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Jackie Sep 25th, 2001 05:17 AM

To those who are cancelling European vactions- why do you feel safer at home?
I would like to get into the heads of the people who are cancelling their European vacations out of fear of a terror attack. I have some questions for you: <BR> <BR>During this war on terrorism why would it be safer back home in the USA than in your hotel in the South of France (or where ever you are in Europe)? <BR> <BR>Do you think that Europe is more at risk for attack than your home town in America? <BR> <BR>Do you feel like the European police and military are inept and have less of a chance of protecting you than officals in the USA? <BR> <BR>What are your real chances of being attacked in Europe vs being hurt or killed in the back of a taxi going 80 MPH in Italy or being caught in a storm, or other life threaning events? <BR> <BR>I want to get into your head, I really do not understand your irrational fears.

Howard Sep 25th, 2001 05:23 AM

My dear Jackie, irrational fear had nothing to do with us cancelling our trip. And, aren't you being a bit presumptuous in your assumptions? Frankly, it's none of your damned business why we cancelled!

Ursula Sep 25th, 2001 05:24 AM

Jackie: One of the main reasons for cancelling may be, that people fear not to be able to get back to the US in worst case. Europeans are cancelling their US trip for that very same reason. Too far away from home. Not feeling comfortable right now in a country with a different language, different people, different food, different everything. Not being able to get enough information about what's going on in the world. In most hotels here, you can watch a lot of TV channels, but just maybe two or three in English (speaking about the continent), CNN, BBC, NBC. Just my thoughts.

Vita Sep 25th, 2001 05:30 AM

Ironic that you should mention that, Jackie. The big story in the Washington Post today was not terrorists but the tornado that took the lives of two college students last night. I'm supposed to be leave for Italy next week, but I'm wavering. Quite honestly, I do wonder if Italy's defense is on par with the US. On the other hand,part of me feels that, once I'm over there, I'll be fine. I'm just scared of the unknown. I'm just not sure.

Howard Sep 25th, 2001 05:31 AM

PS: And I don't feel that I have to apolgize for, explain or justify my reasons for cancelling at this time.

ro Sep 25th, 2001 06:06 AM

ursula is exactly right. we were in italy when all this happened. we were dependent upon cnn news. could not get an english paper. dependended upon the tour guide to tell us what was happening. we sat in a hotel room. if something happened we know in our own towns where to go and what to do. if your in a foreign country, you get a little more anxious. besides, my son was in the wtc and my daughter works for a major hospital. i could not get any telephone lines to speak with either one of them. you tell me how you would feel if you cant talk to your family. so lets not go there!

dan woodlief Sep 25th, 2001 06:07 AM

So far I am still planning on going, but here's one reason people might be more concerned abroad. Many of us come from small to mid-sized cities, small towns, or even rural areas. Not everyone lives in places like New York, Washington, LA, or Chicago, which realistically are higher risk spots for this type of activity. When we go to Europe, if we spend our time in the countryside or small towns, then we should feel perfectly safe. However, the majority of us will likely visit places like Rome, London, and Paris, which would likely be higher risk areas in their own countries. Large cities do have more high profile targets, greater population densities, and larger immigrant/visitor populations. Yes, their security is higher, and I still believe each individual has a very low statistical probability of anything happening to him or her. Still, there are logical reasons as well as illogical ones for peoples' current fears about going abroad.

Frank Sep 25th, 2001 06:14 AM

Don't forget the economy, many people may feel this is not the best time to spend thousands on travel, in addition to all of the other reasons given by posters above. By waiting until Spring, many people feel that they will have a better handle on their personal as well as global situation.

Paul Sep 25th, 2001 06:18 AM

Jackie, I think that "irrational fears" as you call them, are difficult to explain, because they are irrational. But for many of us, we seem to have entered an irrational time. Of course the examples you cite are true, but people don't always act or plan in such clear and detached ways. My wife and I have tickets to fly to Rome in a few weeks, and we've pretty much decided to go, but it was not a decision based on weighing statistical probablilities. I live in New York City, and I admit I had the same thoughts that you did: Am I safer here, really, than in Europe? But it's not just that: it's home. In times of crisis I think many people just feel safer "home," wherever that is, than elsewhere. <BR> <BR>In any case it would be wonderful if we didn't have to judge the decisions people make, especially at a time like this. <BR> <BR>This is not an argument against your points, just an attempt to explain the less "rational" motivations involved in my own decisionmaking.

