How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Are you scared by the thought of travel? Would you run a mile if you saw a big, black tarantula on your doorstep?

I never expected to share a home with giant crickets, hairy tarantulas or stinging scorpions when we lived in Costa Rica, it just happened that way. Of course, there was nothing I could do except learn to manage the fear and evict them (alive) from our house. Even the bat that somehow ended up stuck in our toilet.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

What would you do if there was a bat stuck in your toilet? I dunked a swimming flipper in there which batty obligingly crawled onto then let him dry out in the garden. No harm done to anyone.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Scary scorpions invaded my home regularly, lurking near the fridge or on the stairs on  dark nights. Not appreciated and I confess the scorpions didn’t leave the house alive as they are not endangered and could sting one of the Candy kids. 

Many people dream of travel but let fear hold them back from their travel adventures. But the silly thing is that most of your fears are nothing to worry about so when you do set off on your travels you’ll soon discover that what you feared most won’t be a problem at all. Then you’ll find many more little things and little fears pop up while you’re traveling which you now have the confidence to also overcome.

Can you find your travel fears in this list of common travel fears?

  • Fear of the unknown;
  • Fear of getting sick;
  • Fear of financial problems;
  • Fear of flying;
  • Fear of missing out on things at home;
  • Fear of failure and having to go home early;
  • Fear of communication problems;
  • Fear of being robbed;
  • Fear of loneliness;
  • Crazy irrational fears like fear of venemous snakes, hairy tarantulas or bothersome bugs.
How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

An interesting gatecrasher at my 40th birthday party in Costa Rica – the bug I mean, the human is my brave travel friend Kim

It took us a few years to pluck up courage to move to Central America from New Zealand, especially as we’d have no business or income, didn’t speak spanish and had three kids to support on our travels.

Life can get off track if you let fear make your decisions for you. At least, it did for me. When the teenaged me was asked to decide what career I’d like to pursue, I told my parents I wanted to be a writer. This wasn’t a job the school career adviser picked for me, and it wasn’t generated by a careers computer program, it was just something I knew.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Never has a cockroach been so interesting

I knew because when I was at primary school during art classes, I always asked if I could write a poem or song instead of drawing. I knew because in secondary school I loved writing weekly essays for my English class more than anything else. I just knew.

I’m lucky I don’t have too many major travel fears apart from the usual worries everyone goes through but I did have severe writing fears which held me back for years. Don’t let your fears hold you back from travel any longer.

Nomadic Matt also has a great post on how to overcome your travel fears but these are my tips.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Just another stick insect. This one is small compared to the foot long stick insect I found on my balcony.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

1. Trust Your Inner Voice

Listen to your inner voice which is telling you to travel and compelling you to think about travel daily.

There might be some negative thought patterns going on that are connected to your fear but you need to slowly tune those out and focus on the inner voice that is telling you everything will be all right. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen?

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Having a moth as big as a bird swooping round in your bedroom isn’t conjusive to getting a good night’s sleep.

2. Dare to Follow Your Dreams

Don’t be a chicken. Prepare well, plan your trip so that you have taken precautions and know what to do if things do go wrong. With that safety net in place you should be up to enjoy your trip and enjoy looking forward to it without being ruled by fear.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

Beatle in the bathroom

3. Overcome Your Fears Today

If you dream of travel then follow that dream. We don’t live forever and time is of the essence. Don’t let fear hold you back from traveling the world, experiencing new cultures and helping you become braver.

Why not book a short trip now? Even travelling close to home will help you build the confidence to explore wider and father in the future.

If you think you’re scared of something do it and you’ll find that you can manage that fear and overcome it through exposure.

While I started off finding the bugs in Costa Rica scary and unpleasant I ended up loving them. After all they’re just another natural being with fears like us, not something that should hold us back from traveling. Not even a hairy tarantulas should do that.

How to Overcome Your Greatest Travel Fears

This tarantula was as big as my cat’s head. I’m not sure if they’re dangerous but the Costa Ricans call them matacaballo which means “horse killer” !

What’s your greatest travel fear?

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  1. Dave Doolin May 24, 2012 at 12:36 am - Reply

    That soggy bat looks tremendously grateful.

  2. Ryan at Travel and Graphs May 24, 2012 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Due to the spider at the end, I might now be LESS inclined to travel. What is the quickest way to suburbia again?

    • Annabel Candy May 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Ryan,

      Oh, you meant hat big hairy tarantula. I know sent shivers down my spine but snakes scare me most of all.

  3. Having had my encounters with scary critters, I have to say that asking “what is the worst thing that can happen” is not the way to go for me. The worst thing that can happen is that you get stung or bitten and die. And this does happen.

    However, as a sober Dutch person endowed with the national travel gene, I don’t let my fears stop me from looking for foreign adventures. The Dutch have a saying “Men lijdt het meest door het lijden dat met vreest,” which translated means “One suffers most from the suffering that one fears,” which actually rhymes in Dutch and therefore sounds better, but you catch my drift.

    Love those creepy photos!

    • Annabel Candy May 24, 2012 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Lol, love the Dutch saying, so true, the anticipated fear is often way worse than living it.

      I have been bitten and stung too but thankfully never died. Ive decided I’d rather die by being eaten by a shark than getting run over by a bus though. Still, not ready to check out yet though!!

  4. Johanna May 25, 2012 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    My suspicions are confirmed. I am much more scared of Australia’s wee (and not so wee) stinging beasties than all the large animals in deepest darkest Africa! Interesting post and some fab pics (shiver).

    • Annabel Candy May 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm - Reply

      Hi Johanna,

      Lol, that’s so true. You should have heard me squeal the other day when a creature ran right in front of me. Not a lion, not a tiger – it was a mouse:) “Mummy why are you scared? It’s cute.” my daughter said!

  5. jesse @ June 13, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Great post!

    I hope it helps some people overcome their fears..

    “Look fear in the face and it will cease to trouble you.” -Swami Sri Yukteswar to Paramahansa Yogananda

  6. barbylucedistelle June 26, 2012 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Love the pictures, so scary!! I guess after a while you get accustomed to almost everything. If I were there, I’d give you a pack on your back for being so brave to leave everything behind. I hope to be as brave as you when my time will come .

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