Leader: Travel plans change to shield loved ones from harm

Club Natacio Atletic in Barcelona, Spain, a country now seen as one of the safer European destinations. Picture Pau Barrena/Getty

Club Natacio Atletic in Barcelona, Spain, a country now seen as one of the safer European destinations. Picture Pau Barrena/Getty

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Terror attacks in Europe have made us consider personal security implications more than ever before. Bombings and carnage have shaken us in the past, but the sustained frequency of recent incidents, and the random locations where they have occurred, have made us think twice about travel to places that we once thought were “safe”.

There are signs emerging that attacks are changing our behaviour, by moving us to new holiday destinations. Demand has grown for Spain and Portugal, while it has fallen in Tunisia and Egypt. The recent attempted coup in Turkey can be expected to have a negative effect, at least in the short term.

Last week’s attack in Normandy brings terror close to home again. This popular area of France, just a short ferry trip from England, moves an innocent destination into dangerous territory. Is anywhere safe now? The answer, sadly, has to be “no”.

It is understandable that people will call for life to go on as normal, pointing out that our enemies’ aim is to disrupt and ultimately destroy society. But it is natural to reassess our outlook at a time like this, and do our best to avoid danger. For those travelling with families, the responsibility is even greater.

Of course, no-one can say for sure what places might be safe, and which areas might be danger zones, but the terror threat means many will try to avoid situations where they will not feel secure – and that could mean a sporting fixture, or a concert, or an airport.

In those circumstances, we have to admit that our lives will have been changed by the terrorists. But that is a scenario we had to accept when the attacks became regular. We knew our freedom would be restricted, and choosing what situations we put ourselves into is part of that process. There is no shame in deciding to take the “safe option”.

This doesn’t mean we’re letting the terrorists win. When we admitted just a few months ago that “life will never be the same”, this is what such an acknowledgment means in reality. Our world is changing, and a failure to adapt accordingly would be reckless.

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