“Will you rethink your Paris plans?”… In a word, “No”

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

This week, some friends have asked if we will rethink our three month trip to Paris which starts May 3rd. The short answer is, of course, “no” – in spite of the fact that the shootings occurred a block from the apartment we will be renting.

Last minute apartment cancellations in Paris are hitting various social platforms I follow. I can only speculate that these cancellations tie to the shootings. And I get it. Videos of execution style killings are enough to intimidate all of us. If I loved Paris less, I might do exactly the same thing.

Realizing our landlord may be concerned we would break our lease, I sent her the following email shortly after the news broke:

Hi Francoise… It is so tragic what happened in Paris today (and so very near your home). I hope all is well with you. We are thinking of you all. Of course, this does not change our plans. It would take more than 3 terrorists to diminish my love of Paris. We will see you on May 3rd.

It’s not that I am foolhardy or brave or anything else. I just believe in the hands of fate. When your number is called, it’s called. There is no escaping that, eventually, all of us die.

Before moving to Europe, we lived in the bucolic paradise of Evergreen, Colorado. No corner of this earth is more beautiful or peaceful. If you want to live one place with the assurance that nothing bad will ever happen, move to Evergreen.

A young family did just that; husband and pregnant wife, young daughter. Shopping for school shoes one Saturday morning, they headed “down the hill” to Denver. An i-beam fell from a bridge and killed them all instantly – crushing their SUV as it passed underneath. They had moved to Evergreen from New York City after 9/11 in those crazy times when all of us felt a need to retreat to a safe haven.

Whenever I feel like moving to guaranteed safety, I think of this family.

So call it the whimsy of God or karma or fate or heck, call it the will of Allah. Whatever it is, you can’t escape it. And when you try, especially out of terrorist spawned fear, then three people win – and the rest of the world loses.

Look for us to be in Paris soon. Hopefully, I will have nothing but wonderful experiences to share. And if you ever wanted to visit this amazing city, now might be the perfect time.

Categories: Ruminations

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14 replies

  1. So glad you are keeping your Paris plans. And I hope you have the best time there!
    While Ukraine was on top of the news recently, we had few friends and family members question our move to Poland. But I do agree with you, when your time is up, it is up. In Evergreen, Paris or Zielona Gora.
    Thank you for posting and not running away scared!

  2. I guess it says something about our shared mindset that I am surprised to hear people even asked! Paris will change because of these attacks… there will be metal detectors where there were none… there will be different tensions. But it is not, in my opinion, as if the average person’s life is in danger simply by being there.

  3. You are right, they win if we give up living our lives. Enjoy your time in Paris!

  4. I think this is an excellent time to visit Paris! Your chances of being harmed are minuscule, and I bet you will find the Parisians more open and friendly to visitors in the aftermath of these tragic events. Go and have a wonderful visit! I wish I could go right now too.

  5. Julie, you said it beautifully. I share your love of Paris, but no matter where this may have occurred, we have to continue to live. I’m confident that you’ll have a wonderful and rich experience in Paris (how could one not?), and I look forward to your posts from the most beautiful city in the world!

  6. I’m glad you are. It changing your plans. I was actually trying to plan trips for 2015 and l was thinking of Paris if the price was right. Being scared didn’t cross my mind. As you said, when your time is up, it just is, no matter where you are. I still visit my family in Africa, Nigeria to be specific, and when people ask me the same thing, l just say l refuse to let cowards dictate my life.

  7. I am always amazed when I ‘witness’ these events in Newton CT, Ottawa, or Paris and see our first responders run towards the danger, not away from it. While we may not be that brave we must carry-on, move forward, which is one of the best ways to honor their service.

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