I won't let terrorism stop me from living my life.

My fiancé and I are getting married next year, and we have been trying to decide where we want to have our honeymoon. Since we’ve never been out of the country together, I suggested that we take this opportunity to travel Europe for two weeks. It has always been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl to travel to London and Paris. His eyes softened and became dark as he softly mumbled, “Are you sure you feel comfortable traveling to some of the top tourist destinations in the world?”

Traveling together has always been our favorite hobby as most of you know, but we have mostly traveled within the U.S, with the exception of me doing volunteer work in Jamaica during college. After this summer we will have visited and explored all of the lower 48 states. Now that I know my own country so well, I desire to explore what else is out there.

I will admit that when I think about traveling into more “dangerous places,” my chest does tighten a little thinking about what could happen. Unfortunately, we have become all too familiar with global acts of terrorism; of course, the horrific 9/11 attacks in NYC, the London subway bombings, the attacks in Paris, the Brussels bombings, and most recently, the Orlando mass shooting. And I know that this list is not inclusive of the entire list of horrific terrorism attacks throughout the world.

Is the beauty and wonder of travel ruined with the fear of terror hovering over our heads?

I travel because I love to experience different cultures and meet new people. I’m from a small town of 2,000 in the Midwest and do not get to experience diversity; even little things that city goers may take for granted such as sky scrapers, subway stations, or even simple pleasures like local markets on every street corner, are foreign to me unless I travel. Naturally, because I am so comfortable in my small town bubble, I will admit that there has been a sense of stress from visiting these populated cities within the U.S.

Before you judge my petty fear of flying on an airplane or using the New York subway system, I want you to put yourself in the shoes of a young, small town girl who has never experienced the big city life. After hearing all the stuff I do on the news, it is natural for me to feel some sort of discomfort and fear, even though I know that these instances are rare. How sad is it that the first thing I thought about when I boarded the plane en route to NYC was, “What if this plane is hijacked?” The thought of the terrified passengers during 9/11 kept reeling in my mind like a television show. What would I even do in that situation? How horrific must it have been for those who knew their fate on that airplane?

The fact of the matter is, however, these fears are exactly what feeds terrorism. Terrorism is evoking fear into the hearts of innocent people to spread mass fear and panic. If I succumb to my fears and refuse to travel and see this beautiful world, I’m letting the terrorists win.

This is not a political or religious post. I’m not here to point fingers, state my views, or judge others. This post is about human nature, our strength to survive, and our passion for life. It’s about coming together and not letting global terrorism feed into our minds and hearts. It’s about taking a stand and choosing to be courageous, because it is our best defense mechanism. It’s about spreading kindness by leading by example.

Please, let’s not be afraid to live our lives. We can live more cautiously, but let’s not limit ourselves because we are afraid of the outcome. The way I think of it is that whatever happens, will happen. I’m not a part of the FBI or Homeland Security. I’m just an ordinary citizen. I can’t prevent these things from happening. So until then, I’m going to continue to live my life.

So, yes, I am going to fight for our honeymoon to be overseas. I’m going to travel to the largest cities in the world without fear. I’m going to interact with those of all religions, sexualities, and political affirmations.

I’m going to fight terrorism the only way I know; by living.

Look around and see that there is more good than bad.
There are more helpers than hurters.
There is more love than hate.
Resilience, compassion & love keeps our world spinning; hate is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Love will always win. 

Sending thoughts, love and prayers to the victims & families of the Orlando shootings, and to all others who have been victimized by terrorism throughout the world. 

Xoxo,

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  • I so agree with you that we can not let fear win. As you noted, we simply need to be more cautious but it does not mean we need to stop living our lives.

    • Exactly, we cannot choose to live in fear. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Lindsay Katherine

    Beautifully written, Chelsea! I think that anyone, even people from towns larger than 2000, can relate to wanting to experience more and perhaps having fears of flying or the NY subway system, as you mentioned. You’re not alone! I must admit that I often find myself saying that I’m glad I’ve traveled all over the world already because all of these attacks scare me. I’m not in a position in my life where I can jetset like I used to, so i wouldn’t say the fear is holding me back at this point, but I wonder if given the opportunity in my life situation if it would. You gave me a lot to ponder : )

    • Yes. It’s weird. I feel guilty having these fears when I fly. But sadly, that’s the world we live in.

  • TheOrdinaryGirl

    I absolutely love and love this post. No policy or strategy can defeat terrorism unless we all are united against it. When we give up on traveling and other activities, we let the them win and the day we just face the fear … is the day they fear us!

    • Yes. Thank you so much for reading.

  • I love this post so much. I completely agree with you! We shouldn’t fear traveling and I think the best way to overcome all this hatred is to show as much love and understanding for other cultures. Well said.

