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GETTING BACK ON THE ROAD

Some people consider it their patriotic duty to travel now. Others are still frightened and have retreated from traveling.

Russell Shefrin, Ph.D., an Orchard Park area psychologist associated with the Western New York Institute for Psychotherapy, believes it is important to distinguish between a rational fear and irrational fear.

"A certain amount of fear is natural at this time, and each of us has to make up our own minds about travel," he said.

While he would travel now, he said he might not go to the Middle East at this time. He believes it is important to take practical steps to enhance our own safety and security.

"Be alert to what is going on," he advised. "A sense of powerlessness is what makes many people afraid. New security measures should help people to gain control of their fears. It is also important for people to know themselves and their limits."

For those who want to resume travel, the choices are limitless. Plan a trip today. If you don't wish to fly, consider Amtrak or a driving trip.

Fall is one of New York's finest seasons -- the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, the Thousand Islands, the Hudson River Valley all beckon with splendid landscapes, parks, unique attractions, memorable restaurants and inns.

Many people consider fall to be New York City's best season, and in recent years it has been difficult to find a hotel room. There should be plenty of rooms this year. There is so much to see and do in New York that visitors will never be able to see it all.

Less than a week after the attack, I escaped to nearby Letchworth State Park to drink in the beauty of that park and get away from the horror. Immediately after entering the park, I felt calmer and left feeling restored, if only for a short time.

I met a Dutch couple who had been traveling throughout the state during the week -- they had discovered the Hudson River Valley, Ithaca, Watkins Glen. They were spending two days in Letchworth before driving on to Blue Mountain Lake and Lake Placid in the Adirondacks.

"New York is simply amazing -- we never knew about all this beauty and attractions the state had to offer," the Dutch woman said.

Yes, the state is amazing. And so is the rest of the country and the world.

-- Deborah Williams