One year ago, I was on a train from Lancaster to Manchester Airport, happy to finally go home for Easter break. It was during that hour and 20 minutes of train that I started finding out what was happening in Brussels. I called my dad, almost crying, terrified at the thought that I would have spent that day almost entirely in airports. An while I was waiting for my check-in desk to open, I wrote this down, quickly, furiously, on the sketchy blog I used to have back then. It’s been a year, and reading the news today it feels like nothing changed. And these few lines seem awfully up to date.
“On the 13th of November, when ISIS terrorists killed 130 people in Paris, I was at the birthday party of one of my Italian friends in England. I found out about the attacks, which were still going on, because my friend from Paris had been checking her phone every five minutes, calling home and texting her friends. At the time news agencies reported 60 victims; the morning after they were doubled. The only Italian victim, Valeria Solesin, had graduated from my university and was doing her PhD in Paris.
Now I am in an airport. And I am scared. I am going home for Easter break. While I was waiting for the train to go to Manchester, this morning, I checked the news. And I found out about Bruxelles. Every time I check, the number of the victims is bigger. And now I am in the airport, waiting in the queue for the check-in, and I am scared. And I hate this. The biggest passion I have is to travel and see the world. This is what brought me in my 22 years to leave my small village in the Italian Alps and study in Germany, United States, England. I love to spend my summer working and volunteering around the world, always looking for a way to afford visiting new places. I have met hundreds of people, cultures and stories in these years and this helped me trust more the people around me and be less prejudiced. This is what I want to do in my life, I do not know where my future is going to be, I will see where it will take me. But now, in this airport filled with policemen, I am scared. The only thing I wish I could do, right now, is to be at my home, in the middle of nowhere, with the people I love, and stay there. Not travelling. Just stay there. Right now I am scared of my own passion. And even if probably this will not stop me, I am still scared. Because this won’t be the last terrorist attack. And I’m scared. Better, I am terrorised. Because this is terrorism and this is how it wins, stopping this generation of young explorers of the world which I am proud to belong to.”