There are so many reasons to travel. To see the world and get involved in other cultures. To experience things so far removed from everything you think you know. To become a bigger, better, more rounded person. To get lost in the sounds and smells and tastes of things and places you don’t even remotely recognise. To become a storyteller. All of the above.
But there are also so many reasons not to travel. So many scary fears about travelling that prevent people from taking that leap and venturing out into the world. And I’ve got to admit, these fears sit in the back of my mind pretty much constantly, fears that I battle with and am always trying to overcome. Here are my 7 biggest travelling fears:
1. Running out of money and having to move back home. I worry that one day I won’t be able to sustain this life on the road and will be forced to move back to England, back to living with my family Please no. I love you all but no!), and that I’ll have to get a ‘real’ job and be in one place forever (yuck).
2. Getting injured and being away from everyone who loves and supports me. I can imagine nothing worse than breaking a leg (or something far more serious) and not having my family around me.
3. On a similar note…someone at home getting ill or dying and me being too far away to do anything about it or help in any way. This is the big one. This is the fear that scares me the most and sometimes almost (I said almost!) makes me want to pack it all in and go home.
4. Losing all of my possessions. As a traveller, you don’t have much stuff, so the things you do carry are usually pretty important and often hold quite sentimental value. And as a blogger, it would be pretty darn bad if my laptop/hard drives/camera were to disappear!
5. Not meeting people. This is a weird one, because obviously you are always meeting people on the road, whether it be in hostels, on planes, buses or nights out, but there’s always that little fear that you won’t meet people that you actually like, or that you won’t be in one place for long enough to make any lasting bonds. Lots of sort-of mates are great, but a few amazing ones are even better. I’m lucky in that at the moment I am travelling with two of my besties, but thats not to say I don’t have a few fears about the time in the future when I might have to go back to travelling solo.
6. Getting myself into a situation that I can’t get out of or don’t know how to deal with on my own. This one’s kind of vague and (hopefully) unlikely to happen, but it’s still one of those things that a traveller fears. You hear so many stories of people getting into trouble with the law for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just a set of circumstances don’t go their way. I mean, even I got into an altercation with some Vietnamese Police a few years ago, and that could have turned out to be a completely different story!
7. Losing my passport. This would be more of an annoyance and probably not too difficult to deal with, aside from the expense and hassle if you have various visas stuck into it. But seeing as your passport is the one thing you need to actually travel (aside from money and a sense of adventure), it would be a bit of a bummer to lose it. So that’s always a fear while you’re travelling… I’m constantly checking and double checking to see if it’s still where I left it, like it has legs and can just get up and walk away!
These fears are quite similar for a lot of travellers I think, and they’re not something that are just going to disappear. In fact, the longer you travel, the bigger the fears become. So you have to face them head on and come up with a theoretical plan of action for each one, because the more time you spend travelling, the more probable that one of them is going to happen. Or it’s just as likely that NONE of them will ever happen and you’ll have worried for nothing, as is the unpredictability of a life on the road. But I always like to be prepared!
So yes, I have my fears and my worries about this nomadic lifestyle I lead, but am I going to let it stop me from travelling the world, from doing what makes me the happiest I’ve ever been?
Not a chance!
What are your biggest travelling fears? Have any of them ever become a reality?
6 thoughts on “The Fears of a Long Term Traveller”
I hear you. I hear you more than most.
I was traveling when a family member became ill. I wasn’t too happy on my adventure and made the call to go home. I had a month with that special person before they passed. It was the best decision I ever made.
Sometimes going home isn’t the worst thing that can happen, as long as it’s for the right reasons.
I’m so sorry for your loss. But yes absolutely the right decision and I’m sure I would make a similar one if it ever came to it (I really hope it doesnt). This travel lifestyle has its downsides.
I would add one more to the list: not having a permanent or stable job, working on temporary contracts and without a health insurance. This is one of our major fears nowadays. If we ever want to have a baby in the (near) future we need to start thinking about jobs that give you a little bit more stability!
Yeah the job thing is a killer…never knowing where the next paycheck is coming from can be pretty draining. Good luck!
I really like this. Especially the last line.
My mantra is this:
Everything will be OK. Everything is always OK. Until it’s not.
Thanks Jamie. Love your mantra, I always try to live by something similar.