Lisa Sep 25th, 2001 06:31 AM

Jackie: <BR> <BR>As I have explained to many of our friends, putting aside the security issues, we simply don't feel "festive" enough to go. Call me irrational, but I worked at the WTC and was outside, on the street, in harm's way, during the attacks. What I have seen and lived through I would never wish for you or any others to have to face. The thought of getting on a plane and trudging around Italy 5 days later just seemed meaningless to me and to my husband. Why should we waste our money, vacation time and energy on a trip when all we want to do is hole up in our apartment and thank God that we both made it out alive? <BR> <BR>Please don't presume to understand the feelings of others. This has been incredibly difficult for many of us.

kk Sep 25th, 2001 06:58 AM

"I want to get into your head, I really do not understand your irrational fears." -- That was Jackie's last statement in her posting. <BR> <BR>Under the pretext of "understanding" she is saying in essence...I am better than you are because I am so calm, rational, etc. etc. <BR> <BR>Fie on you, Jackie. This is no time to be casting aspersions on anyone's decision-making. I've studied risk management and risk communication and when fear is heightened, the equations change. But, how nice for you, that at a sad time like this, YOU get to feel holier than thou! <BR> <BR>Now, I will try to give you a little benefit of the doubt and say, well, maybe your question was (a little) innocent and well-intended, but, my dear, your real feelings/emotions did creep in. And they weren't very nice. Don't judge. People have a perfect right to their "irrational fears and decisions." They don't need you to make them feel any worse. <BR> <BR>Thus endeth my sermon! <BR>

Lee Sep 25th, 2001 07:08 AM

Jackie: Personally, I can't speak for anyone but myself. Some will travel and some will not, with each having their own reasons. God bless 'em. <BR> <BR>I will travel. I left Erie, PA for Kansas City on 9/16 and will return this weekend if I finish what I am working on. Six of us leave for Italy on the 6th of October and all have agreed to go. We are getting on with our lives and this is one way to go about it. <BR> <BR>Make no mistake, what happened to our people and our country on September 11th has changed mine and likely nearly everyone's life forever. I will not forget it or ever forgive those who did it. <BR> <BR>I lived near Frankfurt in the 80's working for a defense contratctor. I checked my car each morning for and bombs and it was a way of life, or rather, staying alive. I saw the explosion on Rhein Main airbase that took several lives and wounded many others. I was fortunate, always cautious and still went out and did the things that I needed to. I didn't go home, I stuck around. <BR> <BR>I want to see the world before I leave it and as long as I can, then I will. I'll use some common sense, but I'm still going. <BR> <BR>Got some things to see.

s.fowler Sep 25th, 2001 07:14 AM

Right on kk -- we all have our own reasons and comfort levels -- and that's what makes us different, as well as interesting:)

curious Sep 25th, 2001 07:17 AM

Jackie, you've got it all wrong. People aren't cancelling for fear of terrorist attacks, they are canceling for fear that they may be stuck overseas or far away from home if a full scale war breaks out or even if air travel is comprimised. For those of us with children at home or others who depend on us, that would be a horrendous scenerio, and not the least bit "irrational" I'm not quite sure why that is difficult for you to understand.

clairobscur Sep 25th, 2001 07:28 AM

I'm quite surprised by Vita's concerns about Italy's defense not being on par with the US. What do you mean? Do you expect someone to try to invade western countries??? <BR> <BR>Also, why are people affraid of not being able to come back home? I can understand that the flights could be interrupted for some days in there is a new attack, for instance, but why on earth would the airways cease to operate definitely? I just can't get that.

Vita Sep 25th, 2001 07:34 AM

I wasn't concerned about defense against invasion per se, but just preventive measures from terrorist attack of any kind. I don't mean to offend. I freely admit that I don't know enough about Italy's police force and military. I'd be happy to hear any additional information.

Canzig Sep 25th, 2001 07:45 AM

Consider first the threats against "NATO allies" of the US. Perhaps one would be safer in Nice than in NYC, but one might not be safer in Paris or London than in Nashville or a small town in Minnesota. <BR> <BR>Next consider what "ro" wrote -- exactly our worst fears -- being separated without information, being stranded indefinitely far from home, far from loved ones. <BR> <BR>And then there's the idea of fiddling while Rome is about to go up in flames. Who knows what will happen in the next few days, weeks, months with all the military mobilization, threats and counter-threats. <BR> <BR>

Al Sep 25th, 2001 07:45 AM

I think the major factor for me, about traveling to Italy next week is the fact an attack of Afganistan is imminent. When this happens, who know's what European sentiment will be? Why should I spend all that money in a foreign country when we need the support here, right now! Instead, I am going to book a flight in this country and spend my Money, right here in this country. Maybe,some of these countries who have wavering loyalty to the United States will figure out that their economies depend on our economy and supporting us is supporting themselves.

Misia Sep 25th, 2001 07:48 AM

I don't know if Jackie does feel she is better than others. I guess there are some of us who see people react differently to the situation and are anxious to try to peruade people to stand up to terriorism the way we like. Not to judge, (certainly a lot of perfectly logical/emotional reason was not being considered) but to say, "Come on, let's show them we are not afraid' I guess I am as irrational as any others, just in a different way.

curious Sep 25th, 2001 07:51 AM

O.K., for those of you without small children, even a delay of a few days would cause logistical nightmares (my mother, who would take time off from work to watch our children, would be very inconvenienced by staying with my children longer), not to mention the anxiety she and the children would be put through. What about this is so difficult for some of you to comprehend? If there were fighting or attacks in the European country you were visiting or in the U.S., how do you think your children or parents would feel, thousands of miles away, possibly unable to communicate with you, not knowing if you were safe? If it wouldn't bother you to put them through that kind of a nightmare, then by all means go without considering the feelings of your loved ones. On the other hand, if you don't have loved ones depending on you, then it's not an issue.

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