Are you a travel coward?
Before we can begin to answer this question, we have to clarify what a travel coward is. The following are a few examples. Feel free to add your own in the comments below:
Years ago, someone whom I didn’t have a particularly high regard for, explained, that he was going to vacation in Thailand in a beautiful beach resort, but stated that we were not supposed to be concerned about him, because the resort was heavily guarded.
I myself have never travelled to India, because I have a fear of travelling there because of the chaos that might await me there.
An Australian woman, I met in Thailand, explained, she only ever ate foods here which came sealed in plastic and could preferentially be purchased at the 7/11.
Travel cowards are therefore people who, out of fear of potential unpleasant experiences, like encounters with locals, places of perpetual chaos, ever-looming food poisoning scares, or allergies, either don’t leave their comfort zones ever, or travel to these countries, but then avoid contact with anything that does not meet their “First World Standards”.
Deep-fried Tarantulas in Cambodia
There are two types of travel cowards
Those that never ever take any risks when travelling, and panic at the slightest sign of something going wrong like a missed train or a similar mishap. Or those that rely on the well known, and refuse to take a chance to experience something new out of principle.
People who are partial travel cowards only exhibit travel fear of specific scenarios – in my case the visit to countries like India, or African countries – like fear of possible infection with diseases and other unpleasant experiences. Or air travel fear, where you need a lot of self-encouragement before boarding a plane.
On the other hand, these people are fine travelling alone and without fear of train travel just as well as without fear of road travel, for example, through South-East Asia or China and do not even panic when they are in Shenzhen and need a train ticket to Guilin, and even after one hour have not found a person who speaks English and could write the relevant signs in Chinese (because English is no use at the ticket counter) on a piece of paper.
Are there any people who do not exhibit any of the above symptoms, who travel without fear, always? I would love to meet them 🙂 Leave a comment below and explain why you are not a travel coward ever.
The first type is incurable, because he either doesn’t consider it a problem, or because he registers that he cannot travel without panicking, but simply says: “I admire your courage, but you know, I could simply not do that.”
The second type is probably the most common, and most of you readers will recognize yourselves in this type. So, how to overcome fear of travelling? Well, everyone remains a little bit of a travel coward, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that one is not dominated by one’s life’s fears – not only when it comes to travel anxiety but in general – and actively faces one’s fears. Maybe you heard that quote before? “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!” I couldn’t be any truer. If you never take risks, your life is dull. If your life is dull, you feel like a robot or a zombie. Nobody can seriously want that!
Edible insects in Udon Thani, Thailand
Why not step out of your comfort zone and make a list of travel adventures that you would like to tackle in spite of your fears!
My anti travel cowardice list or my comfort zone challenge
Visit India: I now feel ready and will be taking the trip in the near future. But I might still have a little travel anxiety with an upset stomach.
Visit Africa: I think I may make a start in the safer countries like Tanzania and Kenya, to minimize any anxiety before travel, and then explore more of them step by step.
I got out of my comfort zone by eating insects in Thailand: Done. Wasn’t all that bad.
Drinking snake blood in Taipei: I needed a lot of encouragement from my two friends, who accompanied me on this trip, until I dared to do it. And the activity was also slightly questionable. No one needs to do this to prove to me that they are not a travel coward.
Overcoming travel anxiety by eating deep-friend tarantula in Cambodia? No idea, whether I will ever be brave enough for this one.
How about you leave your comfort zone and eat a Century Egg in China: The egg white is black and translucent, the yolk green and it tastes fabulous. Try it!
Eating snails in France: I did this once. They were seasoned very well!
Standing extremely close to a cliff in Cornwall (note – without a banister) and pretend to be the Highlander: This was a bit stupid and dangerous, because of the gusts of wind, but I dared to do it.
Learning to dive to explore a coral reef: I am massively afraid of diving and think I will probably never dare. But maybe I should get out of my comfort zone and do it anyway? Perhaps just not lower than 10 metres, as I never want to end up in a decompression chamber.
Dancing with a ladyboy in Cambodia on New Year’s Eve: Dear fellow males, just because you are dancing with a transsexual, you do not automatically become gay in an instant. I felt sorry for the guy, because no one wanted to dance with him during his performance, so I gave myself a little push when he asked me, and it was fun!
I couldn’t write it any better! 🙂
Kind regards, Charles
I am terrified of deep water but really want to take the plunge and go diving. Every holiday its the same, I am envious of the people who go diving but don’t do anything to conquer my fear.