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Paris and Fear

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 16/11/2015 Michael Wigge
PARIS © anyaberkut via Getty Images PARIS

Hi everyone,
We're all shocked, sad, and kind of speechless about the ongoing terrorism in Europe. I strolled through the streets of Paris just a few weeks ago, where the massacres just took place.
This Sunday morning I drove to Frankfurt to a travel festival to speak about How to Travel the World for Free to about 750 people. On my way there, I listenend to the terrible news in the radio, and I decided that I just cannot give this kind of humorous travel speech without connecting to those terrible events.
And the connection is FEAR. Many people have asked me if I wasn't scared traveling the world without money. Yes, I was, is always my answer, and I tried to go through the fear to grow.
FEAR is exactly what terrorism tries to cause in our democratic societies. If we are scared we might vote unexpected governments, we might be unable to react properly, because fear can paralyze entire societies. And fear can make us think that the world is a dangerous place.
And here is our responsibility not to give in and to travel, to act, and to vote appropriately. There is a great quote from the author Richie Norton 'To escape fear, you have to go through it and not around' which I mentioned in my TED talk 'Overcoming fear'
I think the French have done a great job to go through the fear. In January after that first terrorist act in Paris, they showed unity and they haven't given in to fear. And last Saturday, many Parisians went on the streets as a sign to not hide behind their oven struck by fear.
We are strong! Wigge

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