The spectre of terror will not deter me
We can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to terrorism
When my parents toured Europe in the 1990s, terrorism was the last thing on their mind.
They travelled freely without having to fear for their safety.
But in 2015, there were two major terror attacks in Paris, the city my parents visited.
One was the Charlie Hebdo attack in January, when gunmen stormed the magazine's office building, killing 12 people.
In November, suicide bombers and gunmen entered the national stadium, a concert hall and restaurants, killing more than 120 people and leaving hundreds wounded.When I told my parents that I wanted to go on a student exchange trip to the Netherlands from January to June last year, they feared for my safety.
They thought I shouldn't travel to Europe because it was not as safe as it was years before. But I went ahead with my plans and travelled around, sometimes alone.
I visited Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the United Kingdom, France and Italy.
While I was there, I would constantly get WhatsApp messages from my parents who sent me many news articles on terror attacks in Europe.
In March last year, I just escaped an attack and it made my parents even more paranoid.
I took the bus from Brussels back to Amsterdam late at night on March 21. The following morning, a bomb exploded at Brussels' Maalbeek metro station, killing 20 people.
It was just 10 minutes away from my apartment, and my friend and I had been to the station multiple times to commute to places of interest.
Bombs were also set off in Brussels airport an hour earlier. In total, the attacks killed 34 people.
I learnt about the blasts via frantic WhatsApp messages, and I did wonder whether I should stop travelling temporarily to be safe.
But a week later, I took a flight to Switzerland and continued to travel for two weeks to cities such as Prague and Budapest.
Fear couldn't stop me from embarking on a student exchange trip, and fear cannot stop me from travelling to explore and enjoy new cultures.
Many of my friends feel that way too. We are too young to be tied down by fear, and we need to explore as much as we can, despite the growing threats.
If we happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, then we'll just accept it as fate.
I attended a homeland security exhibition last week and was amazed at the level of technology available to fight terrorism.
But such technology can only do so much. No matter how many cameras you have, it is hard to predict terror attacks.
From the attacks in Berlin, Nice and London, it is clear terrorists are adapting. They use cars and trucks to kill people, so you can't tell if the car behind you could be used as a weapon.
While I was writing this, a man hijacked a beer delivery truck in Sweden last Friday and used it to plough through Stockholm's main pedestrian street before slamming it into a department store, killing four.
The suspect, a 39-year-old man originally from Uzbekistan, was arrested on terror charges.
Acts of violence around the world are becoming more common, while we can't control what happens to us, we can control how we react.
We can start by learning first aid so when an attack happens, we might be able to use it to save lives.
Instead of fearing death, we should celebrate life. We must accept the fact that we could be attacked one day.
And the best way to stand up to terrorists is by living life, as I did when I continued on my trips in Europe. Living life to the fullest is what resilient people do.