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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”.

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        Last Updated on August 16, 2018

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

        No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

        Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

        Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system”.

        A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

        Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

        In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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        The power of habit

        A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

        For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

        This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

        The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

        That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being six hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

        Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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        The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

        Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

        But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

        The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

        The wonderful thing about triggers (reminders)

        A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

        For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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        But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

        If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

        For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

        These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

        For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

        How to make a reminder works for you

        Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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        Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

        Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

        My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

        Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

        I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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