Travel emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime.
This sombre reality of modern travel has been accentuated, again, by the multiple terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and elsewhere during the Ramadan holy month.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took credit for the unrelenting violence.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 when Al-Qaeda crashed passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the United States, other major acts of terror have included: a car bomb in Bali (2002), hostage-taking by Chechen fighters in Moscow’s Dubrovka Theatre (2003), a 60-hour siege by Pakistani militants in Mumbai (2008), gunfire and suicide bombing in Paris (last year and this year).
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France, the world’s most visited country, remained on terrorist alert during the Euro 2016 football championship from June 10 to July 10.
It welcomed 1.5 million fans and the French government released a mobile phone app to alert the public in the event of a terrorist attack.
Like the football fans, travel lovers need not abandon their journeys. Travel is a powerful force in diminishing bigotry in these days of rising terrorism and, certainly, it is one of life’s best pleasures.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness,” American author Mark Twain memorably said. “Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Preparing for the worst – and finding ways to move around in a savvy, vigilant way – is important for the traveller’s peace of mind. And it might save life and limb.
Next page: How to prepare before you go