/Libya Can Wait

Libya Can Wait

Last night I called my mom at 3am. I had just finished packing for a week-long trip to Libya and wanted to let her know that I probably wouldn’t be able to email her while I was traveling (the Libyan government has shut down internet in the country just 90 minutes earlier) but I might be able to call or fax. “Kathryn, I really think you should reconsider this trip,” was her response.

I’ve subjected my mom to a lot of travel related stress in the past: “Hey mom, I’m going to spend three months wandering around southern Italy alone”, “Hey mom, I’m moving to Italy!”, “I just booked a solo trip to Syria, but I haven’t made any arrangements and I won’t have a phone!”, but I think the “I don’t know when I’ll speak to you next, but I need to selfishly satisfy my maniacal wanderlust” was a bit much.

We read the Al Jezeera, BBC, and NYT coverage on Libya over the phone, which was, in a word, limited. After three days of protest and violence, and 4 decades of suppression of the press, it was hard to paint a clear picture of what is happening right now, but things don’t seem good, safe, or reasonable. And it hardly seems respectful to go to a country on the verge of revolution to gawk at some ancient cities just because I feel like it. So Libya can wait. Mamma Parla is always right.

You can follow the events (what little is able to be reported and confirmed, that is) on Al Jezeera’s english website, on the NYT site at The Lede Blog and on twitter with the hash tag #feb17.

2016-01-09T19:09:46+00:00 February 19th, 2011|Categories: Culture, Mamma Parla|22 Comments


  1. Jessica February 19, 2011 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    I’m glad you decided to wait!!! There is always another time to see archaeological sites.

    • Katie February 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

      tru. im in istanbul now so that should keep me from sinking into a ridiculous depression.

  2. Nonna February 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Thank God you didn’t go-Libya will always be there and hopefully these people will get some freedom-another time Katie

  3. DMae February 19, 2011 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Thank Mama Parla for me! Being safe is a better idea sometimes.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by katieparla, Leesie. Leesie said: RT @katieparla: sooo…about that trip to Libya I was supposed to take this morning http://bit.ly/hVeTfI […]

  5. Mamma Parla February 19, 2011 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    Thank you for making the decision to wait – it was a wise one! The inevitable is about to happen there and I sincerely hope that the people of Libya will someday soon be able to rejoice and celebrate in having some of the freedoms that we take for granted everyday.

  6. Lani February 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    I might give you a run in the wanderlust department and I think Mamma’s right, too. Enjoy Istanbul!

  7. Nancy h February 20, 2011 at 6:41 am - Reply

    We just returned from Egypt two weeks before revolution.wise decision dear Katie (besides the food isn’t very good!)

  8. Camila February 20, 2011 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Wise choice. Enjoy Istanbul!

  9. janie February 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    Wise move-you just never really now what might happen. Enjoy your time in Istanbul-I’m sure you’ll find something wonderful to eat!

  10. Rossella February 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    Good decision.
    At your next meeting, please tell me the secret to make Mamma Parla comment on your site 🙂 I’m trying desperately with my mom with no result till now

  11. Mamma Parla February 22, 2011 at 4:35 am - Reply

    To Rosella – no secret…just mention her in your blog….engage!

  12. Melanie Renzulli February 22, 2011 at 9:10 pm - Reply


    I’m glad you decided that Libya can wait, too. I just surfed over to your site because someone had asked me for Istanbul restaurant recommendations and I wanted to provide them with links to some of your posts. Keep on eating and inspiring!

    A presto,
    Melanie Renzulli
    missadventures.com / italofile.com

  13. Conchita Vecchio February 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm - Reply

    Good thing you weren’t there already, Katie…stay safe, enjoy Istanbul and come down for a stigghiole anytime!

  14. MegRhi February 23, 2011 at 2:04 am - Reply

    So glad you didn’t go friend! Moms are always right when it comes to these things.

  15. Engred February 23, 2011 at 3:33 am - Reply

    Your fans thank you – and Mamma Parla – for letting logic win over your stomach! Tough decision sometimes but this time is was the right one!!

  16. Rosemary February 23, 2011 at 4:24 am - Reply

    I had some world traveler friends in Egypt a few weeks ago. When I saw the fear and relief their faces telling about how they got out, cutting their trip short, it made me realize the real disorder and random danger going on in that part of the world right now. Glad you stayed safe at home.

  17. maryann terillo February 23, 2011 at 6:49 am - Reply

    those ancient cities will be there a little longer…better you stay safe!

  18. Michelle | Bleeding Espresso February 23, 2011 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Excellent decision indeed; hope Istanbul is treating/treated you well 🙂

  19. Katie February 24, 2011 at 12:17 am - Reply

    Feeling really lucky to be safe here in Istanbul, especially after watching events unfold. The conditions for Libyans continue to deteriorate and one can only hope that their suffering ends soon. Thanks for all the kind comments and thanks again Mamma Parla for talking some sense into me.

  20. dad February 25, 2011 at 4:32 am - Reply

    what a wuss. just think of all the great celebratory food you’re missing out on. just don’t take the brown acid that those wacky Libyans seem to be taking!

  21. Justin S March 5, 2011 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Glad you didn’t go. Interesting times; stay safe in your travels.

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