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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 April 8, 2019

        22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

        Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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        1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
        2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
        3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
        4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
        5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
        6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
        7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
        8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
        9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
        10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
        11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
        12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
        13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
        14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
        15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
        16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
        17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
        18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
        19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
        20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
        21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
        22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

        Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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