Like many people who travel a lot for a living my heart was broken last Friday when I first saw the news on Twitter of the attacks on Paris.
Most people, myself included, understandably took to their social media accounts and blogs to express their sadness, faith and anger. I wanted to share more of my feelings about the attacks but wasn’t ready until today.
Let there be peace in earth and let it begin with me. pic.twitter.com/Emh0T867Mp
— Food Travelist (@FoodTravelist) November 14, 2015
Complete sadness. #prayersforparis A photo posted by Food Travelist (@foodtravelist) on
When the news hit I immediately said a prayer for all those who were lost, their families and loved ones and the world that would reel from yet another violent, senseless attack on innocent people. I also thought of my beloved Paris. My many visits there and how much I adore everything about the City of Light. The smells, the tastes, the feeling that I get every time I step off a plane at Charles DeGaulle Airport. Would it be the same? My next thought was that I hope people don’t stop traveling. After 9/11 getting on a plane made even the most seasoned traveler pause. Who hasn’t called a loved one and told them they loved them before embarking on journey? We started Food Travelist almost 2 years ago with the hope of creating just a little more peace in the world. A lofty goal to be sure. Diana and I believe that bringing people together around a table of food breaks down barriers and helps people realize that we all are fundamentally the same. This week I read a post on Instagram from our friend Dion Lim. Dion is currently in Istanbul and, ever the reporter, had the chance to ask a local how she was processing the news about Paris. See her response below.
Hello from Istanbul! Before I post photos of my trip, a note about Paris. Over the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel to India, Egypt, parts of Asia, and Europe, including Paris. I realized, especially on this trip: it doesn’t matter where you’re from. The language you speak. The color of your skin. Everyone hurts the same. Today I asked a local Turkish woman how she was processing the news of Paris. She said: “We know what the people of Paris feel. We’ve been through the same in our country. It doesn’t matter that it is in Paris, because it hurts the same. This senseless killing needs to stop, or this will be our next world war.” #PrayForParis #PrayForPeace ❤️???????? A photo posted by Dion Lim (@lifeduringthecommercialbreak) on
“Everyone hurts the same” really stuck with me. The hurt we all feel during these times is universal. My hope is that hurt will not keep the world and its people from exploring this planet and visiting its many amazing places and the people who live in them.
Lately our world seems full of name-calling, hate and violence. With senseless tragedies happening worldwide there are two things I hope we can do to help rebalance the planet. One, share your love with your family, friends and strangers locally. Reach out, make someone’s day just by giving them a smile, a call or a meal. Two, keep traveling and keep tasting all this world has to offer. Travel to Paris, travel to the places you’ve dreamed about. They will welcome you with open arms and you’ll have memories for a lifetime. Do not let evil win. Do not trade evil for more evil. Explore the world, shine your light brightly for all to see and share your love with everyone you meet.
I leave you with the words of John Lennon:
Imagine all the world living life in peace
You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope some day you’ll join us
And the world can live as one
THE QUICK BITE: Share your love and travel. Our co-founder Sue Reddel shares her thoughts on Paris.