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.).