How to Overcome Fear While Traveling
No time, no money, no travel buddy. There’s an endless list of reasons and excuses for why people can’t or don’t want to travel. But behind these excuses is often one underlying factor: Fear. Now we aren’t saying that traveling is as easy as waking up in the morning but it probably is easier than you imagine. Read on as we guide you in the right direction toward making the big step out of your comfort zone.
Don’t let responsibilities get in the way
"I can't get the work off" is one of the biggest excuses we have for not traveling. Whether you're worried about the stress of work piling up while you're gone or even losing your job, learn to let go of that fear and assess what it is you truly want from life. Maybe it's time to finally leave that job and find your true passion. Or, if all you need is a break, set some strict boundaries and "do not disturb" warnings while you're away. Don't let your current responsibilities hold you back from pursuing your passion.
Be thorough with your plans
Decide where you want to go and what you want to achieve. Do you want to kick back on a beach for two weeks, climb Kilimanjaro or go all out and ride a rickshaw across India? Speak to friends that have traveled to find out how they got started. From books and blogs to travel magazines and internet guides, the amount of travel resources available to us today is unlimited. Spend time scouring through them all and make a list of the ones whose style appeals to you most. The more you read the more confident you will become.
Travel can be a one-night stay in a new town or city, a year backpacking, a permanent nomadic lifestyle and everything in between. You may want to throw caution to the wind, sell up and set off with no plan to return. Otherwise, test the water by starting with a weekend away at a destination close to home. If you deem it a success then advance to a week or fortnight away and gradually build up to a timespan that you feel comfortable with.
While a little familiarity is always welcome, having the confidence to embrace new cultures, languages and cuisines only enhance and fulfill our experiences. Again, start small by traveling to a place with the same language and a similar culture to yours and then gradually ease into foreign cultures. Even a trip to your nearest Chinatown or Little Italy will put you on the right track. Food is a big part of a country’s identity so do be adventurous by sampling local delicacies at least once a day.
Don’t stress about things out of your control
Worrying about extremities such as transport accidents and terrorist attacks doesn’t do anyone any good, especially people who travel. Bear in mind that these events can happen on your doorstep as easily as they can happen thousands of miles away. Don’t buy into media hype and waste time studying statistics because it will only deter you and lead you back into your shell. If flying is an issue then stay local and travel by buses and trains. In Europe you can travel through several countries in one day via road and rail.
Enjoy the moment
Be happy, and remember: You will make friends. You will successfully overcome bumps in road. You can come home whenever you want. You will find a job when you return…that is if you do ever return.
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