It’s probably safe to say there are not very many people out there who want to stay put in the same town their whole lives. Even people who never move will probably take a vacation.
But in light of recent terrorist attacks, it could leave one wondering: Is it safe to travel? Or even, should one travel?
On May 22, a suicide bomber killed 22 people after an Ariana Grande concert. On June 3, in London, England, a terrorist attack killed six people at London Bridge and Borough Market. Recently, on June 19, a man was killed and at least 10 wounded near a Mosque in London.
It is starting to seem like England is becoming more and more of a hot spot for terrorist attacks — but so is much of Europe.
KCCI news, a local news station in Des Moines, has on their website a list of terrorist attacks that have recently occurred all across Europe. Similar to what happened with 9/11 these attacks have served in getting a country to come together and, be better prepared to prevent further attacks.
“It has definitely brought the population together,” said Hosanna Robertson, a citizen living in England and a criminology student at the University of Wolverhampton in England. “People have shown greater interest in government voting laws to make sure justice is done and safety is in place for the future.”
Nathan Williams, a BYU-Idaho advisor on the Religious European Tour for Fall Semester 2017 and a faculty member in the religion department, said the Church has certain travel policies that help keep those who are traveling safe.
“There are all kinds of precautions that go into it, so if we do end up going on these trips, there is a degree of safety,” Williams said.
He said there are places they do not go, such as Turkey, because of the level of political instability that would make it unsafe. So, for him, traveling with a BYU-I group is something he feels comfortable doing.
Robertson said that, in Europe, people are more nervous to travel now, especially to big cities.
“But most are still willing to continue traveling and having vacations,” Robertson said. “People don’t want the terrorists to win by taking away our freedom.”
“We can’t live in fear; that is a horrible way to live our lives. I am not going to let these unfortunate events stop me from pursuing my passions and dreams.”Joshua Rivet
Nikki Elliott, a senior studying communication said she has been to 13 different countries and said she has no plans to slow down.
“People think I shouldn’t go to certain countries because of scary things going on,” Elliot said. “The purpose behind terrorism, however, is to cause terror. I believe that if I allow these terrible events to change the way I live my life and cause me to live in fear, the terrorists have won. The best retaliation is to just continue my life in the best, most positive way I can.”
There are also international students at school who are concern about going home in these times.
Katy Rushton, a student from England and a junior majoring in marriage and family studies, said when thinking about going home feels “kind of daunting.” She lives right in the middle of where the attacks have happened.
“Part of me would be scared because where I would fly to is close to Manchester and London,” Rushton said. “But it wouldn’t stop me.”
Joshua Rivet, a junior studying psychology, said he is excited to go with the religious European tour in the fall. He said the attacks have not impacted his decision.
“We can’t live in fear; that is a horrible way to live our lives,” Rivet said. “I am not going to let these unfortunate events stop me from pursuing my passions and dreams.”
Worries still can come.
“Any time you see (an attack) your anxiety goes up a bit,” Williams said.
And if it is not you who worries, it might be someone you know.
Elliot’s mother was in London when the terrorist attack at London Bridge happened. Her mother was able to text her and tell her she was OK before Elliot saw anything about it on the news.
“I was glad to know she was safe, but I also got really nervous, and I felt kind of shaken,” Elliot said. “You never think something will happen near you or anyone you love, but there’s always that possibility.”
Rivet said his mother is very concerned with the events that have been happening, and she has talked to him about it. But he said he has faith in God and trust in those leading the trip.
Rivet said he feels lucky to be going to school here and having so much of an opportunity to travel.
“We need to travel to be more tolerant of other people and gain an understanding of people,” Rivet said. “There is no better way to live life than traveling (…) and in the end looking in people’s eyes and seeing that we are all God’s children.”
Williams said the school and the Church have a high level of caution.
“The directors have a level of precautions and the Church (has) its own level of precautions,” Williams said. “If for some reason it doesn’t feel like the trade-off for learning versus the risk of safety, those things are often postponed or canceled.”
He said he has not seen a decrease in students signing up for the tour. In fact, it seemed to him like more students want to go.
England’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, said in a statement about Manchester that people must remember the goodness in the world.
“For as so often, while we experienced the worst of humanity in Manchester last night, we also saw the best,” May said. “The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together. And in the days ahead, those must be the things we remember.”