You’re asking and I’m answering! In a new series called Nomad Notes, I’m addressing your most frequently asked questions on nomadic life so you too can figure out how to realize your dream.
Consider these bite-sized blogs calorie-free treats of travel knowledge. =)
Pushing Past The Fear to Adventures Unknown
I get e-mails all the time asking me how I do it. How do I continue to travel to all these new and scary places? How do I get over the fear of the unknown (or potentially the fear of the known) in order to have these experiences? Don’t I get scared? How do I conquer my fear and just do it anyway?
The answer’s simple…
Most of the time I travel, I’m terrified. In fact, I tend to cry at least once a trip (if not once a week). If you were familiar with my psychological state during my travels you may in fact be convinced I am an emotional wreck.
It’s not pretty. Especially when there’s no make-up or sleep involved.
I am constantly questioning what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. There are very few things I ever do that don’t scare the bejesus out of me.
Traveling solo is hard. And going to unknown places and doing unfamiliar things is scary.
But holy crap, do I feel awesome after I’ve done it.
I don’t consider myself an incredibly brave person OR incredibly self-reliant. I love people, love the familiar, and love having my security blanket. So traveling around the world is terrifying.
But it’s also incredibly gratifying.
Lynsey Dyer, an extreme skier, gave a Tedx Talk on what she loves most about skiing off the side of mountains.
Her takeaway? “Sometimes the best part is when it’s over.”
I KNOW. Shocked me too. But it’s totally true.
After she’s conquered the cliffs she can count her limbs, realize that everything’s okay, and look back on her adventure with thrill. But up until then she’s just going through the motions and praying she doesn’t die.
This is kind of my approach to traveling. I tend to take a lot of photos and try to find the meaning in every challenging and fear-inducing moment (much like a Seventh Heaven episode). But sometimes it just doesn’t wrap up like that. So sometimes I cry and am afraid.
I’m not sure who I’m going to meet. I’m constantly having to trust myself to know my limits. Sometimes I hate it. But I still do it. And then sometimes I get to do cool things like feed kangaroos and life doesn’t seem so scary.
I have been told by an awesome reader that bravery isn’t the absence of fear; it’s moving forward because you have a purpose greater than fear. So let’s consider travel just that: a purpose and adventure that’s worth fighting for.
AND as an ADDED bonus, after each experience, hardship, or adventure, I realize that I’m capable of handling more than I thought. I’m no longer just a girl from Las Vegas with no ‘real world’ experience. I know I can climb up a volcano and then board down it. I can handle getting pummeled by the waves. I have bonded with people who don’t speak my language and stared down lions.
But it all started by me accepting my fear. And then doing what I wanted to in spite of it.
So do what frightens you. And don’t think you’re doing it wrong just because all you’re trying to do is get through it.
Have the adventure and then decide how you feel about it. Forgive yourself for the breakdowns and panic attacks and moments you don’t enjoy. Because in the end, these things are just a part of life, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
Besides, the way I see it, if you’re going to experience these highs-and-lows… Why not do it with a view?
Have a question on nomadic life or professional adventuring? Leave it in a comment below! Let’s discuss. =)