Traveling can be refreshing, rejuvenating and sometimes a life changing experience, getting you out of your comfort zone, but it can also be scary. Packing the bags, buying the right supplies, being anxious not to forget something are all part of traveling and those feelings can very well be overwhelming. Although anxiety is with you until you reach your destination, the amazement and the aw you feel when you arrive to a new place, makes everything go away like it never happened. Feel that once and you are in a good way of getting addicted with traveling and exploration.
The big step
While the initial decision to go somewhere might be original, meaning that you decided to travel, it can also come as a suggestion from another person. Either way it is a good idea to embrace traveling and take on the challenge. Anxiety will be the first hurdle in your way, it will naturally come the first times and it will make you think you wanna give up. The remedy to this feeling is guess what, keep going and don’t let anxiety overwhelm you. Once the tickets and accommodation is booked, you will literally count the days to start your journey. The magic moment will come once you arrive at the travel/exploration destination, where every bad feeling will go away, in the process of getting ready to discover the unknown. Let’s paint a storyboard together and I am sure that many of you will relate to most of the events.
A personal story
A few years ago, in 2015, I was given the chance to travel to the UK, specifically in London, and stay there for 17 days. At first I did not want to do such a big leap and stay abroad for 17 days, in an unknown city, with unknown people and a different language. I kept thinking how bad the idea was, but the only thing I could do is just think because the flight tickets have already been booked for 18 August 2015. The day of departure came and after flying 3 hours, I arrived at Stansted airport in London. The flight was during the night so nothing was visible from the window, so no view in this flight. Once I arrived my father was waiting to pick me up from the airport and go home. All the fear, anxiety, negative feelings and generally the bad mood went away the very first moment we hit the road. I was astonished from how well the roads were kept in shape, how clean every place was. The following days I had the chance to travel within London by myself and discover the city.
Discovering new places
Since I love walking, the city discovery and exploration was done solely on foot, no bus or subway. From the first day there was the feeling “I don’t wanna go back, it is so nice here!”, which makes you want to discover more and more and think of the possibility of extending your travel. Every bad feeling I had the other day, has gone away and it has been forgotten forever, making space for the new good ones. Everyday I met new people, strangers, talked a bit and then moved on, I took photographs an a lot of them, discovered some new shops and tasted different foods from around the world in “Cambden market”, saw places I wouldn’t otherwise and visited some really beautiful and inspiring parks and monuments. This first excursion to London was the one that draw me into the rabithole of traveling, making me strive for any chance to travel. From 2015 to 2018, every summer I want to London and stayed there for a month, while working in a construction company for some days. Every year I liked more and more and I was waiting for the summer to come to travel to London.
Certainly all travel plans and preparation has become a routine by now, with no anxiety involved, no rush, only happiness and a great will to travel. This also helped when I went for Erasmus in Lodz, Poland, where nobody was speaking in English and I went to a country knowing literally no one. The experiences gained and the greatness of the Erasmus will be described in another post, but I want to illustrate how important it is to take the chance, do the unsure step and take on the challenge to travel. It will open your mind, give you a perspective of the world that you can’t otherwise get, it will make you stronger mentally and a better person towards the others. While traveling is a truly life changing and life giving experience, it is up to you to discover the enormous benefit it provides, by taking on seemingly impossible challenges, or otherwise known as “getting out of the comfort zone”.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.Neale Donald Walsch