A Brussels street, via Matthias Ripp

Tragedy struck in Brussels Tuesday: terrorists killed at least 30 people and injured hundreds more in multiple attacks on the Belgian capital. We here at Tripping Over the World are, like everyone else, horrified and heartbroken.

But in the midst of the news about the attack, Rick Steves made an important point about Brussels, and terrorism:

Brussels is the capital of Europe — an experiment in pluralism more open and determined than anywhere in the world. And not surprisingly, forces against freedom and pluralism have attacked it. In a world of soft targets, easy access to explosives, and vivid media, terrorism is here to stay. And our challenge to maintain a free and open society is here to stay, as well. Europe is strong. It will pursue both safety and the bad guys. And, as a matter of principle, its people will continue to embrace freedom. As a matter of principle, I will keep on traveling. How about you?

What appeals to me here is Steves’ implicit argument that there is a connection between travel, pluralism, and freedom. Travel brings people together, and if done responsibly can be a principled act of defiance against those who want to replace freedom with fear. So we, like him, plan to keep on traveling.

— Jim Dalrymple II


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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