Travel After Terror

Kristen and I recently returned from a fantastic vacation overseas to London for our MBA program, and then continued on to Italy after that. Having traveled overseas a couple times before this we were relatively familiar with what to prep for, but before our departure to London something new popped up.

May 22nd was the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert just outside of Manchester killing 22 individuals and injuring 250, and less than two weeks later, on June 3rd, was the London Bridge/Borough Market incident with 8 people dead and at least 48 injured. Kristen was scheduled to leave on June 11th with me behind her on the 16th (she was able to get more time off and her flight was cheaper. I was jealous).  I want to commend the University and Jim McClenahan for their actions leading up to the London trip for their assurances and the dialogue provided to students who had concerns.

For Kristen and I however, we were not particularly concerned. Not to say that in any way that we were completely apathetic to the situation, but rather, knowing we would just be a little more alert than normal on a trip that we would be fine. From some of our friends and family we got the expected “be careful!” which was appreciated, but what we told them was how we were looking at the situation: there are a myriad of dangers inherent with living in any major city that could strike on any given day. Someone could run their car through pedestrians, an elevator could malfunction, simply going to work, or someone could just find your body one day. It sounds trite in a way to say that simply going about your daily life could kill you, and maybe that’s why we block it out, try to pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does.

The only thing I made sure to do while in both countries was to pay a little more attention to what was going on around me. I kept my head out of my phone while walking around and made sure to be a little more alert to the actions of others. I also made sure to keep an eye behind me from time to time as well, people sometimes forget that not all threats make themselves apparent in front of them. On June 19th there was another terror event in London, this time while we were there, when a man drove his van through a crowd leaving a Mosque after prayers in apparent retaliation. Fortunately we were nowhere nearby and we didn’t have any other incidents in either country.

The main point here is that something could happen to you at just about any time, and while we should live like we expect to live a long time and take care of ourselves, we also shouldn’t let the possibility of that life being cut short from keeping us from enjoying our time here on this little blue rock to the fullest extent possible. Trite though it may be I know I don’t want to be 90 in a rocking chain thinking about all the things in my life I could have done if only I’d not been so scared.

If you have any trips coming up what are some of the things you do to prep for them from a safety standpoint? Any other tips for day to day or travel? Let us know down below and get out there to enjoy life! Until next time Pengminions!

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A Trip of Solo Travel

If you have been reading our blogs you might know that we are heading to London this summer. We will be participating in the Global Business Program for a week long intensive where we get to explore international businesses, be immersed in a new culture, and of course partake in local cuisine. London in and of itself will not be a first but a solo international flight and exploring overseas will be. To “save” a bit of money I decided to take an earlier flight to London. Save is in quotes because what I am saving on a plane ticket I will be utilizing to fund my stay and adventures before class starts.

I am so stoked about it though. Always having wanted to do some solo traveling I have never created the opportunity before now. Luckily, my job at the University of Nevada has allowed me the freedom to take the time off for this adventure. When thinking about my upcoming trip I cannot wait to roam the streets in a new country going wherever my feet lead me. I belatedly decided to look at a Warner Bros. Studio – Harry Potter Tour but they are all booked up for when I am going to be there and I am bummed about it, BUMMED! ::cry emoji::

It has been about 5 years since the last time I was in London, the trip was only a couple days and it all went by so fast I hardly remember all that I did. My guess is once I am back and surrounded by the city much will come back as far as orienting myself. I often get asked when I travel “aren’t you scared” and honestly I am not. I am always excited to go somewhere new and explore.

To me the world is not as scary a place as most people who ask me that question and the media make it out to be. Most of the tragedies people are worried about happen here at home too but I go out by myself all the time here. I refuse to allow these ‘what if’ scenarios to keep me from going out and exploring the world. There is something to be said for attempting some research ahead of time to know what you are getting yourself into and being informed and by doing so I would hope that would empower others to take that leap and experience unknown places first hand.

Also, having lived alone in a big city where I knew no one and had never visited before living there; I feel pretty confident about being able to get lost and found in this semi-new place or any place really. The thing is it’s a new place on the other side of an ocean, but I am not in a country where I don’t speak the language so that is a huge plus as far as subsiding any potential fears. If I didn’t speak the language I do think that might change things a bit but by doing research ahead of time I would not be too worried then either and neither should you. Be vigilant but don’t be scared. Embrace the adventure. Don’t let others’ fears or your own hold you back. Everything you have ever done was once something brand new; everywhere you have ever been was once a place you had never been before. 

When traveling I don’t think you should hold yourself back from going by waiting on others to be ready whether it be friends, searching & waiting for that special someone, family, or whomever. If you can make the time and come up with the money don’t wait. Go now! We all start somewhere and only get where we want to go by taking steps to get there. The only one stopping you is you.

It won’t be a super long trip alone because Richard will be meeting me so we can head out to Stonehenge but this solo experience will check off this bucket list item and who knows what this experience will bring! I have yet to decide exactly what I am going to be up to prior to Stonehenge so if you have any suggestions I would love to hear them. Where would you like to go? What is holding you back? Let’s help each other travel the world! Til next time Pengminions!