A lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, Brexit, the Royal Family, travels around the world, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
It’s been a rough few weeks.
I was going to write about the rest of my marvellous time in Sweden.
I was going to tell you that I was asked to be one of the five (5) members of an academic discussion panel on Brexit, at the Humboldt University of Berlin!
It’ll be on 24.06.17 as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies in Berlin.
I was also going to tell you that not only was I featured as a guest blogger on the University of Chester Alumni website, but I’m also going to be on the University of Chester’s official Case Study posters for postgraduate recruitment too! Now isn’t that cool!
However, bearing in mind what has been happening in my home-country of England, there was just no way that I wasn’t going to mention it.
And sadly, this isn’t the first time.
There have been terrorist attacks in both London and Manchester.
Everyone is in a state of shock.
Our sympathies and condolences are with the people, family and friends of both Manchester and London.
The world has been in a dreadful state within the last year.
First, we had that horrible referendum in which my fellow Brits voted to Leave the European Union, and won! Shortly after, we had airport explosions and train attacks in Belgium, awful situations of terror in France, mindless shootings in the US, the senseless mass killing of the gay community in America, a mad axe-wielding teenager in Germany, an airport terror attack and a near military coup in Turkey, another disturbed teenager ran riot of an evening, randomly shooting innocent shoppers, after luring them to a free McDonalds’ burger, in Germany, and the awful fact that Donald Trump, a laughable figure, actually ended up as the President of the United States, and thus, the leader of the Free Western World!
I mean, how did that happen?!
Berlin was targeted by a mad man at the German Christmas Market, then London was terrorised in March, Stockholm in April, and very very recently, Manchester was attacked, and just over the weekend, London, all over again!!
Just what is the world coming to?
I was born and grew up in the suburbs of a most famous and historical city – Manchester.
Manchester is in England and when you think of England you think of icons like King Henry VIII, The British Empire, David Bowie, and of course, The Beatles.
The Beatles may come from Liverpool, but you can’t have everything can you!
Manchester began as a Roman fort called Mamucium or Mancunium, in about AD 79 and was historically a part of Lancashire, and until the 20th century, became a part of Cheshire.
Manchester is fringed by the Cheshire Plain to the South, the Pennines to the North and East, and an arc of little towns surrounding it!
In fact, where I grew up, is technically no longer known as Manchester, but Cheshire!
Throughout the Middle Ages, Manchester remained a manorial township, but began to expand around the turn of the 19th century, brought on by a boom in textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, bringing extreme wealth to Manchester and making it the first industrialised city in the world!
Manchester is the highest-ranked British city, apart from London of course, and is the third-most visited city in the UK!
It’s famous for it’s universities and seats of academic learning, architecture, art and culture, museums and galleries, theatre, literature, nightclubs and bars, cinema, music, Manchester Pride, the BBC, science and engineering, sport and excellent transportation. In fact, Manchester has loads of river canals which you can cruise along, free trams that you can use in the city centre, and Liverpool Road train station, which is the first inter-city passenger railway station in the world!
Manchester has about half a million people.
So of course, when terrorism came to my home-town and therefore, my city, I was saddened and outraged.
This act of terrorism was not only cowardly, but taken out in an area where teenagers and young children were watching a fabulous concert of Ariana Grande.
Everyone was most upset.
And so was I.
My fellow Mancunians rallied round to give each other comfort and support.
They are brave, and so must we all be.
This was not the first time that Manchester has been bombed by terrorists, as the IRA tried to destroy the city in 1996, and sadly, it won’t be the last.
And this time it came very close to home, as the office of my brother – The Writer – is opposite the Manchester Arena! I rang home in the middle of the night with a shaking hand!
And I’m just so sad.
The terrorist have have struck my continent and attacked my country.
This wonderful continent of Europe might make tourists and visitors wonder.
They might think that perhaps travelling abroad isn’t all it’s made out to be.
They might think that Europe isn’t the place to be after all!
My blog isn’t about politics, and I’m not a politician or a secret agent, so outside of the odd look-between-the-lines rant, I can’t tell you what to do, or advice you as to who best to run your country. Or mine!
What I can tell you is how to cope, and how to keep on living, doing whatever it is you’re doing.
I’m a British person and I live in Europe. People are worried and concerned:
You don’t need to be.
I’ll tell you something for nothing.
We Brits are as stoic as we come.
Britain is thousands of years old and has been through battles many, many times.
We’re not strangers to attacks.
You’ve only got to look through the last century to see that.
