Are you in STEP?​


The news has been difficult this past week; from Charlottesville to Barcelona. I don’t understand why some people believe violence and murder are the way to get their political point across. But I do believe that it is important not to cower to their tactics and to come back stronger and more united in the aftermath. I love seeing the Freedom Tower and the 9/11 Museum in NYC. It’s a very uplifting experience. I just saw Come From Away on Broadway. What a heartwarming story of how the people of Newfoundland, Canada graciously hosted more stranded 9/11 airline passengers than existed in the entire town of Gander. Holocaust Memorials in Germany, Normandy Beach in France, Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam, the list goes on about how good has triumphed over evil. And how good people took their countries back, from those that tried to destroy them.

I’m very proud of the travel industry’s response to Barcelona.  Many times, the reaction was to cancel all travel to a destination, after an incident.  This time, most cruise ships and the land tours are moving forward. The good people of Barcelona need to feel support, both emotionally and financially after the terrible attack. I have been to Barcelona many times. There are many parallels to my beloved San Francisco; hills, cable cars, fantastic food, fabulous architecture, an active port and gracious people.

I have clients leaving for Barcelona in mid-September. I contacted them to see how they were feeling about their trip. They do have travel insurance and a terrorist attack is a covered reason for canceling a trip. They said they were saddened by the events but were looking forward to their trip. I just love my clients and their great attitudes.

I was in London on November 13, 1015, the same night as the Paris attack.  I was enjoying the same things the people in Paris were doing on a Friday night. The difference was, I was in London, not Paris.

We all get nervous when we read things like this, but the reality of you being killed in a terrorist attack is 1 in 20 Million. Dying in a car accident is 1 in 100.  You have a much higher risk of being killed by an asteroid, being killed by a dog or by a bear when you are in Yellowstone National Park, then by a terrorist. Here’s a list of Deadly Statistics that should put this all in perspective for you. 

So, what can you do to feel more comfortable? You can STEP up! STEP stands for Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If you enroll in the program you will receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. Here’s the link to more information  and the link to sign up. 

Don't allow these insane people stop you from seeing the beauty our great big world has to offer.

In the very unlikely event you are in a situation, be sure to post on social media, this way all your friends and family know you are okay. Of course I always love for you to post on social media, so that we can see what a great time you are having on your amazing journey.

24 Hour Consular Emergency Line: U.S. 1.888.407.4747

Outside the U.S. 1.202.501.4444


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