shortly after the Brussels attack, a famous mosque in Madrid was burned in retaliation. We are playing into their hands while our leaders are twiddling their thumbs :-( . This is of course my personal opinion, l am not an expert.
Fear and your nerves: I must not Fear. Fear is the mind killer
Of course you should be nervous about flying or catching the train. You should also be nervous about driving your car to work or wherever. Nervous about taking the bus, heck..nervous about walking or dating a weirdo. Any and all of these things plus a crap load more should make you nervous.
How many times has a date turned out to be someone’s last day on earth where they are bludgeoned to death, or shot? How many times have people gone to the theater to watch a movie, only to be killed by a deranged psychopath?
How many times have parents sent off their kids to school only to have them shot to death? Deaths at the hands of a spouse? How many times have people just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and paid with their lives?.
I could go on for days about all the horrible things that happen to innocent people each and every single day. It would be irrational to say one doesn’t feel nervous about s**t happening ;-) .
One of my favorite quotes in the world is by Frank Hebert. He wrote the Sci Fi novel Dune. The first time l heard it was on a song. I had always mistakenly attributed the song to one of my favorite techno bands of the nineties Bigod 20, but it was actually another favorite band Eon, the video is attached.
Twenty five years later, it is still a kick ass head banging song that reminds me of underground techno parties in seedy areas along Pico back in those days :-) . Feel free to be nervous. It only makes you human.
Fear and your balls:
No! Thank you! Hold on firmly to those ;-) . Own your fear. Does being nervous or fearful of a bus running you over stop you from going to work every day? Does it stop you from saying hello to strangers? Does it stop you from calling Uber for your next ride? Does being fearful of an earthquake stop you from living in California?
Does being fearful of a tsunami stop you from living in Japan? No! It does not. You should carry on with your life. Living, and living well is the best revenge. We must show the cowards that they can not win.
Travel anxiety is perfectly normal, especially in light of what is happening in the world, plus the fact that you have to give up some control.
Travel Anxiety Tips:
- Meditate and take deep long breaths to calm your nerves
- Think positively (imagine the wonderful new places you will get to see)
- Get travel insurance before your travels
- Reach out to fellow passengers. Talking can help calm your nerves
- Distract yourself with your favorite music or movies on Spotify or Netflix for example
- Stretch your legs during the flight or journey. Get up and move around
- Plan your next trip in your mind. This is a psychological boost because it means your survive this current one and are ready for the next
We booked our visit to Brussels shortly after the previous foiled attack last year and Paris attack. We have booked trips for the near future. We will not cancel them, we will not let fear win. We will not let them win. You shouldn’t either! Their aim is to eventually engage all Christians against all Muslims. Don’t let them speak for you.
Travel on without fear:
Do your research on your trips, then travel on. I am not saying to be foolhardy and travel to obvious hotbeds of terror. As much as l would love to see the magnificent beauties in Iran for instance, l wouldn’t travel there.
We loved our holiday in Istanbul, and the people are lovely. Stay in the loop as far as what is happening in the world. The whole world, not just the world that is presented by western media, then make an informed decision.
Life is what you make it. Celebrate it. We plan on doing so by traveling on. Look out world, we’re still coming :-) . These are my reasons why fear should have your ears, not your balls. Your balls deserve better! :-) .
Pin it for later:
So many different fears in travel and life:
- Fear of crowds
- Fear of people
- Fear of religion
- Fear of crowds
- Fear of planes
- Fear of different food
- Fear of language
There will always be fear. As the Mark Twain saying goes, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, narrow-mindedness”. Discover life outside your bubble. You will learn a lot. Trust me.