This week, there was a terrorist attack in Istanbul
Right in the middle of the Sultanhamet Square....in the heart of Istanbul's most touristy area.
In the very same part of Istanbul where I stood in September of 2014, admiring the marvels of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia. I really loved it there.
I just booked a ticket to Barcelona on Turkish Airlines. All of their routes have a layover in Istanbul, including this one.
So this begs the question....what do I do, if anything? Do I forego this super cheap flight and buy another one on an airline that doesn't go anywhere near Turkey (especially since this layover in Istanbul adds hours of unnecessary travel time and considering the turmoil in its neighboring country, Syria)? Or do I do nothing and keep my original plans?
What would you do??
Here's a non exhaustive list of thoughts I had:
2. Let me check all the appropriate websites for any indication that it's not safe to fly into Ataturk. The airline, the US Department of State -Consular Affairs, STEP, the news (not Fox), etc.
3. Let me check for other flight deals...I'll see how much more I might have to pay to switch tickets.
4. This won't likely happen in the same place twice.
5. I have a higher likelihood of getting killed driving my own car than I do of being involved in a terrorist attack...maybe I should put my phone down now.
6. Let me talk to my travel companion, see how she feels.
7. I'll also ask some trusted colleagues in the travel/blogging industry, get their opinions.
8. I cannot predict the future. If something happens to me, I have a hope.
9. I cannot live my life in fear.
And yet, after all having all these thoughts, plus more, I am still undecided. Overwhelming, though, I think I should stick with my plans. The layover is a little over an hour so we really will only have enough time to step off the plane and walk to the next gate. Ataturk is huge and the security there is very, very tight.
But more than that....I just don't want to be looking over my shoulder the whole time. Fearful of what might happen, speculating and imagining. If you want to know the truth, I had a very vivid image of being trapped on a plane on the tarmac and watching in horror as bombs went off all around us....like sitting ducks. Too many movies...I know.
You can't be stupid either. We are all aware of all the ridiculous things that are going on in the world. There's so much turmoil...so much unrest everywhere. So that means you make sound decisions, especially when a wrong one could mean your life.
Of course, I will forever have my mother's voice in my head, being overly cautious (and that's putting it mildly).
But it's a real concern....something we have to take seriously....these people who strap bombs to their bodies and run into a crowd of people are seriously deranged....and they aren't going to tap you on the shoulder and ask you to move out of the way before they press the button. We live in a society where we have to be constantly on the look out, even here at home. I pulled into my neighborhood yesterday and there was a swarm of cops shaking down men on the street looking for a man who shot a cop. And what about the cops who have been shooting black men in cold blood with no regard? I have a brother...and a father....both black men. We have to be careful. But I also believe, there's a difference between being careful and being fearful. And fearful I am not.
I'll leave you with this quote:
I can choose either to be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It's all a question of how I view my life ~ Paulo Coelho
Tell me what you think below.