Seriously, no one thought I would be the one daring to travel around the world. But I went from being a nervous kid to a solo female traveller that has visited over 50 countries.
After I started to travel, I have heard many times people that knew me as a child saying thing like: You were the last person I though was going to travel the world alone. I rather thought it would be your sister that would do so.
Why they say that, was because I was a very nervous and scared child. Scared of a lot of things. I was scared to be alone at home, and as well to sleep over at my friends house. My mom even told me that I was afraid of flies. I was not the child that just jumping into things. I was also very quiet. While my sister was the opposite of me.
That is why no one ever though I would be the one travelling the world alone.
Luckily, what you are a child will often not define you as an adult. I am still not the one that shout loudest in a crowd or take up too much space, and I am proud of that. But I am not that nervous kid any more.
I believe that we people often fear the unknown, and that is why we are often scared to travel to destinations far-away we know little about. We are also scared of things we associate with something negative, pain or negative things we have heard from others. Like when I was afraid of flies as a child, it was because I could not see the difference between that and bees that had sting me in the past. And that hurt, and I was afraid the flies would do the same. However, the older I got, I understood that flies were not dangerous and did not sting like the bees.
The same was with sleeping over at my friends. I had some older kids scaring me about what could happen when I did so. But today, I have been sleeping in over 400 beds around the world, and sleep very well in new places. Because I know now by experience what the older kids told me was not true. However, it have happened that if I was in a hotel room all alone, I put a desk or a suitcase in-front of the door for sleep better. But usually I am very calm.
Of course, the first time I travelled out in the world by myself, I was nervous as well. However, I decided to conquer my fears, and move to New York for some months. I learned fast that the world was not as dangerous, as I was thinking. And fast I was not afraid of the unknown any more. I even moved to live in an armed conflict zone in Nigeria. And it is not just for the conflicts Nigeria have a bad reputation, which alone would keep most people away. I was in the middle of a conflict that was covered by the media every day for a while I was there. Having friends and family contacting me worrying and asking if I was fine. However, what was presented as so horrible in the media, I usually did not even notice standing right up in it.
I often get questions from young women that would like to travel alone. However, they are afraid to do so. They always ask: but is not that a dangerous destination!? They think everywhere is dangerous, because that is what they heard from others. It is like Colombia, where people though I was crazy when telling I was going there. But usually it is people that never have been there, that tells you how dangerous it is. Because, in the end of the day, I felt very safe while in Colombia, and all the other places I have been.
However, as a female traveler you have to take some precautions. I have also learned that even if you travel alone, you are seldom alone. There is always some kind people there to help you and support you if something happens.
So, if you have fears of travel the world, but really wants to do it. Concur that fear! Take another look at my story. I went from being afraid of almost everything – to do what most people fear.
Have you ever felt fear of travel?