In light of the recent and horrible events of Friday the 13th, many are reconsidering traveling outside the borders of their native lands. In a world where borders are becoming more like dividing lines than simple demarcation on a map, do we choose to venture beyond or stay within the relative safety of the familiar? Below are some ways to combat the ever-growing sense of unease that comes with travel, and remember that the world was meant to be seen, not feared.

Be Aware: You’d be surprised how many people arrive at unfavorable conclusions because they didn’t take the time to familiarize themselves with where they were going. It’s not enough to purchase a ticket and pack a bag. A smart traveler does research on where they are visiting if there are any dangerous elements, and how to avoid them. This goes for anywhere you can visit, from Colorado to Columbia, so keep a level head.

Be Understanding: Though it’s pertinent to be aware in this day and age, the same can be said for being understanding. Assuming that everyone around you is a potential threat will only ruin your vacation and weigh heavily on your mind when you should be relaxing. Keep this in mind while traveling. You may not have control over what goes on around you, but you can certainly manage your reactions.

Be Realistic: While the attacks in Paris were utterly deplorable, it’s important to be realistic when traveling. Statistics show that, at least in the United States, you are more prone to catch a stray bullet from an act of gun violence than be involved in an act of terrorism. Now, I’ve listed this as the third thing to remember because the above two are vastly more important. Statistics cannot replace alertness and will not substitute understanding, but they can offer some sense of truth in a time of concern.

Regardless of where you choose to journey, be safe. The world has been many things over the years, but one thing that never faltered is it’s beauty, and we owe it to ourselves to see as much of our home as we can.