I have never traveled much. I wasn’t one of those kids that got to go on big, cool trips all the time. We mostly spend time going to visit family or doing smaller scale trips around North America and that was great. But I’ve always had a strong urge to go farther afield. In short, I want to see the world but there have always been things standing in my way. I was in school. I needed to work summers to afford school. I couldn’t study abroad because I’d miss out on important opportunities at home. I had just graduated so I needed to save up first. I didn’t have anyone to travel with. I started a new job and I can’t just quit in under a year.

I’ve started to realize though that I might be exaggerating these excuses just a bit. None of them are completely made up but none of them are necessarily good enough reasons to stay at home and work a boring job and live a boring life. I think what I’ve realized is that I’m actually just scared. I’m afraid to take a big trip because I don’t know how to get around in non-English speaking countries. I’m afraid of not knowing what I’ll do for work when I get back. I’m afraid of traveling on my own because what if I get lost or lonely? And what I realized just yesterday is that I’m afraid to leave the country because my family members have this annoying habit of dying. I’ve lost a lot of people in the last few years, most of them too young and a lot of them unexpectedly. What I hadn’t realized until now is that I’m so afraid of being away when the next one goes that I’ve been making excuses for years to stay close to home, just in case. I’m a dreamer at heart but my brain has turned me unexpectedly into a homebody.

The fear of being lost or finding a new job will, I think, be easily conquered. The fear of being on another continent when I lose someone I love though, probably not so much. But isn’t the whole lesson that life is too short? I know that better than a lot of people so why am I letting it keep me in a place that I’m not happy? Knowledge is power and I’m trying to use this new knowledge to give me the power to make a promise to myself that once my year at this new job is up, I’ll be ready to conquer (or at least mitigate) my fear and get on a plane.

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