Keep Calm and Travel On

Keep-Calm-and-travel-on
 
Broken hearts, senseless violence and the loss of lives. Our beautiful little planet is looking a bit of a mess. At times like this, it’s all too easy to shy away and forget about the goodness in the world… Where is the beauty? Where is the love?

I hope you’ll forgive this stream-of-consciousness style post, but I just felt I needed to say something in light of the tragic events across the world over this past week. Yes, it may be on our teeny tiny, insignificant corner of the world wide web, but if we all take to our own space and say something, however small, then the world has a chance right?

There’s a lot going on in the world these days. Brooks from Shawshank Redemption had it right… “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry”… and that movie was set in the 1940s! Goodness only knows what he’d think if he walked into our world today.

Keep Calm and Travel On

Not just a hurry though… it’s getting scary out there. Everywhere we turn these days, there is danger, there is terror and there is fear…

Terrorism. I remember where I was when…

September 11th 2001. I was walking home from school when I noticed people in their front rooms, stood around their TV sets. Bit strange? As I got home and walked into my lounge, my mum and sister were doing the same thing. As I looked at the TV screen, the second plane went into the Twin Towers. My sister turned to my mum and said, ‘Mum, are we going to war?’ Difficult to forget that in a hurry.

July 7th 2005. I was flying to Spain with my best friend and his family. As we got to our apartment we switched on the TV to see London had been attacked. Bit of a sour start to our holiday. Two weeks later we were flying home and landed just as London suffered its second attack in a fortnight. The airport was full of armed police and sniffer dogs. This was one welcome home I don’t want to experience again.

Now, just this past Friday (13th November 2015), Paris was targeted by the so called Islamic State for the second time in a year. First Charlie Hebdo and now random attacks across the city, including shootings at numerous restaurants, suicide bombers at a football stadium and multiple killings at a rock concert.

Of course, these are just a few examples of recent terrorism in the West. What about the attacks that are happening scarily frequently in other countries?

There’s terrorism all over the world, each and every day. Some makes international news but lots doesn’t. The truth is, we haven’t a clue about half the nasty stuff happening on this planet, and there’s a lot of it. But there has been in times past, there is in present times and there will be in times to come. Nonetheless, it begs the natural question, ‘what’s going on in the world?’

After this weekends tragic events in Paris, a powerful video stormed the internet…

Their message is quite simple but the fact that it needs to be said is pretty scary in itself. Do some people really hear the word ISIS and think Muslims?

Maybe Adam Hills should tell them how it is…

‘The combined forces of Islamic State, Boko Harem and Al-Qaeda makes up 0.003% of the global Muslim population.’

‘Less than 2% of all terror attacks are carried out in the name of Islam. You’ve got more chance of being killed by a bee sting, a peanut or the NHS.’ 

 – Adam Hills (2015)

When the headlines are highlighting such terrible events, its easy to feel that there’s no hope. It’s easy to feel that there are so many bad people in the world that goodness is a minority and we are helpless and hopeless.

Yes, there will always be those weak enough to be brainwashed by evil and go on to do unspeakable things. These acts will affect many of us directly and even more indirectly but these people will always be outnumbered by those who are truly good.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness

Day to Day Saviours and Modern Day Saints

There are remarkable people out there who truly go above and beyond to spread peace, goodness and love. Channel 4 recently aired a documentary called, Escape from ISIS. It focused on Khaleel al-Dakhi, a local lawyer who is part of an underground network working toward freeing women and children from ISIS and bringing them home. It’s a moving watch and a great example of normal people doing extraordinary things. True modern day saints.

But people don’t have to do extraordinary things to make this world a better place and outweigh the bad with good. The people I’m talking about are those many of us have met and will never forget. These people simply welcome strangers into their countries, their homes and into their hearts. They hold no prejudice or pre-conception. They do not care which God you pray to, what your heritage is or what language you speak. They are simply willing to offer an act of random kindness. Something so small that is so great. Where do we find these people? Everywhere and anywhere… often where you least expect. How do you find these people? Travel.

Have you seen the film, Evan Almighty? At the end there is a great message and wise words from Morgan Freeman who plays God (obviously). He tells Evan that the way we change the world is with an A.R.K. But this Ark doesn’t belong to bearded animal lover named Noah… Ohh no. We can all help change the world with a simple Act of Random Kindness.

Keep Calm and Travel On - Act of Random Kindness

Calling all Travel Lovers

Recently, the thing I’ve heard most often is this: ‘The world’s becoming such a dangerous place. It’s not safe to go anywhere’. 

Now this is something that really concerns me. I don’t want my little nephew growing up in a world full of fear. We must carry on and prove there is so much good outweighing the bad in this world. That’s where I think us globe wanderers, wanderlusters and vagabonds can make a difference…

I’m not suggesting that some grand gesture needs to be made here, we simply need to continue to fall in love with our world everyday, hold our heads up high and not be held back from doing what makes us happy. We need to travel… It’s in our blood. But it may also be a way to show others that you can still step out your front door, explore unknown lands and live your life regardless of these bastards who are trying to change the world and push fear upon us. If we don’t travel on, they’ve won. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s not going to happen on my watch.

Louis Armstrong wasn’t wrong when he sang and I think to myself, what a wonderful world’. It is a wonderful world, full of beauty and amazing people. And even in times of darkness, we have to remember that goodness always outweighs evil. More often than not, it’s people that become the light in times of darkness..

