Overcoming The Fear of Travel… Maybe

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain.

When  people ask us why we travel so many answers come to mind. Though rarely spoken, my initial thought is always the same, “How can I not travel?”

Travel is light to the spiritually blind. Travel is sound to the adventurous deaf. It’s the taste of a thousand things you’ll never experience if you don’t take that first step.

It’s everything great in the world simply because it includes everything great in the world.

It throws you out of your comfort zone, lets you walk a thousand miles in someone else shoes and then lets you realize that every human being has similar wants and needs regardless of race, class or spiritual inclination.

Travel lets you see that beauty exists everywhere in the world and it’s just waiting for you to experience it first hand.

To tell someone all that after a simple question would leave their head spinning and them questioning my sanity.

A picture of a scarlet sky in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
The world is a beautiful place

To be honest, most people are interested in practical things. How can we finance travel? How can we leave everything behind and just go? How can we take the kids away from school, their friends, their lives? How can we live out of a backpack for months on end never having a place to call our own? How can we leave our job never knowing if we’ll have a job to come back to?

Those are all great questions and answering sometimes helps them wrap their heads around how and why we do what we do.

Others simply wave the question away before even letting me answer. They’ve dismissed travel (especially long term travel) as something that’s impossible, beyond reach or not really for them.

What holds most people back  from spending more time abroad comes down to one thing. Fear of the unknown.

When you define traveling to new destinations, how can you not be surrounded by the unknown? Who knows what might lie beyond that turn in the road, beyond that forest you’ve never passed, beyond that hill that you’ve never climbed? Who knows what people you’ll meet, what foods you’ll try, what locations you might find yourself in? Maybe they’ll be great, maybe they won’t be, but I can guarantee that your view on life will grow with every step you take into the unknown.

Maybe your job will be waiting for you or maybe you’ll find something better when you return. Maybe the money you saved for that new car will let you travel for a year or more. Maybe your relationship with your kids will grow stronger every day you travel. Maybe their friends and toys will diminish in importance as they explore new sights, new places and help define their own views on the world.

Maybe temporarily leaving all your possessions behind will make you appreciate what you already have all the more. Maybe it will make you realize that maybe you don’t need as much stuff to be happy as you thought you did.

Maybe you’ll find that someone to be your life mate. Maybe you’ll find a place that lets you be the person you’ve always wanted to be. Maybe you’ll learn a new language or discover a new outlook on life that will forever change your perceptions.


Nah, never mind, that’s too many possibilities. Stay home, stay safe, stay in your “comfort zone” regardless of how comfortable it truly is.

Go on believing that travel is for the brave and the reckless. Let those of us who have seen the different colored grass and tasted the different flavors of the world go our own way and you go yours.

Unless… unless of course you’re curious to know what I know, seen what I’ve seen, tasted what I’ve tasted. Maybe everything I’ve said will come to pass, maybe it won’t.

You never know unless you try. Maybe…