I have been thinking a lot, not only lately with the two attacks in the UK, but even before that about the way Millennials react to terror attacks. Is there a terrorist group out there that genuinely believes that what they are doing will stop us? Make us afraid to travel the world, talk to strangers and couch-surf in someones home, we don’t know yet but are keen to know more about? For me the answer is a clear NO!
Why? Because we grew up with terrorism as an almost normal part of our lives. Don’t get me wrong, but I do think that for the Millennial generation terrorist attacks have always been there. Therefore, they are in a tragic and non-acceptable yet inevitable way part of our lives. My first day of school was 9/11 and I remember quite vividly the scenes of one of the planes crashing in to the world trade center that day. My mum’s sheer face of disbelieve of what she just saw on the big flatscreen TV, will forever be stuck in my head. Not in a bad way, more in the sense of little things staying so alive in ones memory which seem to not have any direct impact on one’s life when they happend. I only realized years after that the event I had witnessed would change the world and how safe our lives are perceived to be. Did it effect me in the way I live my life and go on with my day?Absolutely! But not in the direction you might think it would. I certainly did not get scared to travel or live my life how I want to.
And I can tell you why. After 9/11 there were multiple other attacks in big European cities and especially in the last years France and Germany have been big targets. But what would it make us if we simply stopped travelling to those places because of attacks? We would show fear and make the attackers believe that what they are doing is something that proofs to be successful: Scaring us in living the life we want! And this is something I and many of my friends do not want to happen. Which is why I still travelled to Paris last October and I am planning to go to Jordan, Tel Aviv. Even Syria is on my list. Why because throughout the years I met wonderful people from those countries that made my hunger for new experiences even bigger. And made me wonder how we can ever stop being interested in new cultures, destinations and exploring different places. Getting out of your comfort zone is something so exciting that I simply refuse to let some “organization” win and scare me of going to all those places and dictating what is safe and what isn’t.
It is not only our stubbornness that makes us and me go to these places but also the fact that we grew up with people from all around the world. I come from a small village with about 2000 inhabitants and there was not a single school year that passed by without making friends from all over the world. Kazakhstan, Turkey, Russia, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, you name it. And what did it show me? That we are of course all raised differently, we have different food and religious believes but that did not stop us from becoming friends. Essentially, it only made us more open to try new food, get shown other habits and experience different cultures. Keeping this childish spirit of believing from the bottom of my heart that we all have something in common, curiosity and open-mindedness that is alive, even when we grow up is something most Millennials are incredibly good at and hopefully will continue to be so no matter what the world throws at us.