 Keep Calm and Travel On
Keep Calm and Travel On
I’ve met so many incredible people whilst backpacking. People who have reinstated my faith in humanity… And what’s more,  I’ve discovered they’re not a minority. As long as these people exist, good can prevail… and my nephew can grow up with a little hope in the true goodness of people.

As travellers, could it be our responsibility to push through, carry on and take those steps many are scared of taking themselves during times like these? By travelling and telling our stories, we can show others that you needn’t live in fear and that most people in this beautiful world are good.

Your Call to Action

There must be so many of you who have had similar experiences and been humbled by the amazing generosity and kindness of strangers.

I’d love you to share your fondest memory. I hope that people will see our stories and experiences, be reminded that beauty is everywhere and know that goodness will always kick evil’s arse in the end.

Stand together, keep strong and travel on. Lets fill our lives with all that’s good in this world.

 Keep Calm and Travel On - The Globe Wanderers
  • https://theworldwithchrisandsarah.wordpress.com/ Chris Nash

    The biggest thing travel teachers for mind is tolerance (a sentiment echoed by so many I’ve met and read pieces from).

    Sadly (using Australia as an example), it is those who do not travel, or perhaps get as far as Bali for the cheap booze where they rub shoulders with the same sorts, who are the bigots that really need to get out and see the world.

    Still, let’s not give up hope whilst we all have a voice! 😉

  • Himanshu Barsainya

    You have put in the emotions shared by all travelers and all the world citizens very well. I really feel travellers can make a difference.

  • Justine Jobelle M. Kimoden

    What happened in July 7, 2005?

  • http://travelosyo.wordpress.com Cai

    Very inspiring article. A good article to start my day! Agree there are terrorism every where in the world. Sad to say, even here in our country; the Philippines. Let’s battle hate with love and pray for our world everyday.

  • Jessica

    One of the best times to take some moment to think those tragic events. As much as there are more people who believe in peace and happiness, like you, terrorism and something likewise could harldy win 😉

  • Gemma

    Ah Brooks, broke me heart that storyline. I was actually pretty annoyed at some people’s responses after the Paris attack – “I live in London and I’m afraid we’re next / I am flying tomorrow, should I still fly etc.” People are inherently selfish! You’re right, tragedy happens every day, all over the world, and we need to help educate people. Stop discrimination and improve the understanding of other cultures. Like Chris says, promote tolerance! The best way to do that? Encourage people to get out there and experience other cultures like you guys are doing!

  • http://www.evankristine.com/ evankristine

    Brooks, thanks for sharing dear. I’m still in great sadness after the attacks and I felt greatly mortified about all the deaths. I really think it is so stupid for the people to be scared at this and especially to innocent Muslims whose name and traditions got tainted because of this bad stuff. I’m currently in Abu Dhabi and Muslims are so gentle people. Terrorism is terrorism, nothing else.

  • http://www.evankristine.com/ evankristine

    Brooks, thanks for sharing dear. I’m still in great sadness after the attacks and I felt greatly mortified about all the deaths. I really think it is so stupid for the people to be scared at this and especially to innocent Muslims whose name and traditions got tainted because of this bad stuff. I’m currently in Abu Dhabi and Muslims are so gentle people. Terrorism is terrorism, nothing else.

  • http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth

    Good post. Fear is a powerful weapon. If people stop doing what they normally do and move to a state of fear, terrorists win. It is unfortunate we have a minority that is so disenfranchised they turn to terrorism. Education and A.R.K are our best weapons.

  • http://www.onceinalifetimejourney.com/ Once in a Lifetime Journey

    I really loved the #porteouverte hashtag that went viral after the Paris attacks where Parisans opened their homes to strangers, knowing that this carried a risk, and those who needed a roof above their heads, that was truly humbling and generous

  • http://www.onceinalifetimejourney.com/ Once in a Lifetime Journey

    I really loved the #porteouverte hashtag that went viral after the Paris attacks where Parisans opened their homes to strangers, knowing that this carried a risk, and those who needed a roof above their heads, that was truly humbling and generous

  • The Lavish Nomad

    “By travelling and telling our stories, we can show others that you needn’t live in fear and that most people in this beautiful world are good.” – My thoughts exactly! Very inspiring post.

  • The Lavish Nomad

    “By travelling and telling our stories, we can show others that you needn’t live in fear and that most people in this beautiful world are good.” – My thoughts exactly! Very inspiring post.

  • http://www.thecommonwanderer.com The Common Wanderer

    What a wonderful post!

    It’s funny; being on the road for the last three months we have experienced so many kind and generous people. In our minds, 99% of the world is good and that 1% that isn’t, is not going to stop us from doing what we love, and we hope it doesn’t stop anyone else.

    Oh, and A.R.K once a day is a pretty damn good way to approach life!

  • http://www.thecommonwanderer.com The Common Wanderer

    What a wonderful post!

    It’s funny; being on the road for the last three months we have experienced so many kind and generous people. In our minds, 99% of the world is good and that 1% that isn’t, is not going to stop us from doing what we love, and we hope it doesn’t stop anyone else.

    Oh, and A.R.K once a day is a pretty damn good way to approach life!

  • http://www.milesofhappiness.com Miles of Happiness

    Traveling is always a good idea 🙂

  • http://www.milesofhappiness.com Miles of Happiness

    Traveling is always a good idea 🙂