Traveling in and of itself has nothing to do with fear.
Fear is an emotion. Therefore, fear is fleeting.
Emotions and experience are not the same.
Many people confuse fear for hesitation, growth or change. Therefore, they link fear and travel in the same headspace.
There is no fear in climbing the mountain. There is only fear when you make the conscious decision to look down and see just how high you are.
Sure, traveling involves many moments of woe, confusion, anxiety and frustration.
Travel, in all honesty, can be scary.
But nine times out of 10, it's far more beautiful than any moment gone wrong.
The root of fear (in association with travel) is the fear of doing something in the first place.
It's the battle of the "what ifs" and finally booking the ticket.
But from this, I've learned that each substantial decision of my life was created in one or two minutes of extreme courage.
You can plan a trip all you want. But that moment of extreme courage is in booking the ticket and never turning back.
If one of your resolutions for 2016 involves travel, these seven quotes will certainly give you all the motivation you need to just do it:
1. "Traveling. It leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." — Ibn Battuta
On my last trip abroad, I was in Ireland for a month for the sole purpose of pursuing an MFA writing program. I was expected to write daily.
I'd watch classmates feverishly journal on bus rides to Dublin. I'd see books devoured and experiences blogged.
I could barely write.
I was so captivated by the moment, nothing I wrote could substantially relay the sublime reality of being in a whole new world.
I vividly remember that after Ireland, I was in Barcelona. I was sitting by myself on the second level of one of those hop-on, hop-off tour buses.
As we stopped at a square to pick up more passengers, it was if everything froze in time.
I marveled at the brilliant architecture, the statues of the women in dresses and the young boys sprouting water from their lips. Pigeons swirled around each stone creation like synchronistic magic.
I listened to the echoes of children playing and the sounds of water splashing against the concrete.
I was absorbing the life that was taking place in a world that was outside myself and my former knowledge.
I remember thinking, "I really should be writing this and capturing this."
But I did not want to.
I knew I would only be able to fully recollect and recreate the moment once I gave myself distance from the experience.
Simply put, I didn't want to stop the moment and think about it. I just wanted to live it.
Travel leaves you speechless.
Travel throws you into experiences headfirst.
Travel is only truly lived in the moment.
The story reveals itself to you when you return. You will carry the story forever.
The story is only one of the reasons I do it.
2. "It's better to look back on life and say, 'I can't believe I did that,' than to look back and say, 'I wish I did that.'" — Unknown
Always trust your gut. Ego yells, but intuition whispers.
The universe will send you signs if you're on the right path.
Just allow yourself to listen, and be aware of what feels right for you right now.
3. "Go ahead. You never know what could be on the other side." — Unknown
It might be scary. It might be beautiful.
It might completely change you, or you might completely change it.
The only way to know is by taking the first step.
One step at a time. One stride after another.
Eventually, you end up on the other side.
4. "Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes, it hurts. It even breaks your heart. But that’s okay.
The journey changes you: It should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind."
— Anthony Bourdain
If you've ever watched any Anthony Bourdain show, you might think the man has no fear.
But maybe he really does have fear.
Check out the Congo episode from "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" or the Beirut episode from "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations."
I'm sure he's been scared. But in his fear, he knew growth and lessons were waiting.
All you can do is let your thoughts subside, and let the moment take over.
You will come out a different person than the one who first stepped off the plane.
5. "Travel is still the most intense mode of learning." — Kevin Kelly
In my 25 years of life, I've learned a lot of lessons.
But I learn the most about myself when I'm flung away from my comfort zone.
I've come to terms with anxiety. It is a fleeting voice you can talk down.
I've learned I'm actually really brave, capable and not as introverted or awkward as I originally thought myself to be.
There are lessons to be found everywhere, but the deepest and most meaningful lessons you will learn about yourself are when you only have yourself to depend on and push you through your fears.
6. "I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me." — Laura the explorer
One of the main excuses I hear people make about travel (besides money) is they have no one to go with.
I had no one to go with when I wanted to stay a month longer in Europe.
I did have friends to stay with in London and Spain, but getting there involved me traveling by myself.
I was even in Barcelona (before venturing to meet my friends in Alicante) for three days, completely alone.
This was my first extended solo travel trip abroad.
I was scared as sh*t.
I wasn't scared in the moment, but more so beforehand.
I remember the night before I left for Barcelona. I was sitting in my friend's flat in London.
Everyone had gone to bed while I was awake, alone and staring at the graveyard across the street. (Calming. I know.)
My thoughts were,"Can I do this? Will I do this? I can turn back now."
I could fly to Ireland, where I'm accustomed to the culture. I'd be fine there.
I can just post up in a hostel for two weeks and wait to fly back to the US.
Sh*t. Am I actually doing this?
What was I even thinking?
It was even more surreal when I felt the bump of the plane's wheels on the runway, the sandy landscape blurring into view and a foreign language greeting me over the airport intercom.
I was no longer filled with fear. More so, I had the strong awareness that like it or not, I was here.
I had no choice but to do this.
At first, I had to solely trust myself. I wandered the streets, dripping in sweat, asking for directions in Spanish.
All I heard back was Catalan.
But I made it. I survived.
I made friends at my hostel, and I was really only alone for an hour (a very long hour, lost in Barcelona).
But even the next day, I decided to tour Barcelona by myself because I actually wanted to.
Travel teaches you the courage to go at it alone, depend on yourself and love yourself.
You can't wait for someone to hold your hand, tell you it's okay or go with you.
You just have to go.
7. "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all." — Helen Keller
Think to yourself which moments from your life you remember the most vividly.
Which moments still have an aural, emotional and even electrical quality to them?
The moments we truly feel alive are usually the moments we start embracing and conquering extreme fears.
There is no adventure in routine. There's only comfort.
There is no growth in monotony. There's only stability.
Deep down, everyone wants to live a life full of adventure.
We just get caught in the comfort of routine and the simple joys of life.
We forget how much we like a brisk and challenging swim, or how much we like to dive beneath the waves and watch the shore grow small.
We feel our blood pumping like a surge of electricity after we conquer our fears.
It makes us realize that inside us all along, there was a person 10 times more capable, brave and daring than we ever imagined.
Allow yourself to live. Book that ticket.
Tell yourself it's not just a dream.
It's a plan.