With winter behind us, are you starting to think of what you want to do on your upcoming summer vacation?  I know many people enjoy staying close to home, having "Staycations," but today I'd like to share some thoughts about going away.  Travelling somewhere on a vacation.  I have always loved visiting places near and far.  But I have to admit, with all the terror attacks in the news lately, I've been feeling a bit nervous about going overseas.

But Rick Steves has calmed me down.  At a public lecture last night, the travel writer and TV show host reassured the audience that the chances of falling victim are quite small.  Of all the millions of people who travel each year, he says MOST everyone is kept safe.  (Of course it's tragic that ALL are not.)  But the percentage of something bad happening is quite small, he says.  Increased security measures are in place.  Steves says it's not surprising to see military vehicles and soldiers stationed outside tourist attractions.

Steves says, "fear is for people who don't get out much."  He says we gain understanding when we leave our town/state/country and experience other people and places.  He says when we travel it humanizes everyone.  We are able to see things that we have in common, as well as our differences.  With the United States making up 4% of the world's population, Steves suggests we need to get to know the other 96% of humanity.  Travelling is a way to do this.

I know he's in the business of selling books and tours, but I sense he really believes that travelling is GOOD FOR US.  And he thinks the world would be a better, more peaceful place if more of us took time to visit and experience other lands and cultures.

Do you believe travel can be good for us?  Are you feeling apprehensive about travelling overseas this summer?


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