How do we crush travel barriers and start traveling the world today?
We crush them slowly, one at a time, with tender care and tough love. We crush them by living what we preach, by walking our talk, and by meaning what we say. We crush them with the truth, with facts, with information, with knowledge, with education, with empowering ideas into actions and dreams into realities.
I am talking about the surmountable psychological and emotional barriers surrounding the act of traveling and subsequently the mission to crush these barriers one by one. What is it that keeps you from committing to a vacation and not postponing month after month, year after year?
The simple truth is this: Travel does not discriminate. Travel simply exists for those who are willing to do it.
It does not take a special or an important person to travel. It does not take riches, wealth and status to travel. It does not take being a historian or a multi-lingual or an archeologist to travel. And it most certainly does not take being a 20-year old carefree unattached wanderer in order to travel.
It takes only you and your willingness. The rest is detail.
In other words, you are either willing to travel or you are not willing to travel. No gray here guys, just black and white, just yes or no, just binary if you went to engineering school (and indulge me because I wanted to use that word!)
Much as I love to travel, I have immense respect for people who make the case against travel altogether. They use their power of choice, they take a stance and they live according to their beliefs. If that is not empowering and exemplary, I do not know what is!
But every day, I also meet people — intelligent, educated, talented and very interesting people – who dream but only dream of traveling. They tell me I am so lucky to be traveling. Hmmm, thank you but I beg to differ because luck, my friends, has nothing to do with the price of tea in china! Luck is irrelevant. You design your own life and it just so happens that you too can design it with travel, as little or as much of it as your little heart desires.
What then stands in the way?
The single largest barrier standing in the way is fear.
The act of traveling is laden with fear and the fear is real and crippling. The fear of leaving home and your routine, fear of not having the money or the time, the fear of being seriously out of your comfort zone, the fear of not speaking the language or not knowing the way, the fear of getting lost in a foreign land, the fear of not feeling welcome, the fear of not enjoying the food and the fear of getting sick while away from home. Oh and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.
~ Les Brown
The gift of travel surpasses the weight of this elusive fear by immeasurable leaps and bounds. To breathe life and give wings to that willingness, you have to crush the fears first. If you do not crush the fears, you instead crush the amazing opportunity to embrace your travel dreams. Not good.
Nearly 8 years ago, I was laden with the fear of traveling. I had every worry under the sun and brilliantly buried every dream of going anywhere under those worries.
Now, a half a million flying miles later, not counting thousands of miles from other airlines before I built up loyalty for American Airlines and completely ignoring thousands of driving miles, I have a massive shift in perspective and today, my dreams bury my worries. I have huge responsibilities, a full-time job, this lovely blog, hobbies, friends and family and commitments and yet nothing gets in the way of my travels.
That’s my story. Your story – whether you have started it yet or not – will be unique and completely of your own making. So brace yourself and do not give the time of day to the fear of traveling and any doubts of overcoming those fears.
So I am setting out to create the ultimate fear-crushing guide for facing your travel demons. I plan to address your every fear and help you overcome your every barrier so that you can fulfill your particular travel dreams. The only way to get this right for us is to know your fabulous thoughts around these questions.