When I look back at my travel life, I have one small regret: not starting sooner, and one huge relief: overcoming the fears and building the confidence to begin my travels when I did.

Our travel fears can arise from anywhere. Mine may have had to do with the unannounced immigration from my home country at the age of 11. My Dad had no choice but to do it this way or else we would have probably never gone for it! Of course, I am grateful for the life he created for us as a result but it made the idea of leaving home and traveling unappealing for the next decade or two!

Traveling takes a little guts and a ton of preparation but it's not reserved for a special few. I'm sorry to tell you that the travel gene does not exist. The world travelers that you admire are not talented or gifted any more than you, they are not rich or carefree and they most certainly didn't get "lucky".

They get scared, nervous and doubtful the way all of us do when we have to leave home behind or enter a foreign country. They have their own worries and problems and they experience their fair share of travel mayhem. What allows them to push past all of that comes from the power of their decision: they choose to make travel a priority and a non-negotiable part of their lifestyle. They make a conscious choice.

You know those moments in your life when you made things happen? Those are moments of your conscious choice, followed by decisive action. It doesn't mean you have defeated your fears and worries. It doesn't mean you became fearless and reckless. No. It means that you are now taking action and moving forward despite the butterflies in your stomach, just like any old world traveler will tell you.

First, cultivate belief and confidence that you can create a lifestyle with travel. After you believe in yourself and feel this confidence, you can start to make decisions and take actions toward creating the right conditions for your travel dreams.

And I have some great news for you: Travel has never been easier! Stop listening to the naysayers who complain about a little extra security at the airports or a little wait in the queue before boarding a plane. Look at the big picture and remember that you live in a brilliant age where travel is more accessible and affordable than ever before. In fact, you are far more likely to make your travel dreams come true than any one of your ancestors.

Now that you are motivated to get going, where do you start? What steps can you take today to enable your travel dreams? What can you do now to start globetrotting on your terms in the near future?

Confidence. Belief. Decision.

These are the first 3 keys to unlocking your travel dreams.

Confidence comes from within you. You can supply it with travel information and knowledge, and you will need to do that as you learn the ropes and educate yourself on the how-to of smart traveling but the real source of confidence is deep inside you, even if it's covered under layers of dust and doubt. How do you shake it awake?

That brings us to your beliefs. One of the quickest ways to awaken your self-confidence is by busting the myths in your beliefs. What do you believe that is based on assumption, hearsay or false information when it comes to travel? Is it really true?

Is it really true that you cannot travel after you have a baby or a child?

Is it really true that you cannot be safe to leave your house behind for a month?

Is it really true that your pets won't survive without you for a while?
Is it really true that your job will be jeopardized if you take a few weeks off?

Think about every possible way your assumptions may be limiting you rather than informing you.

Think about your self-limiting thoughts, and ask yourself if they absolutely apply to your situation. Most often, the answer is no. In the rare case that the answer is an honest yes, start asking how you can change the answer. What needs to happen in your life for that self-limiting thought to go away? Repeat this process for all such beliefs, and watch your confidence start to rise.

First confidence, second belief, now decision.

With your confidence coming alive, and your self-limiting thoughts moving in the background, you can think clearly. You can then consciously and deliberately decide the size, color and shape of your own travel life. This is the fun stuff! Start by asking yourself:

Where do you want to go? What do you want to do there? Whom do you wish to travel with? How long do you want to be gone? And most of all, as any traveler will ask you: What is it that you want to feel and experience in your travels?

The answers may not come immediately, because, believe it or not, these fun questions are challenging to answer. Take your time. Reflect on the real reasons you want to travel, and honor that reason because all answers are right if they ring true for you. Then go make it happen!

There is nothing to fear except fear itself. Those famous words apply just as well to the act of traveling. Start small. Take baby steps. Follow your heart, and with confidence, belief and decision, you will create a beautiful travel spirit in your life.

Farnoosh Brock left a 12-year career at a Fortune 100 Technology to start her own company, Prolific Living and to create a travel rich lifestyle. Her first book, Travel with Confidence: A Roadmap to Build Your Travel Spirit, teaches you how to manage your travel fears, learn to integrate travel into your life and make smart decisions on the road. Read it the Kindle (or with free Kindle reading app on any device.).

