No one is perfect at traveling, and to a certain degree, we all have some inhibitions and beliefs when it comes to travel, and our ability to do it – even those of us who love and write about it online. Maybe it’s a horror story told to us by family and friends that they experience abroad, the thought of the planning process that travel can require, a fear of flying, or the potential for anything to go unplanned while traveling. Whatever it is, It’s completely normal to feel this way, especially if you haven’t traveled, because you don’t yet have a concrete experience of your own to really grab from, and the pure thoughts and stories told by others are what are currently influencing your perception of travel, and your view of yourself as a traveler. However, travel, like many other things that may be new to you, is something that the more you do (travel near and far) the more you will be able to overcome the fear and become the traveler that you’ve envisioned yourself as. All it takes is that first trip to begin to have a better understanding of yourself, as a traveler. From the way you prefer to travel, to the type of travel that you like.
When I first traveled on my own, which I consider my study abroad program in Greece to be that for me, It was a pretty big deal for me, and an experience that I was very excited for as well as nervous for. My trip to Greece was at the time, the longest stay to date abroad, my first travel experience without my family, and in a continent I had never set foot in, with a small group of students that I had just met a couple of months ago and barely even knew.
I had fears and inhibitions around if I was going to be able to feel fully comfortable in a new environment, with a group of people that I didn’t know (they all mostly knew each other, I was a transfer student so they didn’t know me), or if I would be able to adapt well to a completely new country with a language and script I didn’t understand. There were plenty of opportunities to succumb to my own fear, but I didn’t because my love for travel was way bigger than any fear I could have felt – and something tells me that you’re on a similar stance when it comes to travel and the desire to open yourself up to the world.
The first piece of advice I want to share with you here is that if you find yourself intimidated by travel, ask yourself where that resistance is coming from? Is there any evidence for that fear? Is it your fear, or have you adopted someone else’s fear for travel? When we don’t know about something, like travel, we immediately feel fear because of the uncertainty that surrounds it. Especially travel, in that there are many new things to consider, as well as the uncertainty of how WE will be able to manage abroad. Will I be ok? Am I brave and bold enough to visit _________? The answer is YES, and in today’s post, I want to share 3 ways to make travel less intimidating for you, that have helped me travel to 13 countries, and even live abroad for a year.
If you stick around till the end, you’ll see a special free bonus just for you, that I think will really help you now to work on lessening any kind of intimidation around travel, from home, right now. Read on to see what it is!
It’s easier said than done, but your mindset is everything when it comes to lessening the intimidation around travel. Your mindset will impact whether or not you can travel, to begin with (at home, even before you purchase a plane ticket), and once you’re traveling, whether or not you will make the best of the experience. If you feel intimidation around travel, go in further, and notice the resistance – what images, feelings, and scenarios come up for you that make your stomach and mind flip? Be honest with yourself, as the more you get clear on what the resistance is, you’ll be able to then identify it, and change the story around it. You’re literally unmasking the fear when you identify it. Instead of it being powerful in it’s ominous and ambiguous yet powerful state that keeps you from traveling, look at it straight on – what’s the actual fear?. Ask yourself questions over why you feel the intimidation around travel, what kind of evidence is there for it to even exist in your mind, and what would happen if you flipped the story around. Old story: I’m afraid of getting lost – New story: I will have google maps and a paper map on me, it is not possible for me to get lost. Changing the story from negative to positive will start to change the mindset and lessen the intimidation with travel.
And as we are currently in quarantine, you literally have the opportunity and time luxury to change the story at your purposeful leisure.
What are your intentions?
When it comes to lessening the intimidation around travel, look at your initial intentions with travel – basically, why do you want to go in the first place? There is no right or wrong answer, it’s just a simple question and answer to help you remember the magical, beautiful, and inspiring reasons why you want to travel in the first place. What are the feelings, experiences, images that come to mind? I’m a big believer in setting intentions before doing anything in life, especially major things that may cause a bit of resistance. Identifying your intentions for your travels allows you to get clear with yourself about what it is that you want to experience, and get out of the experience and country you’ll visit.
Related: Setting The Travel Intention
Research your destination
Lastly, but certainly not least – research, knowledge are key in travel. Once you’ve been able to realize and establish your intentions for the trip, research your destination! This will not only give you the information that will come in handy when you’re traveling but also, it will give you the facts and a snapshot of the potential for some amazing experiences, to boost up your faith in yourself as a traveler, as well as debunk any fears or uncertainty that may roam in your mind still. Something I tried to do as much as I could before traveling to Greece, was watch as many travel vlogs, read up other travel blogs on people’s experiences in foreign countries, and see from a regular person’s perspective what travel was like for them. The more I indulged in this content, the more I realized: If they can do it, why can’t I? I had no answer or excuse. I remember thinking, they have a desire to travel, and they did it. I had the same burning desire, so what was stopping me? Money? There are ways to fund the trip. Time? This was a study abroad program opportunity that came to me. Then what? Nothing but my own fears living in my head and doubt. Watching this content, and being reminded of why I wanted to travel, gave me all the motivation and belief that I could see myself as a traveler. I harnessed all of this, and before I knew it, was on a plane ride to Greece in 2014.
The more you travel, the more you will develop a simple but powerful knowing in yourself and your ability to travel. You build up the habit of traveling, which makes travel more natural to you the more you do it. In other words, it’s not that travel is easier for some of us, it’s just that we have done it enough times (which varies from person to person) to create a knowing in ourselves that we can do it again, with a bit of less intimidation each time. This belief alone combined with my intense desire to travel, has allowed me to travel to the corners of the world that I’ve been lucky to have visited up to now, and I’m telling you now, this knowing is also accessible to you.
What does this mean for you? If starting today, you create a knowing in your mind (even if you’ve never traveled) that you’re already good at it, and it’s easy for you, it will. Everything starts in the mind, and knowing and repeating now that you’re already good at traveling, and that it’s easy, it will create the knowing in you and that belief. So start practicing now, and see how your mind starts to shift little by little, and just in time for when we will all be ready to travel again (soon!).
There’s a reason why I left this tip last, because as important as knowledge is, I fully want you to know that the work to lessen intimidation over travel, or anything really, will begin within you. Your perspective on travel, of yourself as a traveler, and changing that to create and manifest the trip of your dreams. The way you speak to yourself and view yourself as a traveler is huge and important to highlight. The good news? Changing old stories that don’t support your new story can easily be done, and I got the perfect resource for you!
Free bonus just for you: Traveler Affirmations
Rewire and change the story surrounding travel! See yourself as the confident traveler that you are – you have it in you ☺️ Positive affirmations are known to help change beliefs and thoughts the more you repeat them. They help release little by little fears, worries, and doubts, which will begin to shift your mind, and therefore your life towards the success that you want. I LOVE affirmations and fully believe in their power, so I hope that this list of 30 travel affirmations can help you rewire your brain to view yourself as the traveler that you already are, and support your new story!
I hope this helped some of you out there that may be on the cusp of going on your first travel experience. I know there can be anxiety and nerves about the “what ifs” but as a last tip, view your nerves as a feeling of excitement. Turn the nerves into excitement and feel the excitement for travel in your heart, stomach and mind (where nerves manifest themselves in the body). View it as extreme happiness and excitement for your travels, and step into it like the traveler that you are. You DO have it in you.
And again, be sure to check out the Traveler Affirmations HERE to make use of quarantine time to prep for your travels as the traveler that you are.
To many more opportunities of travel and uncovering your travel soul self ✨