Europe has had many adjectives associated with it over the last few decades. It’s historic. It’s stunning. It’s dreamy, peaceful, romantic, expensive, relaxing and so much more. Sadly, however, with the bout of terror attacks happening on any given day, Europe has suddenly become a scary place to visit too.
Now some people would forego the idea of going to Europe, but not one Australian woman. Julia Monaco is on a yearlong trip in Europe. In less than three months, however, this woman has become a modern-day survivor.
Monaco was in London in July when three knife-wielding terrorists attacked people on the London Bridge. She was also in Paris before that, near the Notre-Dame, when there was another terror attack involving a knife. Recently, Monaco was in Spain where the latest terrorist attack happened.
Monaco recalled the terror when she was shopping in Placa de Catalyuna. “We didn't see the van,” she recalled. “We could just see the crowds and the police and some people who had clearly seen something terrible happen.”
“We were looking at about 200 people crowded out in the square … suddenly everyone outside just started screaming and everyone turned at the same time. People were literally pushing to get into the store off the street.”
“We were genuinely terrified,” Monaco added. “It was genuinely like they were running for their lives, it was genuine fear you could see, more than just panic.” Luckily for Monaco, she had a place to hide and remain safe.
“The next second we knew we were literally running for our lives to the very back of the store where we were told to get on the ground away from the windows and lay as flat as possible.” Monaco, together with her friends and other people in the store, spent 20 minutes lying flat, hiding behind tables of clothes.
Monaco was scared but she had seen something similar when she had been in Paris and London before. Now, after being present for three separate attacks, you’d think this woman was ready to pack and go home. No one would blame her.
More than that, this woman is optimistic about the future. She is set to continue with her travels. Third time’s the charm they say, so hopefully, Monaco will not be present during more terrorist attacks anytime soon.
Europe’s every day is being threatened with these terrorist attacks. But its charm and its beauty are far from being dented. European countries are gems you have to go see at least once in your life, so the hell with them and choose to live the life you want.