This post was partly inspired by Aisha Tyler’s Girl on Guy podcast with Josh Radnor.

When I share my stories, people often ask: aren’t you scared?

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that certain ideas associated with traveling and moving abroad are sometimes considered scary:

I think it’s the what ifs attached to abstract concepts that are sometimes perceived as scary.

  • What if I’m lonely?
  • What if being far away is dangerous?
  • What if I don’t know how to deal with new problems?
  • What if I don’t speak the language?
  • What if I get sick?
  • What if I get lost?

Here’s the thing though. The questions might be scary, but the answers usually aren’t.what if...? fear of the unknown

A few things to consider:

Treat fear as an ally. It’s a self-protective instinct that keeps us safe. But it’s also powerful, shaped by multiple influences and can therefore easily stand in our way. So, to me, it seems like a good idea to develop a constructive relationship with it. I see fear as a part of me that will always have my back and that I can count on to keep me safe.

Because once you get out the door, you realize that the ideas above are only scary in your head and from afar. Once you get off the plane, boat or train, your perception changes because the abstract becomes concrete. You realize that life (on the other side of those abstract ideas) is much more tangible and palpable than any ideas can allow for. Things like alone, far away, the unknown turn into comfortable with yourself, connected, the thing that awakens curiosity. And that’s also part of experiencing culture shock: leaving preconceptions behind to make room for reality.

Here are 15 common sense travel safety tips you might find useful.

If anyone with hodophobia is reading this, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment or question anonymously via this form.