Right now we seem to be inundated by even more than usual negative, terrifying or mind-numbing headlines. The world appears a scary place, and one reaction is to retreat to safe havens. For rowers this may mean heading to the familiar dock, launching our favourite boat onto known waters and immersing ourselves in the comforting rhythm of catch, drive, release, feather, recover. Repeated over and over again. Senseless bombings, economic distress, political madness all melt away.
But now is the time to leave those safe waters and travel. Let’s not turn inward and live our lives by fear. Why should we stop doing what we also love: travelling? The news may be grim, but for us individually, likely not much has truly changed.
Go and find a new dock, a different boat and unknown waters to explore. You could die in a traffic accident on the way to your local rowing club. In fact statistically, it is more likely than dying in a terrorist attack. I spent a month in Paris soon after the terrible attacks in November 2015. Security was high but not overwhelming and I felt completely safe. I was glad to be there, helping support the beleaguered tourist industry. I felt that I was sharing solidarity with Parisiens, even if no one particularly noticed. And there were no crowds– it felt like how travel used to be, when you had the sense of discovery, of the new and unexpected.
On a very pragmatic level, for Americans, the US$ is strong, which makes travel to Europe, Canada and elsewhere more affordable. For other currencies which have dipped against the greenback, the exchange against each other has not altered that dramatically. For example, the Canadian dollar and Euro have not changed as drastically in relation to each other over the past year.
As an editor at Conde Nast Traveler said, now is the best time to travel far and fearlessly. If you need more convincing, here are some lovely quotes from famous travellers, who are packing their bags and setting out to experience more travel. http://mashable.com/2016/03/01/why-travel-now/#p77NPXXlxOqJ