by Melissa Brunner
I think sometimes you need a vacation to recover from your preparations for vacation! As I tackled a long to-do list this weekend in preparation for heading out this week on our Holiday Vacations tour to Greece, I catch the headline: U.S. Issues Travel Alert for Europe. Great! As if pre-trip planning wasn't stressful enough!
I've been doing some searching today to see if there's anything more specific for the area our group will be visiting. It sounds like France and Germany are under the most-watchful eyes. There is concern about France's new law, banning burqas. That said, Americans anywhere in Europe are advised to be vigilant and avoid public demonstrations. I also heard one comment this morning to avoid wearing clothing with American flags, to avoid overtly identifying yourself as American.
We did encounter a large public demonstration outside our hotel when we were in Italy a couple years ago, so, if that should happen in Greece, I probably won't be as uncomfortable about it as I might have been. However, I did run across a notice that a 24-hour strike by public workers is planned for Oct. 7, the day our group is scheduled to arrive. Sounds like airline and transportation delays might be a bigger worry than terrorists.
I admit, it's a bit unsettling, but I also think it's not unlike the caution we must observe in our everyday lives. Crime can happen anywhere. It's up to us to take steps to lessen the chance we will become a victim. We must be aware of our surroundings and potential threats no matter where we are. At the same time, we must continue to live our lives, not ignoring the world around us, but not being paranoid either.
How about you? Would you head to Europe right now? Oh, and if you've ever been to Greece - what are the "must see" and the "take it or leave it" sites?