An ominous question, yes. But we live in ominous times. Bombs in Tunisia. Isis. Fundamentalism. The entire Middle East shifting uneasily on it’s religion based techtonic plates. Disappearing airliners that simply cannot be found.
The world seems to be growing madder by the day. And those who choose to stay at home perhaps feel safer than ever behind their picket fences and front doors. And, while I won’t forgive them for being smug, I can understand why they are. These are truly dangerous times.
Travel is my mainspring; it has become my driving force and, in a sense, my very heartbeat. It is what I live to do, and it is what I love to do. If you switch off that, then I would cease to function on some very real level. Quite simply, I’d be dead inside, in any event.
I will probably also go on travelling because, quite honestly, I don’t think I know how to stop. Getting out there, chasing what is over that next horizon, opening my minds to new people and new experiences, has become so fundamental to my being that I don’t think anything could ever change that. The direction I am moving in was set in motion long ago by forces far too complex and sublime for me to have any kind of handle on. Or control over, for that matter.
I’m not saying that it’s ‘full steam ahead and damn the icebergs’, however. I’m not planning on parachuting into Aleppo any time soon. And Libya is definitely not at the top of my bucket list. I remain as careful as I always have of things and people around me. Safety first, insofar as humanly possible, is my mantra. And nothing will alter that.
But I think why people do question themselves on travel is because so much is now out of our hands, and way beyond our control. We still do not know why the crazed, deranged Lubitz decided to crash the plane he was flying into a French mountainside. And what of Malaysian flight MH 370? Not a sign, despite the most exhaustive search for well over a year. And the second Malaysian flight that was shot down over the Ukraine? Silence has fallen on that subject too, though most people are pretty certain whose finger pulled the trigger, metaphorically speaking. I suspect behind the scenes international politicking has damped down the curiosity on that one. Not that it can be any consolation to the poor families of the victims.
And yet, none of those things will deter me from keeping on getting out there. Most of this partially insane, war torn world, suffused as it is with lunatic demagogues, is still a wonderful, alluring place to visit. And, of course, the moment that you give in to those same deranged, unhinged lunatics, then they really have won. I, for one, would not dream of giving them the satisfaction. I’m not wired to bow down to psychopathic, fanatical nihilists.
So hopefully, I’ll encounter some of you lovely people this year in various peachy places across the planet. And it is our planet to cherish, not theirs to rubbish, violate and ruin.
Maybe those are just my feelings. But my god, I hope not.