Ever say to yourself that you want to travel the world but it’s just not “practical” enough with all that you have going on in your life?
Except for a few people who would genuinely prefer to never leave home – yes I have met such people and they are perfectly normal too – most of us nurse a travel dream or two, but only a fraction of us make that dream come true. The rest go on envying those few, wondering what is the special gift or circumstance that allows them to go to these wonderful places, while you are stuck with your responsibilities at home.
I used to be one of those people, green with envy when I heard someone went to Paris or spent two weeks in the paradise of Hawaii or even just went to California!! Here I was living in the USA, working a good job and living near a perfectly operating airport, and I was more obsessed with making excuses to stay home rather than creating opportunities to just go!
The hardest and the easiest step is the first one. It is hard because you fight past a mountain of resistance to take it.
We fight the things that we want the most, which is the crazy irony of it all! And it’s easy because once you take that first trip to that special place you’ve been dreaming of, everything else falls by the wayside, you realize all those reasons why you thought you can’t do this are simply excuses not to travel.
You feel empowered. You take charge of your life. You become a solution to your problems and you find ways to make the second and third steps happen. You evolve into a better person because travel lifts your spirits and shifts your perspective. You begin to see the world in a new way, and this new way, my friends, is a beautiful one.
The trick then is to get past that first hurdle and take that first step toward your travel dreams, and if you are like I used to be, you harbor travel fears and anxieties that keep you at bay with endless questions such as:
- How do we get buy in a foreign country where we don’t speak the language?
- How do we not get lost and harassed and mugged?
- What if we don’t like the food?
- How do we survive if the people are not friendly and if we don’t feel welcome?
- What if we don’t take enough stuff with or get lost or sick?
You would think from the sound of it that I have never left home! My family and I left our home in Iran with only two suitcases and a very pregnant Mom and never looked back! We have done the impossible; we have been true road warriors. We survived losing our home and starting over, while living in Turkey for three years before immigrating to America. Yet somehow, the long years of living in the comfort of our home has made us afraid of taking on the road!
Are you too comfortable at home to leave for a while to embrace your travel dreams?
Traveling has opened my eyes to a new life and it can absolutely do the same for you. To give you a friendly nudge, here are the top five travel fears with tips on how to overcome each:
1 – Leaving home behind – you can set up alarms, have a house sitter, tell your neighbors, and monitor your house with cameras via the web from anywhere.
2 – Parting with your pets – you can make it fun for them, research places that specialize in taking care of your beloved pet, plan in advance, get them used to their temporary residence with a trial run or get a pet sitter to check on them in the comfort of their own environment at your home.
3 – Taking vacation time from your job – you can prepare your team and your boss well in advance, plan for a good stopping point in your work projects, ask someone to take over urgent matters, and trust that the world will continue turning at your workplace without you for a while.
4 – Going through the motions of air travel – you can start with taking small trips, familiarize yourself with airport security, travel with someone who is more experienced, take music and books and a pair of noise cancellers on the flight, and use the quiet time to catch up on your movies or reflect on your life.
5 – Managing your way around a foreign country – you can see that people around the world are essentially all the same and there are more good people than bad, and that most will be willing to help if you ask nicely, and that you can get by without speaking the language if you do just a little preparation in advance.
I noticed one burning question everyone asked us when we started traveling: “How do you travel so much?” and my simple answer was that we just do it.
Then I realized that just like myself, you as the new traveler harbor fears and anxieties that I had to overcome with experience, research, tools and resources. So I wrote a book with all the answers that we found in our decade-long travel path and I want to share that with you today.
Travel with Confidence: A Roadmap to Embrace Your Travel Spirit is up on the Amazon Kindle store. It gives you guidance, resources, actionable advice and encouragement to build confidence and overcome travel fears and anxieties. No Kindle? Just download any free reading app from Amazon and read it on your favorite mobile device.
Just know that when the years are past and the opportunities gone, you want to be left with a lifetime of travel memories rather than a heavy heart of regrets.
“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls.”
Imagine the places you can go when you are a confident traveler. In the photo here, Florence, Italy by Farnoosh Brock
Editor’s Note: Guest post by Farnoosh Brock
Farnoosh left a 12-year corporate career to start her own company, Prolific Living where she helps people create freedom in their health and careers through her blog, books and programs. She enjoys traveling extensively with her husband, and is crazy about yoga, photography and green juicing.
Do you have any secret travel fears or are you a confident traveler? Do you have any tips for overcoming travel fears?