As exhilarating as traveling is, even well experienced travelers know that it can be frightening sometimes. Yes, you may know where you are going and you may have everything planned out down to the last detail—yet there is still so much unknown, even if you have traveled to your destination before. What to pack, am I forgetting something, how much money do I need, will I have travel difficulties, will something bad happen—there could be a lot to worry about if you choose to.
If you’ll be gone for a while there is always the question and worry about relationships and friendships falling through or missing your family or feeling homesick—the list may go on and on, again, if you let it. When you get on that plane, so many feelings will most likely be rumbling in your brain and heart. Excitement, anticipation, fear, anxiety, ahhhhh! Here is my biggest piece of advice regarding those feelings: FEEL them. Let them be and let them happen and be in that moment. Those moments are growing moments—when you know you are scared and you know you feel a little worried, but you feel it and grow and BE in that moment. Instead of pushing those “negative” feelings aside, indulge in them—they are happening for a reason.
You may even find that you fall in love with that fear; you may come to adore the unknown, the new, and the unfamiliar—I know I did! I craved the feeling of waking up in a completely different place that I was entirely unaccustomed to. These moments of unfamiliarity allowed me to meet myself for the first time, really. I was alone—4,000 some miles and a very large body of water separated me from everyone and everything I had ever known—and I grew to love this solitude. I very much value being alone, traveling alone, learning, growing, discovering and wandering alone. All of my solitary experiences in Europe and beyond completely changed me and I now see my current surroundings very differently.
It is my hope that young and old travelers alike learn to love the fear—for when we love and crave that fear we learn about ourselves and grow in ways never imaginable.