Sometimes I want to write a letter to the powers that be to let them know that I would be ok with the world being normal for once. Last year, when we headed off to South Africa everything seemed more or less normal. Well, as normal as could be considering that the United States was in the midst of its crazy Presidential elections. While planning our South Africa tip, we had to choose between a layover in Istanbul or a layover in Dubai. We chose Istanbul. Then a bombing happened. We watched from afar wondering what would happen.
Then our travel day came (soon after the bombing) and we boarded our flight and settled into our seats. We had a long, long layover in Instabul and then noticed some oddities. But considering we were in a totally foreign culture and language to us, we just watched and hoped to figure things out. Then we boarded our plane and headed off to South Africa. Upon landing we came to find out that there had just been a coup attempt in Turkey. We settled into our hotel room wondering what would happen in the world. Then we were watching the news on television and there was a terrorist attack in Germany. My son started to get scared and asked why there were so many bad things happening. He even had nightmares one night. We turned off the news. Crazily the year before when we were in Melborune Australia as we landed, the Malaysian flight was shot down with several conference goers on the plane. Immediately we were struck by world events.
Fast forward to today and here we are in Hong Kong during the days that the United States decided to send tomahawk missles to Syria and park one of our US aircraft carriers near the Korean Peninsula. Then there is the Palm Sunday massacre in Egypt and a terrorist attack in Sweden. Being thousands of miles away from home is comforting and no so comforting. At breakfast in the hotel, we can hear numerous others on vacation or on business travel wondering what is coming next.
When you are on vacation you want to tune out the world. You have left all worries ostensibly behind. However, can one afford to do so anymore? It really doesn’t feel like one can disconnect. Or rather, it feels like you can’t afford to disconnect. Because my boy can understand the news, we try to not overwhelm him with it. Luckily we can stay on top of things by catching news clips and stories on our phones and don’t necessarily have to alarm him. But what will come next? While I am buying knick knacks in the side streets of Hong Kong what do I have to keep an on eye in terms of the international stage?