To The Nervous Traveller
I might as well have named this post “to myself”. The truth is I’m nervous and even kind of scared of pretty much everything.
This post is also available in: Français (French)
I am easily stressed out and overwhelmed. There is a lot to be nervous about, especially when it comes to travelling. And of course, taking the plunge for a long-term journey is scary. The fear to take time off, to quit your job, the fear of flying, of running out of money too quickly (guilty +++), the fear of the unknown eventually.
Like in Jamaica, where I didn’t feel comfortable with locals… well, they didn’t eat us. Like at the Grand Canyon, where I was scared of dying, to the point where I would dream of stumbling and falling off the cliff… well I’m still alive. Like before moving to England as an au pair, when I was afraid I would not meet anyone my age and would feel lonely… well I made a lot of good friends, some of which I’m still in touch with today, 5 years later.
The bottom line is there will always be something to be afraid of and that is holding you back. I have always loved travelling but never even considered travelling on my own. Wether you’re going solo or as a couple like us, full-time travel in itself is a challenge.
Despite all the fears you can have, make sure you go step by step, take care of one thing at a time. Make your researches and get prepared. Make lists and cross things off to see concrete progress. Accept that not everything will go as planned. Take a deep breath. It usually feels somehow reassuring to just do the first step, which is the hardest. As you go on, fear transforms into excitment.
Fear is not always a bad thing. You have probably already heard Seth Godin’s quote: “if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try”. I don’t know about you but I don’t fully agree with it… or I would emphacise the “might”! It implies surpassing yourself and going out of your comfort zone, because out-of-your-comfort-zone is probably where you have the best experiences. But I believe fear can also be the expression of your intuitions. And your intuitions keep you alert and might keep you out of a bad situation.
After all, travel is just like everything else and needs practice. So trust youself and go.
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