"Would you like to go out some time?"

"I'm crazy about you."

"I love you."

"Will you marry me?"

"Let's work at this; I don't want to lose you."

Each of these relationship-based statements has one thing in common: placing oneself in a vulnerable position. The potential for pain and rejection exists when taking a risk to share feelings and desires in a loving relationship. Some choose to not take the risk, saving them from the possibility of being hurt.

The downside of evading exposure to rejection is far greater though; it means avoiding the potential for great joy as well. Whether it is taking a chance by asking someone for a date or being vulnerable with a partner in a relationship that needs repair, some level of risk is required to move towards a greater level of happiness.

To those who are risk adverse in relationships:

  • Take a chance.
  • Be vulnerable.
  • Enjoy the reward of happiness.

"To be alive is to be vulnerable."

~Madeleine L'Engle

by Kelly Sajonia

A long, long time ago, there lived a sea anemone. He was a gorgeous creature of brilliant violet. His pedal disc was attached to an impressive rock in the Great Barrier Reef and though he had everything a sea anemone could desire (warmth, light, abundant food), he knew he was missing something.

His job, as he learned at a young age, was to stay adhered to his rock, and to remain in vigilant wait for a fish to pass close enough. Then, when it was within striking distance, he was to lash out and sting it with his tentacles, paralyze it with his poison, then draw the fish to its mouth and devour it.

When he wasn't on the hunt, he was to remain vigilant about being eaten himself. If a threat was near, he was to shrink back into himself, pulling his tentacles inside his mouth, and draw together like a pouch. While his poison was lethal, it was his only defense. With no teeth, no claws and no speed, he was vulnerable, so his parents kept reminding him. Lay low. Stay vigilant.

And yet…yet.

He longed to dance with the dazzling fish that swam in the light just out of reach. From time to time, he would wave his tentacles in time to the music made by the dancing fish, but his parents would scold him for being recklessly showy.

He was lonely. He hated killing. He hated living in fear. He hated this vigilance as much as he hated his vulnerability.

He longed for freedom. He longed for connection with another being. There must be another way, he thought.

No. He was told by his parents. THIS is the anemone way. You are vulnerable. Remain vigilant. Eat or be eaten.

The other sea anemones laughed when they heard him talk about the beauty and grace of the fish.

One day, he decided it was time to leave the rock. While his parents were busy devouring a pair of shrimp that had swam too close, he pulled his pedal disc off the rock he knew too well, and with a great flexing motion started to float away. He was afraid, he felt unsafe and he felt more alive than he had ever felt.


On the other side of the rock lived a clown fish. Small and slight, he was rebuffed by the other clown fish. While they played in the light and chased each other, he watched from the opening of the cavern that was his home, yearning for connection.

You are small and vulnerable, his parents told him. Lay low. Don't draw attention to yourself. Do not stray from the cavern or you will be eaten by an anemone who will outwit you or by a larger fish who will outswim you. Don't you dare think of dancing with the other fish. Remain vigilant in the cavern and we will bring you food. It's the only way.

Instinctively, he knew there was another way. A life to be lived.

One day, he decided to find it by leaving the cavern.


Once the sea anemone could no longer see the rock that was his home, he rested his weary body on some kelp. Not used to being on top of a moving object, he was delighted to be swayed back and forth by his new host. Relaxing into the rhythm, he allowed his tentacles to unfurl and sway to music that he was starting to hear, he had never enjoyed such freedom. Such a LACK of vigilance.

At that same moment, the clown fish was swimming at full speed towards a field of kelp that he had heard of. Head down, eyes closed, he barreled through the water, his heart pounding with equal measure of delight and fear.

He looked up just in time to see the expanse of green kelp and in his excitement, he shot up in a jubilant swoop.

Only to be face to face with the unsuspecting sea anemone.

Oh LORD. My parents were right. I let my vigilance down and here I am, vulnerable and about to get eaten , the anemone and clown fish both thought in that very moment.

