7 Reasons Why Travel Should Scare You
Some of you reading this will be on the fence about whether or not you should take a gap year and go travelling. Some of you will be worried about going it alone, or about whether your group of friends will all want to go to the same place. Some of you will be scared of making that decision, and that’s the hardest part I promise you, that followed by getting on the plane. Someone great once said, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough” and that’s why I’m telling you travel should scare you.
It will scare you to get out of your comfort zone.
Maybe your friends are getting jobs, or heading straight off to uni. Maybe you’re the only one thinking about doing something different. Maybe you’re scared to break out of that bubble you’ve lived in until now, but once you’ve burst it you’ll realise it’s the best thing you’ve ever done.
It’s scary getting out of your comfort zone, but staying in it is even scarier.
You might get homesick, but there will be other traveller’s who’ve felt the same. Getting out of your comfort zone and exploring the world will give you more empathy with others. You’ll grow as a person and understand more about life Out There in the world.
It will scare you how much you could spend.
Unless you’re really lucky and your parents are willing to fund your adventures, then you’ll have to work for your travels. Save up from a weekend job, work in a restaurant or supermarket and save those pennies. Work out where is the best place to go. For example flights to Asia can be expensive, but accommodation is super cheap, as is the cost of everyday living. Whereas flights around Europe are super cheap (using Budget airlines) but everyday living and accommodation can be expensive. Or if you haven’t had a job to save up from you could look into working tourist visa’s in, say, Australia, and work for a few months in the country you want to travel in; where there’s a will there’s always a way. Research and planning are key to keeping costs down, and all this will help you budget not just on your travels, but through life!
What other people think will scare you.
If you’re going solo, you have no friends. If you’re going with friends, you’ll all fall out and end up travelling in different directions. Not that any of that matters of course, because wherever you go your cousin’s brother in law’s dog’s previous owner will have been mugged and died there. It doesn’t matter what you do or where you go, everyone will have an opinion, and 9 times out 10, it’ll be a negative one. It’s human nature not to be able to say nice things when people are doing something different than they are. Why? Either, sheer narrow mindedness or jealousy, my friend and that is the kind of negativity you don’t need to listen to.
It will scare your Mum.
She’ll have heard all that negativity above and, whether you like it or not you’re her baby (and will be until you’re at least 50). She’ll be worried that you’re on the other side of the world where you could get hurt, or mugged, or killed. Realistically all these things could happen to you at home just as much (and, in some cases are more likely to happen at home, rather than abroad). Just promise to text or skype her regularly so she knows you’re safe. Or, if she’s a technophobe like my mother, set her up a Facebook account where she can see the pictures you post to it from Instagram (there are filter’s to hide stuff you don’t want her to see). It’s her job to worry about you; really she wants you to have an amazing time, she just wants you to be safe, too.
It will scare you when you can’t understand the language (or its alphabet) and you’re lost in a train station trying to get from the middle of nowhere to the centre of somewhere. Argh!
It’s bad enough trying to get around on the Tube in rush hour, I know. Never mind a tube station in a language you don’t speak, with tons of other people who don’t speak the same language as you and you can’t recognise the stop names. That’s okay, take your time, work it out, and leave extra time for your journey. Talk to a local by pointing at a map and using the international language of Hand Gestures. Just don’t panic, it’ll be okay. You’ll find your way, again. Or you’ll be in a supermarket trying to find dinner amongst vegetables you don’t recognise, reading signs that sound nothing like the names of things back home.
Experiences that will scare you… … but you’ll never forget.
The first time you went white water rafting, or rode in an old soviet tank, or seeing the hot air balloons flying over Cappadocia. Recently I watched a video of one of my oldest friend attempting her first skydive, she looked terrified, and tense right up until about two minutes after the parachute was released, but she loved it! It’s definitely a good way to overcome your fears, and make memories you’ll never forget.
Travel should scare you, but NOT travelling is scarier.
It should scare you NOT to travel, more than to travel. Not to get out in the world and see how other culture’s live. Yes, it can be scary, and there are moments when you’ll feel lost (traveller’s don’t get lost, they just discover other places on their journeys), or end up eating cat when you’re sure you ordered chicken. That’s okay because if we don’t make mistakes we’ll never learn- and it will all make for a funny story when you get home. You’ll learn all sorts of lessons, from basics in different languages, to how to survive on that pitiful student loan that barely covers your fees and rent, never mind food. From travelling abroad, you’ll learn to look after yourself at home, from cooking to budgeting, you’ll learn life skills and with each new one you learn, the more confidence you’ll have.
Travel should scare you, but you should GO anyway.