Britain has been blighted by the IRA in Ireland for years, and tourists still love to come to the UK.
Spain has had train explosions from people fighting for the separation of the Basque Region from the country, and tourists still love to visit Spain.
Heck! World War II was started by a madman from Austria, who terrorised the whole continent by his fantasy of German supremacy! Not to talk of the Berlin Wall that was to divide a nation for 38 years, and tourists still love to come to Germany too!
We must cry, and we should.
And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!
Manchester people (of which I am one) are known for plain speaking, and being strong of mind.
We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! #DontLookBackInAnger.
Whatever you think of Britain, the UK is open for business, and always will be.
The point I’m trying to make is:
During times of upsetting national news, as British people, we use bleak humour to comfort each other and rally around our community. And even though the London Bridge attacks were devastatingly horrible, you just have to keep your head up high, have a bit of a laugh and a cuddle, and get yourself a cup of tea. Or in this case, take your beer with you! So…
Walk outside your front door.
Drive your car.
Get on that train.
Take a flight.
Sail on a ship.
Take a step at a time.
Don’t let fear take control!
Sure it is!
Manchester isn’t #reeling, and neither is London. We’re British, we’ve got a stiff upper lip, and we’re going to get on with things, and pull through!
Millions of international tourists and travellers visit and travel through the UK every year, and most visits are completely and utterly trouble-free.
However, if you have any concerns, or need help, or information, I recommend the following:
Don’t panic. Remember:
Britain is safe.
Ordinary people don’t carry weapons of any kind. There isn’t a need to!
They say that most accidents and deaths occur near to, or in the home. Statistically, you’re safer outside your home!
And if you’re still not sure take a peep.
See you next week!
This article is not sponsored, and all opinions about taking control of travel nightmares and the fear of terrorism, are my very own!
Next week, I’ll continue my articles on Sweden.
In June, I’ll also be visiting Slovenia! Yay! Follow me on Twitter & Facebook to find out what I’m up to!
On June 24th, I’ll be at the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens with Travel Massive Berlin.
From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week.
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in June, you’re crazy!
Save the Date!
June & July are going to be awesome!
Watch this space!
Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.
I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!
Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!
A win-win for all!
Thanks a million!
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What happened in Manchester and London is horrendous and scary! So sorry to hear your brother works very close to the area..must be more sad and terrifying for you and your family as this strikes so close to home.
I must admit that travel within Europe and surroundings is a panicky affair for me..I certainly will avoid crowded areas..I was at Borough and Camden markets when I visited London last year! Delightful atmosphere indeed and we noshed on so much ethnic food. Sad that people won’t feel relaxed in crowded places like markets anymore..what to do?
Despite me panicking often, it can’t stop my travels..thank you for the cautionary advice you have so brilliantly outlined in the post!
Thanks so much Caroline! It is! The terrorists are trying to scare us, but after the initial shock, thankfully, common sense comes through. Continue to travel Caroline. Europe isn’t the Middle East or a war-torn area. What else can we do, but to continue living? Believe you me, during WWI and WWII, people still went to school, went shopping, had parties, got married, etc. And we’re nowhere near any of that. Our parents and grandparents survived far worse things. And so will we.
Absolutely avoid crowded areas as it’s natural to feel panicky in a space full of strangers. What happened at Borough Market – one of the oldest markets in London, and London Bridge, was horrific and cowardly, but people will be there this week and the next. Just like the Xmas Market in Berlin. Yes, we were all anxious and nervous, but we went to our local Christmas Markets instead of the giant ones. We didn’t stop going, we just tried our best to choose carefully.
We all feel safer at home, but as you can see, “home” is just as safe or as dangerous as anywhere else. 😉
I believe that there is nothing worst that feeling unsafe and terrified. I think that everywhere is dangerous nowadays, Vic!
Thanks so much Agness!
It’s true. Nowhere is safe – home or abroad – and we have to live with it. The terrorists are trying to scare us, but it’s not working. We’re going to keep on living, and going forward with our day-to-day, because we must. 😉
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You’re totally right, we can’t let fear take over. I arrived back in the UK last week and didn’t let the recent events stop me from going to London to see my favourite band, exactly a week after the horrific London Bridge attack. Despite the recent trauma, it was heartening to see that Londoners were getting on with things; the sun was out and the parks and pubs were full. There were a few more police around, but the UK is still well worth visiting.
Thanks so much Amy!
Absolutely! Nobody is going to stop us, or anyone else, from going to our country! 😀
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