Imagine all the people, living life in peace.
It seems the last
days, weeks, months, years have been full of horrible attacks on innocent people. I used to say that I didn’t want to go overseas as that’s where all the nasty things happen. I was quite happy staying tucked away in Australia where these things don’t happen.
Thinking over the past few years, I realise that I was completely wrong. These sort of incidents have happened in my corner of the world as well as overseas. Melbourne and Sydney have seen some pretty terrible attacks on innocent and unsuspecting people. Whether these acts are on behalf of an organisation, or a ‘lone wolf’ perpetrator, it doesn’t matter. The outcome is the same and it is wrong.
Last year on my first solo overseas trip I went to Europe; a Mediterranean cruise plus solo travel between Barcelona, Montpellier, Nice and Athens. A few months before the trip, I got word that on the advice of the US State department, the cruise line had decided against stopping at Turkish ports as a precaution.
When I was in France, the floral (and teddy bear) tributes were still on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, where the truck killed dozens and dozens of people on Bastille Day, 2016.
The first time I walked along the Promenade, it was a Sunday afternoon, and I was swept up with the locals just strolling along. Children were learning to ride bikes and skateboards, or just walking with their folks. It seemed such an idyllic place, such a safe and caring place for these lucky kids to grow up. Then I came across the tributes. The scenes from the news broadcasts that I had seen back in Australia washed through my mind.
One thing I had to get used to was the sight of armed members of the military walking the streets. While quite a confronting experience, I felt that their very obvious presence was there to guard and reassure, rather than frighten.
I am going back to Europe this year.