For those of us who have had the privilege to enjoy Paris, as tourists, guides, writers and hosts, the past week’s events came as a brutal shock. Perhaps they should not have. Democracy, pluralism, free speech, freedom of thought, the ideals that many of us around the world hold so dearly have never come without a price. And now, that price was paid again, in the blood spilled on Paris streets, offices and grocery stores.
So the question comes to mind, should we travel to Paris this year in view of what just happened to so many innocent souls. The answer more than ever is an emphatic YES.
To not travel to Paris is to give in to the very fear that the instigators of this tragedy wish to install in us. To not speak up, to not enjoy the beauty and majesty of Paris is to dishonor the spirit of those who were lost. So if you were thinking about canceling your plans to go to Paris and to France this year or considering changing your destination think again.
We are all Charlie, the policeman dying on the street, the 20-year-old proof reader at Charlie Hebdo, the father gunned down at the Kosher Supermarket. We are free to travel. They are not. So honor their spirits and go to Paris this year.