When we visited France in September, we came back very impressed with Paris, the people, and everything there was to see and do.
Soon after we returned the tragic events that woke up a nation and the world occurred. I felt personally impacted having just returned and wrote a column about my feelings in the Winnipeg Free Press, with a subsequent version in this blog.
To understand how I know my blog was visited and why it might be worth reading that posting now at http://thattravelguy.ca/2015/11/are-the-paris-events-another-911.html
I only recently got back to trying to keep up doing a daily blog on my travels, or offering travel tips or travel commentary. At the same time I go to Google analytics a lot to see how my numbers of readers are increasing, and thank you to all they really have grown significantly over the past couple of months.
Most of my readers are Manitobans, followed by Ontario readers, then the rest of Canada, and a few from the United States. So imagine my astonishment when on November 19 I notice a significant jump in the number of readers from south of the border.
Who could possibly be finding me and reading me in those numbers so suddenly, particularly on one day, and as it turns out around one hour.
I know a lot of destinations with whom I have worked on travel stories will want to check me out, but not in those numbers, 90 in one hour.
So as I went deeper into the analytics I notice that all of those U.S. readers are not only from one state, but from one city. Gee, who do I know in Virginia, in Langley???
I was then struck by a blinding glimpse of the obvious. I looked again at my blog. And there they were. All the trigger words that would make any security agency take notice. I won’t even repeat them now as I am not anxious to move more serious efforts to catch bad guys to wasting time once more looking at a small city writer who wants them to track down and capture those who would act so inhumanly to innocent people.
And the truth is, at first I was very shocked and even frightened. It’s how we get when a cop stops us even if we have done nothing wrong. It’s the natural fear of authority we can take on at times.
At the end of it all, I am extremely happy to know that there is that close attention to keeping us safe. And even as I had some sense of my privacy being invaded, and a certain fear of big brother, but upon a lot of reflection I am glad that the attention to anything suspicious extends anyone anywhere.
These are serious issues, but with the level of danger that is genuinely out there during these times, I am grateful they were watching out for me, by watching me, as innocent and supportive I was with my post.