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Travel & Nature

Travel & Nature
Posted By: Ibrahim Siddiq on April 23, 2010

(Note: This blog entry was originally posted by the author at http://www.urtravelstuff.com/?p=391#more-3...

The recent – and still ongoing – weather conditions in Europe give cause to wonder.

With all the technological developments and conveniences we have in travel today, we still cannot control the impact of nature on our travel plans or the circumstances in which we may find ourselves. Hurricanes, winter storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, cyclones, etc., etc. seem to be God’s way of reminding us all that He is still around and He alone still controls how thing work in the universe.

So . . . at the very least, at the outset of any major impact that we experience from the shifts of nature, we all should take a moment – actually a significant amount of moments – to re-visit that spot in our hearts where we define humility and realization of our real position in the scheme of the universe.

And what does all this have to do with travel? Well, consider the thousands of travelers still stranded in European stations now.



We can safely assume that 10 days ago, not one person considered the possibility of being stuck in London, Brussels, Frankfurt, or any number of European cities because of the mass closure of air traffic due to a minor volcano eruption in Iceland – a small island of a nation located near the top of the world.

What would you do if you found yourself stranded – for days? Would you have a “Plan B?” Would you have relatives with whom you could stay with, hopefully saving a bit of the funds you will need to dig into because of the disruption of your travel plans? Would you have enough financial, emotional or health resources to weather a complete travel shutdown? Would you be able to make alternative travel plans, such as rail, car or ship just to get from where you are to where you need to be?

The European governments and aviation authorities had to make consequential decisions in view of the potential safety threat that the volcanic ash could reportedly have caused to aircraft engines, potentially causing more mishaps than just stranded passengers. Those type of judgement calls may be difficult to accept when one is stranded, perhaps with his family, in an airport, hotel, or nowhere, with limited resources, and dwindling options for resolution.

Will we now have to re-think our travel planning? Maybe we will have to make sure we have the capability to take an alternative route or mode if we are caught in some unforeseen incident. To what extent will our government embassies and consulates provide assistance? And will the world’s airlines, cruise companies, hotels, bus and car companies provide assistance or simply see an opportunity to spike prices to capitalize on mass misfortune?

Many more questions will probably be raised in the days or even weeks to come. And until the next phenomenon of nature, we will continue to move en masse from between locations in the world with even more ease and comfort.

But next time, we might want to plan more for the uncertain.


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