With the recent news of the Brussels bombings by terrorists, the world is once again on edge. The U.S. State Department has issued an alert for U.S. citizens traveling to Europe: be careful, be savvy, and be on the alert for ‘suspicious activity.’
About a year ago, we planned to go to Ireland during the country’s 100th celebration of independence, a hundred years since the Easter Rising of 1916. This is a big deal all around the country. Festivals, concerts, commemorations and re-enactments are going on all over, from county to county.
When we planned the trip, I remember saying to my family, “Just watch, right when we’re about to travel to Europe, the terrorists will strike.”
While we do have some apprehension flying from Anchorage to London Heathrow, then Dublin Airport, we aren’t about to turn tail and run. I’m not about to bail on this trip and let fear run my life. Scott McMurren and Rick Steves, our travel-savvy gurus, are advising Americans not to cancel trips to Europe.
Besides, the only song I’ve ever written in my life will be performed at a concert in Maynooth, Kildare, Ireland on April 10th, as part of the Ireland Centenary celebration. Not only that, but I get to participate in some readings and other songs for the concert and spend time hanging out with my Irish friend, Elaine and her friends and family. On the way back to Alaska, we’re going to spend time with my husband’s Viking homies in Norway, and soak in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland. You think I’d miss out on all that? Not on your life! A stampeding herd of Godzillas couldn’t force me to cancel this trip.
I remember how paralyzed we all felt after 9-1-1 when America lost so many lives. Most wouldn’t fly for a long time—Alaskans being the exception, because we’re so dependent on air travel to and from our families in the Lower 48. Everyone gradually resumed travel despite the ongoing threat of terrorism on American soil being the new normal.
We’ve taken all the precautions—enrolled in the U.S. State Department’s STEP program so embassies can contact us in case of a travel emergency or other notification, and booked our travel to avoid crowded areas, as they advise.
Go dté tú slán, God reise, and Góða ferð–Irish, Norwegian and Icelandic for Bon Voyage!
I won’t be blogging while I’m gone, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say when I return.
© Lois Paige Simenson and The Alaska Philosophaster, 2016, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to The Alaska Philosophaster with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. LIPS