They sat there, resigned to their death for but a moment.

Then they asked simultaneously: Aren't you going to eat me?

To which they simultaneously answered, No!

With uncertainty in their minds, but hope in their hearts, they sat side by side for a moment. Then, they proceeded to share their stories. The sea anemone revealed his abhorrence for killing other creatures and how he wished he wasn't filled with poison and the clown fish shared how he wanted to take care of himself. They both wanted to dance and they both wanted to be free.

The clown fish realized there was only one way to make sure this friendship could work…so on a hunch, he demanded that the sea anemone sting him. Fearful of killing his first and only friend, the sea anemone reluctantly did as he was asked.

To his surprise, the clown fish was unaffected by poisonous ether. The mucus that covered him rendered him unharmed.

Jubilant, the clown fish and the sea anemone danced out their joy. They decided in that moment to spend their days together, in symbiotic connection. The clown fish would live within the tentacles of the sea anemone, safe and sound and unaffected by its predators who feared the anemones sting. In turn, the clown fish would keep the anemone clean and would bring back food for his friend.

Turns out, there WAS another way.

by Tanya Geisler

Robert Caro was on The Charlie Rose Show recently promoting his latest book, The Passage of Power. Robert has won Pulitzer Prizes. Obama has credited his book The Power Broker with shaping his view of politics. And he's one of those New Yorker's who says "ex-straw-dinary". I could listen to him talk for hours.

I switched on seconds before Charlie asked Robert what price he's paid in order to devote his career to studying and writing about power struggles in American politics.

Robert smiled, cracked a joke about being dead broke a couple times and credited the support of his wife and sole researcher, Ina. Then he immediately jumped back into talking about his fascination with his work. His latest book is the third in a four volume biography of the presidency of Lyndon Johnson.

The magic in Robert's response is that when given the chance to wax poetic about the dark side of a 50+year career as a political writer, he passed.

Yeah, we had to sell the house. It was hard. Now let's have a chuckle and go back to being fascinated.

When Robert talks about his work, he leans forward and back and forward again. He licks his lips every 3 sentences and uses the word 'fascinating' at least a dozen times. He finishes a sentence, tilts his head to the side and smiles at Charlie, in an "Isn't that fantastic?" sort of way. It's obvious he loves this stuff. LOVES it.

And that is the magical lesson I thank Robert Caro for: He chooses to dwell in fascination.

He deliberately leaves the past in the past so that he can savor the awe happening right now. In a moment when it would have been perfectly understandable for him to get a bit melancholy about the tough times he faced (and there were several, but since he's not dwelling on them I won't either), he chose to turn the conversation back to the subject that makes him positively giddy.

Whether it's your business or your lover or the cutlery you eat your dinner with, don't you want to glow with that kind of I-love-this-ness?

When you talk about your new house or your new website design, do you choose to gush about how gorgeous it is or do you bitch about how hard it was to get?

Distinction: I'm not suggesting we ignore life's challenges. Taking stock of what we had to go through to get here is a healthy exercise. Knowing what mountains we've climbed builds confidence and credibility.

I'm talking about the narrative we choose to marinate in. The place we pitch our tent.

How many of us have chosen to take up residence in the memory of our own tough times? How many of us wear our financial struggles, our relationship history, our college transcript (or the lack of a transcript) like a stone around our necks?

Whether you have any interest in American politics or not, Robert Caro's reaction to Charlie's question illustrates the power of choice.

We choose where we stand.

We choose whether our childhood trauma or the painful divorce becomes the defining feature of our lives.

We have the power to choose where we dwell.

Where do you choose to dwell?

Annika Martins coaches creative entrepreneurs who want to make a living without losing touch with the soul of their art. She helps clients overcome the Resistance that is holding them back.

Annika has been featured on Inc.com and CNN Money, and writes regularly for top business and personal development blogs, including Problogger, Design*Sponge, Brazen Careerist, Men with Pens, Everyday Bright, and Goodlife Zen.

You can find Annika at her website, Annika Martins – and on Facebook and Twitter.

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