How Safe Is It To Travel In Europe Right Now?
Thanks to some riots and terrorist attacks across Europe and ongoing media reports full with things that are only ever negative (very bad), people have begun to worry if Europe is safe to visit right now.
The questions and worries are always the same: “How high is the likelihood of a terrorist attack there? How dangerous is it? What about the refugees? Please, just please, avoid places that are crowded! ”
Just hear me out.
Europe is safe to visit.
And let me explain why.
Nowadays the media does a ‘good job’ staining over the real picture. Europe has been painted in a negative light causing fear, confusion, anger. When something happens, media picks up the story and holds onto it, then it gets sensationalized and exaggerated. A politician comes to comment it, the bad situation gets reinforced and amplified again, and then suddenly, seems as if the whole continent is in flames.
Of course, what happens is newsworthy and people need to be informed, but is 24/7 media coverage creating such echo chamber really that necessary?
People also tend to infer from the sensational news that what they watch and read is the only thing going on. That’s how biases and stereotypes are established. This is the reason why people who have never been to France think “the French are all rude”. Or those who have never visited Germany think “the Germans are harsh and arrogant people”. Once these mistaken perceptions are deep-rooted, they are difficult to change.
With all the fake news on the internet, and how people absorb everything that confirms their preconceptions, it’s very clear to see why Europe looks dangerous.
“I’d love to go but I’m not sure it’s safe after seeing the news.”
Honestly, Europe is no more dangerous than anywhere else in the world. Regarding occurrences of terrorism, Europe is actually safer than it has historically been.
While 723 people were killed by terrorists in Europe from 2004 through 2017, 25,500- 31,500 people get killed on the roads in Europe every year. So, what if we’d rather ask how safe are the roads in Europe?
Consider this too: in 2017, 3.9 million people have died from heart disease (that’s 45% of all deaths in Europe!). More people die from other things than terrorists. For example, at least one American dies in a bathtub or hot tub each day! Isn’t that just insane?
“Guns don’t kill people, bathtubs do.”
I travel across Europe multiple times each year and can definitely tell you that, as a traveler, you are not in any greater danger than years ago.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be more vigilant when traveling in Europe. Sudden shootings in concerts and the use of trucks in attacks are no doubt scary, and we never know when the next one can happen.
Terrorism makes us fear the unknown. There’s an irrational fear that makes you see danger around each corner. After reading the news about another terrorist attack, we can’t stop thinking “we’re probably next”.
But at the same time, you can never know when you could be in a car crash, bus accident, or lightning strike. While petrified of being in a terrorist attack, we barely consider danger in getting in a bus or the bathtub.
Yes, we must remain careful and keep an eye out. But to change or cancel your travel plans just because something may happen is just insane. You might as well not bath.. or eat a burger.
Europe is not full of riots and ongoing mass shootings. Europe is not on fire. It’s not the highly dangerous place the media has made it look like. The chance of ending up in a terrorist attack is highly unlikely. It’s far more likely that you might get hurt on your way to the airport than in your travel destination.
Don’t live your life in fear of what might or might not happen. Living in a state of never-ending fear and anxiety is no way to live. Visit Europe. Travel across Europe. It’s safe. Be careful and vigilant but be even more when driving a car or laying in the bathtub. Those places can be dangerous too!