There’s always a little tinge of fear I feel every time I travel… and certainly to places like Africa where the internet is rife with stories of all the things that can go wrong.
But I push past it, of course, and I’m sure you do too, because unlike vitamins, a new skin care regimen or a new couch, travel is an investment that actually changes you as a person.
It opens your heart and your ideas. It challenges you in ways staying at home can’t. And it makes you more resourceful when things go wrong and you have to learn how to manage them.
Take my last trip to France, for example…
This summer, I took my daughter Charlie to Provence to see the lavender fields in bloom. Only she has food allergies so traveling with her is never easy.
We did it. We survived. And yes, we had a little accident, too, when I misread something on an ingredients label that sent us to the ER.
Could the same mistake and reaction have happened at home? Yes, it could.
Was it a little more difficult to manage in a foreign country where my French isn’t the best? Yes, it was.
Would I do it again? You betcha, because that’s the power of a good trip. Just look at these photos…
Charlie and I have these photos and those memories for a lifetime now. Not for a moment. Not for once. But forever. And whenever she gets a writing assignment at school, guess what she writes about?
So, I could leave her in a cage and protect her at home from everything that could (and in this case did) go wrong… or I can give her an amazing life worth living, and I chose the latter. Probably the same as you.
People ask: Well, aren’t you scared that something worse might happen next time? That you’ll get somewhere and need help you can only explain in English? Couldn’t you just stay closer?
And my answer is always: No!
The truth is: I’m always scared whether we’re halfway across the globe or right here in our neighborhood. I’m scared to send her to school. I’m scared of birthday parties where there’s cake and ice cream she’s allergic to. And
I’m scared of car accidents and house fires and bee stings (of which she’s also allergic). I just don’t let those fears destroy my greater quest. Which brings me back to my plan for you this week…
What’s your big quest?
What’s your next move to change yourself—your heart, your body, your soul?
A few years ago, we created a language program people told us changed their life because they didn’t know they were capable of learning something new so easily.
They told us it alleviated their fears of travel, too, which is another big perk.
They said it’s helped them:
• Go beyond the typical tourist path…
• Have real conversations with locals…
• Get into cool places they otherwise couldn’t as a tourist…
• And generally help them get to know a place better.
For me, learning new languages helps me turn the world into a place that feels more like home. It helps me eliminate some of those pre-trip fears—and, in general, it just helps me better communicate both here in the U.S. or abroad because I’m never sure who I might run into.
And honestly, isn’t that half the fun?