Overcome Your Fear of the Unknown
Traveling is wonderful. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It breaks your routine and may even help you grow as a person. But it’s also scary. The unknown is equal parts electrifying and intimidating. And traveling requires a whole slew of unknowns; unknown places, unknown people, unknown languages, foods, accommodation and transportation. The good news is that fear of the unknown can be overcome. You can come to love travel just by recognizing your own fear and facing it. You can transform your waah waah wanting into real, live doing.
Here are a few tips for overcoming your fear of traveling.
Go somewhere uncomplicated
As a new traveler, throwing yourself into the middle of Beijing might be a bit much. Stick with places that are relatively close by, maybe even something within driving distance of home. Make it a place that’s easy to get to and doesn’t require multiple plane changes or rickety buses. Make the getting there easy on yourself so you can enjoy your destination instead of worrying about the journey.
Go somewhere familiar
The world is full of amazing places. Make the first one(s) you visit places that are relatively familiar to home. Go travel to places that speak the same language as you, eat familiar foods and offer convenient ways of getting around. Stay at hotels, hostels or even campsites that have (at least a few of) the comforts of home. Having a homey base will make your entire traveling experience seem less daunting. There will be plenty of time later on to immerse yourself in the delicious exotic of foreign alphabets and food markets. For now, work on overcoming your fear of the unknown by making the unknown more knowable.
Go somewhere inexpensive
You’re still not convinced traveling is for you. The unknown continues to linger like a great gray cloud of doom. So the last thing you want to do is invest your life savings into something you might not even like. Overcome this fear by traveling somewhere inexpensive. Instead of booking at a five-star hotel, find a nice campsite or bed and breakfast not too far away. Drive with friends and split the gas bill. Go somewhere that doesn’t require buying new clothes, skis or race horses. You’ll find that when you’re spending less you take the pressure off yourself to have a perfect trip. That way if something doesn’t go exactly to plan you know you didn’t just lose last month’s salary.
Go somewhere with people you know
Traveling alone is a treat. You get to create your own itinerary – and make changes as you go that suit you and you alone. However traveling solo also means taking on greater responsibility and risk. There’s more unknown than traveling with others. For your first venture into the great big world of traveling use the people you know to your advantage. Plan a trip with a friend who has a bit of travel experience – or is at least game to try. If no one seems keen to go with you, go and visit your friends and family who live in cool places. You’ll get to catch up and have a built in guide as you explore a new place. It’s a win-win!
A big ol’ THANK YOU to my Mom for giving me the ideas for this post.