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GeoVisions Returnee Reflects: Fear of the Traveler

Posted by Shanny Neuman | May 8, 2016 9:07:38 AM

Since returning home, Shanny has written many great blogs for us.  Enjoy her latest GeoVisions blog of the fear travelers face.

Shanny bonded with her host family's children while working in Italy through GeoVisionsIt's not uncommon to face fear when it's time to travel.  I once heard that fear is not knowing what is going to happen.  And it's that uncertainty that frightens us.  It's what makes us doubt so much, that it even can even paralyze us.  The way I see it, the fear of traveling can come from a two way road: what we are leaving behind and what is coming our way. That double-edge fear can be experienced simultaneously, and both of them are very different, very real and sometimes very painful.

When we travel, it doesn't matter where, how long or with whom- the truth is we'll be gone.  And the life in the place we are leaving behind, as long with the people there, will keep going on without us. So the fear is about missing out, about imagining a life in our absence.   A life where things do happen and we are not there to experience them.  And there's the fear that the people we leave behind might forget about us.  That they won't need us anymore.  That we won't matter.

The traveler’s fear is true as well, but it's a different one, a more exciting one.  It's a fear that is not quite that, but more of a sense of curiosity.

Fear paralyzes you, while curiosity moves you. It  boosts you forward.

The neutralization is knowing (or hoping) that what we are gaining by going out to see the world will be so much more than what we are losing by staying in the same place. A traveler understands that fact and replaces the fear with interest, with that eagerness to know and do more. People who remain on the fear cycle may never understand what for us wanderlusters feels like to embrace that fear.  To embrace that uncertainty of what that voyage may bring, with whom our paths will cross, what adventure is waiting to be lived, what person will we become, what would this journey mean in our life.

Traveling can be a frightening experience. But GeoVisions helps make it easy! (Photo courtesy of Lizzie Guilbert)We don't just accept the fact that that trip may change our life, but we hope it does and we live it in a way that it changes it. We do it because the yearning to be happy and full of life is bigger that the fear of never moving or doing anything. We understand that by going out to see the world we are gaining a lot more than what we are losing once we are gone.  Looking through an open horizon with limitless options and an absolute void might be scary for those without a vision, but for us hungry to explore the world means endless possibilities of life.  We are not leaving behind someone or somewhere just to meaninglessly leave, we are doing it to find more life, to discover, to learn and to grow, so that when we return we can inject that into other people's lives.

Dare to travel and do things not because you are scared, but because you want to be happy and feel more alive.

Written by Shanny Neuman

About Shanny: For two months, Shanny lived with a family in Italy and was a part time au pair, and part time tutor with the Walk and Talk program through GeoVisions. She lives in Mexico and recently graduated with a degree in tourism industry. Check out her adventures on Instagram: @shanny_neuman.

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