Would you like to Travel? Do you surf the web reading travel blogs, much like this one, hoping to catch a glimpse of the adventurous lives of countless long time over seas travelers? Do you know flight prices by heart? Do you find yourself beginning a different language study every 2-3 months because you “just know you’ll use it in that one country eventually?”
You read and you read and you devour page after page of the sweet, hot, vagabonding goodness that abounds on the Information Super Highway. Your mind is filled with the teeming possibilities of ‘going there.’ Several countries call to you in your sleep. Thailand. Japan. Argentina. France. Australia. You’ve read so many reports and blog entries from those travelers ‘in the field,’ that you could walk through Hong Kong blindfolded, yet you’ve never been there.
You plan and prepare; research flights and draw up an itinerary; you might even pack a bag or two. You tell friends and family and bid farewell, yet something very curious happens. Despite your energetic enthusiasm and unusually youthful optimism, you don’t go. You never talk to your boss about getting time off and you can’t seem to convince yourself that your plane ticket to Chiang Mai is a ‘reasonable investment.’
Something strange begins to happen inside your head. Your thoughts turn dark. Instead of imagining the wonders that are here and now, or that may very well be naught but a fifteen hour flight away, you begin to panic about future worries that may or may not even happen. You begin to wonder what the consequences of traveling are. You begin having thoughts like, “Will my job still be there when I get back? What if I get robbed while I’m overseas? Is now really the time to be traveling in this age of terrorism? I must think of my age, travel is a ‘hobby’ for younger men. Travel is expensive, ’tis not something a middle class worker like me can afford.”
And so on and so forth. I’ve dealt with many of them. These are idle, malicious thoughts that seek to cloud your judgement and put your happiness to route. This ‘hell inside your head’ is the inevitable result of that dreaded ‘F’ word.
Fear… that’s a dirty word in my book. Fear is the emotion that ruins the party. What happened to your excitement? You were finally going to get on that plane and go to Rome. This time you were really going to tell your boss that you needed time off to decompress; this was to be your last glorious stand. You had it all planned out.. You were going to march into your firm on Monday morning after a non-fat latte and a three bean salad and kick open your boss’s door then ask, nay, demand 6 months of vacation time for your 15 years of loyal service. Goddammit, in your mind you were righteous! What happened, man?
Fear, that’s what happened. Fear is a sneaky bastard. Fear will tell you that what you’re doing is stupid and illogical. Fear is the pseudo logical emotion that does the math, crunches the numbers, and then feeds you some incredibly skewed misinformation. Fear will bind itself to your vision of the future and play on the memories of your past. Fear cherry picks the information it wants you to see, and thus causes you to doubt what you are doing by not giving you an accurate view of the situation to start with.
If you have decided that you want to travel, or do anything in life that requires risk, but know that you cannot yet take action due to fear, then you know what you must do. Your course is clear. You must over come your fear. You must find a way to calm that raging storm of paranoia that surges everytime you come to the threshold between planning and taking action; putting that plan into motion. In the next article we’ll take a look at a whole host of methods and techniques designed to break those chains and get you out there.