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What You’re Missing When You Let Fear Dictate Your Travel Plans

What You’re Missing When You Let Fear Dictate Your Travel Plans

A lot of people aren’t good at calculating risk, especially when it comes to travel. Common travel fears include flying, shark attacks, and issues surrounding food and cleanliness. Some people even allow their day to day fears to influence their travel plans, however irrational and seemingly mundane they may be.

Whenever unrest crops up somewhere around the world and travel advisories go up, trips are frantically canceled. These fear-based cancellations can sometimes come at a huge financial loss. Realistically, a country that just underwent a traumatic event is going to be more vigilant when it comes to danger, and will be, for the time being, even safer.

There are many personal benefits to be gained from travel experiences; benefits that could seriously affect your chances for success and overall happiness in life. Here’s what you could be missing if you let fear dictate your travel plans.

Greatly expands your comfort zone

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travel fears- a new perspective

    Mitigating new experiences when traveling by hiding yourself in a resort or only participating in activities that include things you’re familiar with robs you of one of travel’s greatest gifts, personal growth. Your life is the total of all of your experiences. And, not just the ones you are comfortable with. Challenging yourself by trying new things pushes you to adapt and ultimately grow as a person.

    Travel consistently and naturally exposes us to unfamiliar situations. When you try to limit or avoid that exposure you’re missing out on expanding your comfort zone and the personal growth that comes from doing that.

    Understanding our world better

    “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

    Do you believe everything you see in the media? Travel helps us realize how little we really know about the world. There’s a big difference in the concept of what we believe to be true and the experience of knowing something is true because we’ve seen or done it.

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    Travel gives us the opportunity to form our own opinions about a place. Our perspective can end up being very different from what we had been taught in school or learned from the media. Travel provides us with opportunities to learn the truth about places, obliterating ignorance, and giving us a better understanding of our world.

    Really experiencing a destination

    Paris- travel fears

      I think if you haven’t tried local cuisine, talked with local people, or made an effort to conform or respect local customs you haven’t really experienced that place. How can you say you’ve “been somewhere” if eat the same food and do the same things you do back home.

      You need to do as the locals do to get a true feeling of a place. Learn some language, mix with locals, ask questions and try the things they love.

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      Learning the things you didn’t know about yourself

      The more we learn, the more we experience, the more things we see and do, the more we learn about ourselves. Do any of us really know what we’re capable of? How can we, if we don’t expose ourselves to new things? My Mom always said, “You won’t know if like it unless you try it”. This isn’t just true about Brussels sprouts, it’s valid for everything in life.

      Trying new things helps us learn important things about ourselves. It exposes us to things we would never have known we’d love, had we not left our home. Eat the food, learn the local dance moves, try the favorite pastime. You just might learn something amazing about yourself.

      Numerous opportunities to build confidence and improve self-esteem

      motivation- travel fears

        “Do one thing every day that scares you” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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        This is a systematic way to build confidence. When you apply this kind of thinking to travel the results can be amplified. You can face so many unusual challenges when you travel. Once in awhile, when you travel, take the road less traveled. Seek the unexpected and see how strong you can be.

        The fact is if you want to improve your confidence, change your outlook, or do any kind of growing as a human being you need to be willing to be uncomfortable because you will be. Facing fears and trying new things , especially those things that are a bit outside your comfort zone, are two of the best ways to bolster self-esteem. Travel is fraught with opportunities to tackle things like these.

        Confidence comes from knowing you can rely on yourself to solve problems or deal with different situations effectively. You build confidence like you build muscles in your body, you have to give it a workout from time to time.

        Positive change, like many aspects of travel, is often a hard and a bit scary. Here are a few key ways you can avoid letting your travel fears get the best of your trip.

        • Go out and do something different from your usual travel choices (even if it’s only one time). Contact tourism boards for recommendations: what the destination is known for or what cultural events are happening in the area while you’re visiting.
        • Do your own research before you travel, ask questions in forums, visit expat sites to look for information outside news media and friend’s opinions.
        • Choose things that help you meet locals – try to glimpse the place you’re visiting through their eyes
        • Push the limits on your preferences. Do as the locals do – try the dance, try the local pastime, try the favorite dish even if you first believe “you won’t really like it”.

        More by this author

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        Last Updated on December 13, 2019

        7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

        7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

        Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

        Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

        Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

        Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

        1. Just Pick One Thing

        If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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        Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

        Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

        2. Plan Ahead

        To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

        Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

        Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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        3. Anticipate Problems

        There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

        4. Pick a Start Date

        You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

        Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

        5. Go for It

        On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

        Your commitment card will say something like:

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        • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
        • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
        • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
        • I meditate daily.

        6. Accept Failure

        If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

        If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

        Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

        7. Plan Rewards

        Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

        Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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        Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

        Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

        Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

        Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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