Fight or Flight

It has been quite a long time since I have wanted to write about this topic. But, because of the fact that it’s a delicate argument, I wanted to be sure to have the right words to write.

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that in the “Expat Thoughts” section I cover all the feelings, expectations and daily life experiences of being an expat, the good the bad and the ugly. Indeed, my aim is to give you a 360° view what it’s like living your life in another country.

To be coherent with what I just said, I feel the need to write about my thoughts related to all the terrorist attacks, or in general the bad and surprising events that are happening. Before going to the main part of the article though, I want to precise that what I mean by this is not giving a political view about it, but just sharing with you the feelings I have when hearing this type of news. Since I travel a lot, some of the places where these attacks happened were cities in which I lived or spent time, so it’s normal, I believe, to have fear, mental confusion or just even sorrow when thinking about it.

If you’re following me on Instagram you probably know that I particularly felt near the attack that happened in Nice on July 14th. My sister was there with her friends, and in the blink of an eye they were safe from what was an epic tragedy. We usually hear these kind of events on TV and it’s already shocking, but living it, it’s totally overwhelming. I formerly also lived another terrorist attack pretty near in November, I was living in Belgium in Leuven, a city 30 min by train from Brussels and during that time the first attack which hit the capital, happened.

Now, what I ask you is “Should you stop travelling to avoid any risk? Should you just stay home?” My answer to these questions is NO. Firstly, if you stop living your normal life because of the terrorist attacks, it’s like giving up on what people battled for ages, for open borders, for open-mindedness, for interaction with other cultures. On the other hand, the terrorists or whoever has planned the event, achieved their aim: to spread fear and terror. Secondly, unfortunately these events are unpredictable, it happened in Belgium, in France, in Germany, in Turkey…. the probability to be in the exact city where an attack is happening is less than being in a car accident. Bad events can happen anywhere, anytime… I lived in Nice for 1 month last summer, and I walked through the Promenade (the street where the van run over all those people) at least 3/4 times per day and nothing happened….my sister was there for the first time the day she arrived and…well, we know what took place…I believe it’s about being unconsciously in the wrong place at the wrong time or, as in her case, for fate, going away from the wrong place at the right time.. But, I repeat, this could happen anywhere, even on the street of my house if you think about it.

What we should actually learn from these facts is that life is not something that we can’t take for granted, at all, and maybe some of the things that we consider our daily essential (like our phones) are not so important. In the end we should be grateful for the truly important things in life, for example showing gratitude to our friends and family, and making sure they feel loved and they know how much we care about them. There are so many features of our lives that we do not take time to appreciate.

I want to conclude this post with this link: it’s an open letter that Marta Baggiani, an Italian student who, just like me and you loves travelling, exploring new places and cultures. Marta wrote this open letter to her mother entitled “Mum, I will die because of terrorism”. In the letter, she explains why despite all these bad happenings, she’s not afraid to take a plane, to keep travelling, and to keep discovering.

Unfortunately, the letter is available only in Italian, but if you’re interested I can translate it for you. Please let me know in the comments below.


What about you? What are your thoughts related to the recent unhappy news? I would be interested and curious to hear your opinion, and I’d appreciate you sharing it with me.



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  • Reply Britta

    I believe we have to keep traveling. You’re right that we cannot let the terrorists provoke us into fear, as that would leave them the winners…but I also believe that traveling is arguably the best way to stop the spread of hate. The more we Travel, the more we open ourselves up to other cultures and ways of living, and the more we realize that we are all more alike than we initially might think: we are all human beings with the same thoughts and feelings and fears and desires, regardless of where we come from, what language we speak, etc.

    We are a global community of human beings and it is only through travel that one can really begin to fully understand that. In today’s age of increasing xenophobia and nationalism, I believe Travel is necessary.

    05/08/2016 at 4:08
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      You’re so right Britta, travelling helps you to realize many things and the fact that we’re all human, all the same it’s the most important point. Thank you for reading and sharing your thought, I totally agree.

      05/08/2016 at 12:32
  • Reply Suvi

    What a great post Lisa. I translated Marta’s letter through google translate and it made me cry! Probably because I have a 20 year old daughter myself who travels the world fearlessly. It’s so true, we cannot give into fear. I am surprised it hasn’t been translated into English, it’s beautiful (even with the flaws of google!). xx

    05/08/2016 at 7:02
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Thanks Suvi! I can totally understand, her words are so realistic and touching! Thank you for reading!

      05/08/2016 at 12:29
  • Reply Angie

    I think you’re right about traveling and how we should keep on doing in spite of the unfortunate events. We shouldn’t live in fear and stop living our lives, but we do have to be aware and cautious when possible. And you’re also right about being somewhere at the wrong time is also out of our control. There was a knife attack in London in lower Camden just the other night and the lady who died from it and the others who got attacked were just there at the wrong time. There’s just so much chaos around the world all the time, including the terrorist attacks. I feel like some things you can control, but some things you can’t. I think moving forward on our sojourns in 2017, we’ll be avoiding places that are at a high-risk for terrorist attacks.

    05/08/2016 at 12:55
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      I agree with you thought Angie, if there’s a way to avid being to places where the risk is high then choosing another destination would be a better option. I didn’t now about that unfortunate event in London…but yes, I guess it could have been anywhere and the gravity and the sorrow would have been the same 🙁 Thank you for reading and for commenting!

      05/08/2016 at 13:00
  • Reply Roberta

    We shouldn’t take life for granted.. absolutely true! I think we should travel as much as we can, although, I must confess, I don’t feel so safe anymore. .

    05/08/2016 at 15:55
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      Oh yes indeed, I think we’re many having that feeling unfortunately… but for sure looking at the bright and positive side of life helps us keep going and not focusing on fear and bad vibes 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting Roberta 🙂

      05/08/2016 at 21:22
  • Reply Dakota D.

    So glad you decided to share. I was very inspired and got a lot out of it. Keep moving on girlie!

    Dakota D.
    Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter: @missdsquared413

    06/08/2016 at 1:05
  • Reply Solange

    Loveeeee this post. I agree with you, you should not be scared to get out here are travel, to see the and experience the world. There are risks we take everyday. From the moment we open the door and step outside we risk our lives all the time. And as you said terrorist are playing on fear and anger to get to us, but we cannot live in fear because then we stop living, Great post, i will be sure to follow your journey.

    Sol from

    07/09/2016 at 11:01
    • Reply Lisa // Fromdreamtoplan

      I’m so glad to read this comment! Thank you Solange for stopping by, taking time to read and share your thought, means a lot to me 🙂

      07/09/2016 at 19:40

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