On February 14, 2012, an Iranian man threw two grenades down a busy street in Bangkok. Despite blowing off his own legs, he survived.
We had no idea, even though our hotel was less than five miles away.
I don’t usually read the news while on vacation. I figure it’s nice to kind of fall into a hole where reality doesn’t affect you. But what if the reality is that there’s a terrorist throwing grenades in the city you’re visiting? Shouldn’t you know about it?
Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t know. As a matter of fact, we learned about it after we’d left Thailand and even then, it felt like something that occurred in some obscure place, not in the place we were visiting.
And while my motherly instincts want all the information so I can protect my children, there’s a part of me that knows I can’t scour every news article and stayed glued to CNN worrying about terrorism. I’d drive myself crazy.
I wish I were like Mr. Wanderlust, who remains calm in all circumstances, but I’m not. I’m a little on the nervous side, feeling that calamity will strike at any moment. I know that sounds strange for someone who travels so much, but it’s true. I love traveling, but I always have some anxiety taking my children half way across the world. Seeing the news would only make it worse. Had I known, I wouldn’t have enjoyed a moment of my time in Bangkok, and honestly, it was one of the highlights of our trip.
While I don’t want to walk unknowingly into a dangerous situation, I also don’t want to live with paranoia, thinking someone is lurking at every corner. I don’t want my children to live like that either. I want them to feel comfortable in the world, and my fear won’t help them at all. Someday, they will know about evil, but right now, they are too young to understand.
I’m not naïve, though. I am fully aware that terrorism exists and bad things happen. I’ve had some close calls, so I know that I could be at the wrong place at the wrong time. But would worrying about it, keep it from happening? No.
I truly believe that if it I need to know, I will hear about it, somewhere. I will notice greater security at tourist spots, or even at the airport. But really, there was NO indication that anything happened at all. No one even mentioned it to us, not the hotel employees, not taxi drivers, no one.
I promise I won’t put my children or myself in danger, but I’m not giving in to the fear, either.
I’ll read the advisories before traveling, but I swear, I’m sticking to my rule: NO NEWS WHILE TRAVELING, even if there’s been a grenade in the street.