WHY AM I GOING TO SYRIA?
Well, it’s time to officially let the cat out of the bag; I’m going to Syria and my mum (& dad) are shitting it but I don’t blame them. In the day and age of quick and easy news, very rarely does anyone see the truth.
I FELT SAFE GOING, I DID NOT FEEL SAFE TELLING THE FAMILY
You’ll know that anytime Syria is on the news, it’s all about the civil war with constant footage showing ISIS members parading with AK47s, families in despair and entire towns and cities reduced to rubble. So I can’t really blame anyone for wondering why the hell I’d want to go.
PREPARE TO BE SHOCKED
I do however blame myself for wanting to go, I could’ve left it for another year and that would be that and the family could’ve slept soundly over the next few weeks. But I know what Syria offers and want to show the real side. I can assure you, you will be shocked at what you will see. The food, like most of the Middle East is insane, history one of a kind and hospitality like nowhere else in the world….surprised yet??
THE RISK IS REAL
Of course, what Syria has gone through is real and very heart breaking. Syria is one of the oldest countries in the world and has more history than most of the western world put together. It’ll be a challenge and I fully expect to spend most of my time outside of my comfort zone. I might have visited over 150 countries but nothing like the experience of what I am about to see.
Because of the dangers I could only tell a few people I was coming here, all of whom couldn’t help but wonder why. Whether I want to admit it or not there is still a risk if you happen to tell anyone and everyone where and when you are going.
THIRD TIME LUCKY
It’s been in the pipeline for a while, with the original trip planned way back in February 2019, then March 2020 about 2 days before I was due to leave. Then COVID shut the world down. I had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen back then so didn’t tell my parents and what a decision it was as they knew I would reschedule and didn’t want them worrying for the next 18 months.
It was mentioned for the first time just this week, a slight bombshell I know but I didn’t want them worrying any longer than they needed to. I’m well past the age of having to get my parents approval but they have been a part of this journey and I enjoy sharing my plans and some trips with them.
The conflict isn’t exactly over, but in the main, life in the cities goes on, people’s businesses are moving forward and generally everyone is able to get on with their day without too much risk. Coming from a country which encountered similar problems but on a different scale I can in a way relate. Yes, the worst of it is over but things still happen; bombs go off, people still get shot and riots can occur, but similarly with the Syrians, we have simply grown to live and deal with it.
I remember when I was younger looking out of my window in my apartment in Belfast and seeing clouds of smoke dotted around the city. It was like a scene from a movie, but I thought nothing of leaving just a few minutes later to drive to the other side of the city to see a friend.
So over the next 8 days in Syria I plan to live my life through the eye of a local and show people not only from home but around the world what Syria is really like and how we should be proud of the people for overcoming many of the worlds worst atrocities. Catch up with me on my stories on Instagram and I’ll see you all on the other side.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Ever wanted to visit Syria?
- What is the most dangerous country you have visited?
Let me know in the comments below . . .