Travel can be a scary thing. Travel fears often end up holding us back from chasing our dream of seeing the world.
When I’ve talked to people about long-term travel, I’m usually met with the response, “I can’t, I need to save up some money first” or, “Wish I could but I’ve got a lot of stuff with work coming up”.
These are probably the most common excuses you will hear from people. In actuality, these people are more likely just scared of travel itself; scared of leaving their life of “comfort” and heading into the unknown, scared they don’t have the skills or the experience to last or maybe just scared that they won’t make any new friends.
When people have all these fears, it becomes much easier to just stay at home, within their comfort zone.
It’s a big step in life to decide to drop everything and set off travelling, but it’s one that almost no one regrets once they try it.
It isn’t about staying in your comfort zone, it’s about venturing out of it and creating a new one!
Throw Your Travel Fears Out the Window
First thing you must do to overcome your travel fears is to disregard them. Get them out of your head and just start planning your trip.
The more you get done and the closer you get to stepping out your front door, the harder it will be to stop. So just get started and build up some momentum.
If Others Can Do It, Why Can’t You?
Just think about someone you know or heard of, who has done what you want to do. Then, just ask yourself…
If they can do this, why can’t you?
When I was just starting out – when I was new to the travel world – one of the most comforting aspects was having the knowledge that plenty of other people had done this before me.
This really helped to put my mind at ease. And the best part…
These people (including me) all shared the same travel fears at one point or another.
If they can overcome them, why can’t you, right?
You Don’t Need Experience
No one needs experience to travel. You don’t need to present a resume every time you board a plane.
People aren’t born with travel experience. Think of travel as a skill and – like any other skill – you’ve got to work at it in order to master it. This will never happen if you don’t start somewhere.
The more you travel, the more experience you gain and the better at it you become.
Make Your Responsibilities Disappear
This is easier than you think. It might seem like the hardest thing in the world for you to quit your job or sell your car, but always ask yourself, “What is the absolute worst-case scenario?”.
Side note: If you really love your job but also want to travel, try working out a remote work agreement with your boss and try to become location independent.
When you quit your job, you won’t have to go to work any more. If you sell your car, you won’t have to pay for it anymore. If you comb through all your stuff and sell everything you don’t need, you won’t have all that stuff and , you’ll have some extra travel cash in your pocket.
People tend to freak out when they think about making these life decisions, but they’re never that big when it comes down to it. Just think of these decisions as steps you have to take to bring yourself closer to your ultimate goal of becoming location independent and to travel the world.
Find Other Work
Like I said before, one of the most common fears when it comes to travel is the fear of being unemployed and unable to find new work.
You will find other work.
The number of employment opportunities while on the road is basically endless.
You could find work in a hostel or bar (hostels will sometimes offer you free accommodation for your services). If you’re a native English speaker, why not get a job as an English teacher? It’s not hard at all to find a teaching job, particularly in Asian countries, where English teachers are in high demand. Failing this, you could become a rep, or a tour guide of some kind.
If this stuff doesn’t appeal to you, why not venture into the world of making money online. You’ll [no doubt] be able to find an employment opportunity for you in this endless list of location independent jobs.
Make New Friends
Lots of new travellers – especially those who travel solo – are scared that they won’t be able to make new friends. They think they don’t have the social skills or that they are just to damn shy.
Well, the travel community is incredibly friendly and sociable. You’ll find that people will come up and talk to you even if you’re too afraid to go and talk to them.
Going to meetups, staying at hostels or Couchsurfing are all great ways to kick-start the friend-making process.
The more you do it, the less daunting it will seem.
You Always Have a Safety Net
If you abandon all the travel fears listed above, fully commit to long-term travel and then – after a few months – realise that this lifestyle isn’t suited for you, no problem.
You always have the option to return home, and if that does happen to you, DO NOT think of the experience as a failure! Most people never even bother to chase their travelling dreams so you’ll have already out-done the majority.
The important thing is that you tried.
Travel can be very daunting to most. Fear can be very useful as it stops us from doing stupid s***! But, it often holds us back from chasing our dreams and succeeding in life.
Once you learn to brush the fear aside, anything will be possible.
Just don’t give in before that happens!
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