It’s October. The month of all things spooky. The nights are darker, the weather has a sharp chill, and uneasiness is in the air. Not only do we have to deal with goblins and ghouls, but we still must forge our way into the unknown winter months that lie ahead.
Contemplating the concept of fear, naturally I cannot help but think of the circumstances we have been living in this year. Right now, this is like an onion with so many layers to peel back. Presently, there is global fear of contracting a virus. And, fear of getting stuck somewhere far from home. Many even fear of not being able to travel again. It has been scary in many ways…
With my mind wandering further, I’ve found myself going down a path of fear and travel. There have been many situations we have encountered during our travels that stir jittery feelings within me.
I know I’m not alone in my feelings. As travelers, there are so many fears we encounter and must deal with.
Top Travel Fears
- Getting lost
- Certain activities (i.e. skydiving)
- Solo travel
- Facing the unknown
- Terrorist/personal attack
- Not being able to communicate
- Missing out
- Putting full trust in strangers
- Getting sick/injured abroad
There are plenty of situations in travel that cause worry or fear. But, there are also plenty of ways to tackle fears head on!
Tips and Tricks
We would never recommend traveling in a haphazard manner. While we’re all about being brave and trying new things, we are also major proponents of personal safety! It is also important to note that travel experiences are different for men than women. Being prepared to encounter a variety of circumstances is one of the best tips we can offer.
Travel can be a powerful tool in breaking free of fear by facing things head on! A quick Google search results in several more tips and tools to help you prepare for safe trips that are filled with enriching experiences when the time is right. We put many of these tips in place during our own personal travels.
My Biggest Travel Fear
One of my biggest fears when it comes to traveling has to do with road trips. More specifically, driving in heavy traffic in major cities.
This dreadful fear made its way into my life a few years ago. On our first trip together, we were in back-to-back car wrecks. Thankfully, no one was hurt. But, this experience forever changed my ability to get behind the wheel and drive somewhere.
Nowadays I am, at best, a terrible, anxious passenger. It has really put a damper on our ability to easily embark on road trips. Of course, this makes going places in our current travel environment challenging. But, we haven’t let it stop us.
Like many others, travel has also forced me to face many fears – exposure therapy at its finest. When we are in the car, I have to focus on the things I can control, even if it’s as simple as focusing on my own breath.
But an experience like this isn’t the only time travel forced us to face our fears.
Other Sketchy Stuff
Thinking back, I recall plenty of other scenarios in which I was truly scared. One of the worst nights we’ve ever spent in a hotel was in Los Angeles. In that moment, I really felt it was possible we might be seriously injured or worse. I can easily say I never, never, never want another experience like that again. As a result, we now have certain standards we always follow when picking a hotel.
Slightly less severe (yet still scary) was arriving late at night in Prague. I had read some alarming discussion threads related to the park in front of the main train station. The commentary of others had led me to believe our safety would be in jeopardy.
We put a few standard precautions in place and made our way through the park unscathed. Once we made our way to the other side, I couldn’t help but feel just a bit silly over the fact that a few minutes prior I was afraid to walk out of a train station. By facing my fear, we were able to have the most enjoyable time in Prague!
In each of these instances, and many others, we definitely learned a lesson or two that had an impact on future travels. By continually facing our fears, we are growing as people and travelers.
I can also remember the feeling of fear as I prepared to jump off a 25-foot waterfall in the Dominican Republic. Yikes!
Breaking Free From Fear
Various travel experiences serve as a reminder that one of the fears we have to face as travelers is our own perception, as well as the perception of others. What is normal for one person may not be normal for another.
It’s ok to be afraid. But, its also ok to try something new. Trudging into the unknown can be very good for you. Through travel, we have both tried things we never really imagined we would do.
Each time we face something we are afraid of, we come out a little stronger on the other side. It can be hard to jump head first into something that is scary, but challenging yourself builds grit.
Travel offers the opportunity to break free from the routine and try new things. Getting out of your comfort zone is good for you. You can build confidence and learn new skills.
Having an underlying sense of fear shouldn’t stop you from chasing your dreams. I’m not sure what’s scarier actually – facing a travel fear or never ever experiencing something you’ve always wanted to do.
The more you get out there, you will realize you are braver than you know!