I’m the Ninja travel warrior; the cape crusader of travel reminding all of us that our weapons turn capes into beach blankets, lassos into hiking ropes, and bat mobiles into exotic Lamborghini country drives.
My heroes are luxury travel, bucket list experiences, UNESCO sites, sidewalk cafes serving pastries and cappuccinos, tiny galleries selling the rarest antiques, glorious wine cellars and access to seasonal events. Global terrorism will not deter us from living nor engaging in spectacular joyous activities that we richly deserve. We celebrate relaxation, milestone occasions, and the pleasure of being able to do whatever we want. We mourn long work hours, endless piles of paperwork, challenging salaries, difficult clients, and unfair bosses. Must we also mourn the end of vacations and leisure time that have vastly enriched our lives in cultural and educational ways? No! We should rejoice that ISIS and global terrorism will not alter our standards of living and despite their best efforts we open our minds and continue to expand our wallets to divest and indulge in those countries including France and Belgium, but looking towards new options – far flung destinations – such as Myanmar, Arctic Circle, Iceland, Vietnam, Cambodia, and those places that have always been on the radar -Canada, US national parks, Latin America, and the Caribbean. We can live like Tarzan zip lining and sand-boarding; gazing upon the Northern Lights in wonderment and not in fear.
You may ask how I can be so resilient and firm in my stance. It is a simple answer really. We learned early on to look around, not to talk to strangers, and wait for the light to turn red before crossing the street. These are the same principles to be applied in any travel activity except now with more vigilance. As someone in the travel and hospitality industry, I recommend as follows:
- Log your travel plans with the State Department. They will notify you immediately if there is an alert in your area.
- Contact the American travel embassy – I have provided this link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html.
- Know the local emergency number of the country you are going to – the US is 411, France is 112 and Great Britain is 999 as examples.
- Rent a local cell phone or buy an international SIM card. It’s not only economically cheaper, but it saves you a lot of time and worry. Your phone may need to be unlocked, but this is something your carrier will offer. It wouldn’t hurt if you also had a portable Wi-Fi device for backup. This comes in handy especially when you’re in the countryside or in certain underground locations where a signal is hard to find.
- Be vigilant in public especially if attending mass areas such as stadiums, concerts, nightclubs, and public transit. This is particularly important as in any city there are always thieves and pickpockets.
- Make sure you have the right travel policy.
- Have fun!