i sit here solemnly in paris, the sirens on TV a slurred background noise against the angry and frantic clicking of my computer keys.
i hear the news reporters talk of ’suicide bombers’ and of ‘attacks’, and my heart writhes.
my mind is so disturbed by the attacks in the turkey airport today. the reckless and mass slaughter of lives in a haven for travel and transit. the 10th busiest airport in the world. an airport full of curious minds and worldly souls. an airport full of people just like myself. me. why was that not me?
i sit here; so angry, so confused, so heartbroken. my throbbing mind contorted in agony. I’m so painfully aware of the damage done in turkey that my body and brain feel numb. I want to cry for the lives lost today, i want to shout. i want to demand compensation for my brothers and sisters of the world. but nothing i do will fix anything.
so what do i do instead? i write. i write my heart out. i write for the lives lost prematurely and for people observing from the outside.
the most difficult mind block to overcome this summer was the potential for terrorist attacks. With a multi-country itinerary and plenty of airport visits, the chances of me being at risk were at higher levels than i’ve ever experienced before. yet the desire to see and drink the nectar of the world prevailed. its power too great to be subdued by the fear for my safety.
and so i did it. i packed my bags, hopped on a plane, and neatly tucked away any fears. and it worked; my fears stayed gone, they honestly did. the thrill of my adventure was all too great to vacate any room for concern. and that’s how travel should be. travel should be an intimate experience with you and the world. it’s a time for you to better discover who you are without any interference of home.
travel is that sparring moment in life where you can be selfish. it’s a time where you can put your tremendous wonder at the forefront of your mind and go forth blindly into the vast world without any concern. and for the freedom that travel represents- for that freedom to be destroyed- that crushes my heart. I can’t fathom how any human can take that away by such a grossly twisted means.
People today died traveling. 32 of them to be exact. they died feeding their souls: visiting loved ones, going on business, and seeing the world. the attackers had no profile of their victim other than 'international traveler'. I feel with such immense heartache because that profile is wholly me. the 32 victims are no more deserving of their fate than I. why them? why not me?
it’s so easy to dismiss the attacks; to be clouded with great lackluster in the reality of the situation. how do you find it in your heart to feel so strongly for the individuals involved? For their family, friends? For the lives they left so abruptly behind? for me, i can’t drain the sorrow that has flooded my body. never before have i felt so connected to or involved in an act of terror. this act of terror represents a loss of human life and a another hit to man’s ability to travel abundantly and freely.
yet, i still do, and always will, choose travel. i choose to see the world; to be changed in the most beautiful and sometimes even unbearable ways. I want to be smothered by the embrace of the world’s cultures. I sincerely crave to explore new places and to come back richer in experience. We get one life to live. I chose to be optimistic in such testing times. I believe in a world that triumphs over terrorism; in a world that celebrates the individuals whose lives were taken too soon.
I want nothing more than for our world to remember those lives lost today. For each one of us to understand this fleeing gift of life. We cannot let terrorists prevail. we will not. airports should be safe places for man; it’s where we can feed our souls and champion man’s innate will to embark on new adventures.
it is my deepest and most intentional prayer that families and loved ones affected find comfort and contentment amidst such a horrific time. I pray that the lives of those lost were lives that had been lived purposefully and were taken without suffering; that they find peace and abundance in this next life after death.
For you and I and the rest of the world, I hope that we never lose that desire to travel. I pray that ill-intended incidents like these do not deter us from seeing and exploring the world. because oftentimes, you have to lose yourself in the bustle of the universe before you ever really find yourself at all.
may all the peace and prayers be with those in turkey..