    • Thanks Hannah. I knew you’d love this one :)

  • Allison Lancaster

    I love this! The terrorists want us to be afraid, and although we do have to be more careful and aware, we can’t be afraid to live our lives!

    • We have to just keep putting our best foot forward.

  • Agree 100%. We can’t let those who would reduce us to quivering masses extinguish our joy.

    I plan to travel and see this world and remind myself that there are wonderful people living on every square inch of it. That people and places are, for the most part, not to be feared.

    Great post Chels.

    xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • YES, Laura! “I plan to remind myself that there are wonderful people living on every square inch of it.” LOVE.

  • Yes. We can’t let fear get the best of us. And as much as I hate to say it, terrorism can happen anywhere – at the movies, at school, at a nightclub. We can’t stop living our lives because of it. We are traveling to Paris too. We had booked our trip just a few weeks before the attack there. And people asked if we were still planning to go. I never thought about cancelling because we can’t let them win.

    • Good for you, Becky! That was super encouraging to read!

  • Mary Welby

    Fear can’t be what rules our decisions. I desperately want to see Egypt, and I’m still a bit on the fence about it. I’d be more than happy to see Paris or Brussels.

    • Same here. It’s scary to think about, but we can’t let the fear rule our ambitions.

  • I have to be honest.. the more things that happen in this world the more scared I get to want to travel. But like you said it shouldn’t stop us. I really want to go to Greece with the boys in the near future.

    • I’m with ya girl, it’s definitely scary to think about :(

  • Wonderful post! I figure statistically I have a much larger chance of being hit by a car crossing the street than being a terrorist attack! Lovely picture!

    • Yes, that is so very true. Awesome point.

  • I’m totally with you! Anything can happen anywhere and I’m not going to let fear stop me from living my best life!

    • We just need to continue to live our lives.

  • This is a great post! There are some places that I wouldn’t go to right now, but there are a lot of places that I would travel to that others might not be so inclined to visit (I was just in Colombia and there are still a good amount of people who feel it’s an unsafe country to visit). And something can happen to me at home just as easily as it could happen to me overseas.

    The funny thing is, I would go to Paris right now if someone handed me plane tickets, but I still get a little anxious at the thought of going to the Mall of America, since it has been announced as a target for terrorist attacks before. Of course, I hate the Mall of America and have a strong desire to travel to Paris, so I’d probably still go to MOA if I actually liked it. :)

    • I’ve heard about the MOA, and that’s scary for me because we visit Minneapolis all of the time (I’m from Wisconsin). What horrible thing to worry about :(

  • Totally agree with you! If you let fear dictate what you do and don’t do, well then the terrorists have won in my opinion. Be safe, but live life.

    • Agreed, and we absolutely cannot let them win.

  • I agree there is much more good out there than bad, and if we stop traveling because of fear, then the terrorists win! I am like you ..so desiring a trip to Europe…Ive been invited to Fashion week in London, I hope I can swing the cost!! Have fun wherever you land up for honeymoon time! Love following your insta..so encouraging! xoxoox

    • Oh my gosh, Valerie! You got invited to fashion week in London! PLEASE TELL ME MORE!!! SOOOOO AMAZING!

      • Yeah its in July…I cant go I got invited to another show in La Jolla which is much more doable…Hoping to go to the next one…a gal from Farfetch.com I work with on posts invited me. Have a great day!

      • So awesome!

  • I totally agree. We went to Paris last year and it was magical. Enjoy!!

  • Angela

    Love the point that you made here! I traveled abroad for a semester in college, and I have been wanting to go back ever since. However, the fear of terrorism is always in the back of my mind. But you are so right, I can’t let it stop me from living my life. I am determined to go back now! Thanks for the inspo.

    http://www.truzest.com

    • You can’t live in fear, girl! Do it for you. You won’t regret it.

  • I agree — I can’t let this terrible tragedy keep me from living my life and having fun. Bad things happen all the time but we just cannot live in fear.

  • Don’t let terrorism put you off travelling. Something is just as likely to happen to you at home as it is anywhere else. Enjoy planning your honeymoon :)

  • I absolutely love this! The world has been a scary place as of late but we can’t let that stop us from living our lives, that’s for sure.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • Absolutely not. We have to stand together.

  • adriana nudo

    This. this. this. SO needed this as I get ready to travel this summer – I’m scared every day and it’s an awful feeling – feeling that way just leaving your house – but you’re SO right. LOVE. xoxoxo

    • Thanks for your support, doll <3

  • LOVE this!! It is all too true that we can’t let these viscous acts get in the way of our dreams. We cannot stop our own lives because of other people

    • We need to unite and fight back by LIVING OUR LIVES (:

  • Zana Djakovic

    This post left me speechless!

    • Aw thanks for reading love.

  • Yesha

    Amazing post! Live your life! Enjoy. We cannot bring back the time so always make the most out of it!

    • Thank you so much. I will always continue to love and to live my life!