Turn on your TV and switch over to your local news channel and pay attention. How many stories are you hearing about violent crime, theft and storms? You live in a pretty dangerous town, how do you even step outside your door each day?
Hmmm. You just swallow your fear and do it because, if you don’t, then you’re not living?
What’s so sad about these sensationalized stories – which depict only a small truth to the reality – is that they prevent many people from having life-changing travel moments; moments that teach you the world, for the most part, is actually a good place.
Focus on the world you really want
A better idea is to focus instead on what is positive. Take inspiration from our travel stories, 15 years travel to 40 countries with barely a scratch. We’ve mostly only ever experienced kindness, helpfulness, compassion, friendliness and laughter in our interactions with others.
There is nothing fearful or unsafe about the world when you look at it through the right eyes. It is said that what you focus on you get. If you focus on danger and negativity then that is what you will attract. If we discovered that the world is indeed beautiful and full of mostly good people, we might be more willing to do our bit to preserve this kind nature of our world and be the best person we can be.
The world does not need to be feared
We often get asked if we are ever afraid putting photos up of our children online and being so public with our life.
We don’t think too much about it, and maybe we should. Of course we are conscious of being tasteful. But I come from the belief that the world is not a bad place. I don’t fear the world, I don’t fear people’s intentions, and so because of that I feel quite liberated with my life choices.
I know the world is not a bad place because we’ve only had a handful of negative experiences, even through places like Africa, which is the “scariest and most dangerous place on the planet.”
In fact, the place I have felt most afraid has been in my own home town. Dangers don’t just lurk in the alleyways of world travel, they’re a part of life. We should not be wasting our precious limited time on earth locked inside our homes in an effort to hide from monsters that often aren’t there.
The Richness of Life
You can’t experience being alive, without realizing that you have to die. But it’s just as impossible to realize that you have to die without thinking how incredibly amazing it is to be alive. How tragic that one has to get ill before they understand how rich life is and what a gift it is to be alive.
Living in fear is what prevents you from understanding how rich life is. It’s a gift that needs to be cherished and lived fully doing those things that make your heart sing, despite the apparent dangers that lurk in the shadows.
How can you live a life of richness if you view it through fearful eyes that refuse to move out from the chained door? You can’t. So what is the point of being afraid? What memories will you have at the end? How can you continue to justify the reason you can’t live the life you want is because the world is unsafe, when there are thousands every day who are doing what they want regardless?
We still receive those messages that the world is unsafe from people around us.
If that is what you believe, so be it, but over 15 years, and 52 countries I have yet to experience it. Continue to let the media define your life for you, please excuse me while I go and define my own.
Constant Negative News
“We always watch the news and it tells us how bad we are. It is stunning how little bad stuff is going on in the world today when everyone knows where you are and what you are doing”- Gary Vanyerchuck
How often do you tell your friends on Facebook, twitter, foursquare what you are doing at any one time?
I’m here having coffee, I’m taking a beach walk.… I”M NOT HOME COME ROB ME.
COME FIND ME AT THE BEACH and stalk me.
Has it ever happened?
(I’m sure to some people it could possibly have happened, but have the incidents risen from what was happening before the growth of social media?)
Society has you believe that the world is a dangerous place because that is what SELLS.
How morbid is that? What is wrong with society that we are addicted to bad news?
Yes addicted. Some people spend hours every day watching it on TV or reading about it in newspapers.
YOU create your reality. Your perceptions, your choices, what you fill your mind with will be returned via your experiences.
What reality do you want to create?
Most of the time I go about my life completely oblivious to what is going on in the world, because I do not pay attention to the Constant Negative News. Therefore my experiences in life are largely positive and full of joy and freedom.
I don’t want my head to be ruined by fear mongering. If I did I would never leave the house. Murders, rapes, break ins, all happening within a five mile radius from my home.
Safe to travel?
Forget that, it’s not safe to take the nails out the window, unlock the deadlock and climb over the six foot fence into the big bad neighbourhood.
I get why you would be scared of the world if you watched the news. It does make it look scary. If you really want to travel the world and live this life that is going to give you so many rich memories and oodles of happiness, I beg you to go on a media ban. Change your perception of the world by filling your energy sphere with all the stories that demonstrate how wonderful the world really is.
Put the odds on your side
Guess what? The most exciting thing about this is that you are in control of your life. You can travel the world, despite the fact that there are dangers there. All you need to do is put the odds on your side. Safeguard yourself, take necessary precautions and make smart choices.
Here is the number one way to guard against your safety while travelling.
Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of what is happening in the area you are travelling, because yes, some places are involved in machine gun wars, and okay, so that is not safe to travel to and probably a gigantic risk on your behalf.
Know your risks and act accordingly.
If you are present, you will see things that are about to happen, your instincts will kick in and alert you to danger. You will have all your senses engaged so you will know intuitively how to act in order to get yourself out safely.
Trust your intuition
It always knows best. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. There is a reason why you get that unsettled feeling in your stomach when you meet that strange person on the beach.
Don’t freak yourself out by imaginary monsters, but definitely pay attention to those little messages our animal instincts give us.
Make smart choices
Keep an eye out for your government recommendations on which countries you should be avoiding. They can be extra-cautionary so use your good judgement. I would not recommend going anywhere that is engaged in armed conflict.
Don’t get really drunk and go swimming, be careful who you accept drinks off, don’t swing off vines into shallow rivers, you get the picture. You’re a smart person, you know what is going to put you into danger and what isn’t. Act responsibly and take care of your safety always. You have mothers who love you. Don’t do anything stupid that will break their hearts.
Walk assertively and confidently
When I was in year 9, we had to participate in a self-defense course at school. I don’t really remember how to flip someone over in a death roll if they were to attack me, but I do remember a very wise preventative piece of advice they drummed into us.
Always walk assertively and confidently.
If you do this potential scam artists and attackers will leave you alone.
They only prey on those who are vulnerable. Walk with your head held high, and confidently greet people and look them in the eye. I have done this many times when I have felt afraid, and it instantly made me feel very strong and brave.
Let people know of your plans
This is especially important for solo women travellers. When you are travelling with someone you always have someone watching your back and looking out for you.
Tell people you know and trust where you are going and when. With today’s communication portals this can involve something as quick as an email, Facebook message, twitter update or Skype call.
Talk to people
Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers, to make new friends and to travel with them. I often went out on my own living overseas because I wanted to meet new people.
I also met plenty of new friends travelling through various countries. I made an effort to talk to strangers, and travel with them. I was never afraid to do so. But please be careful. Use your intuition, your good judgement and you’ll be fine. Be present and tune into that gut—it’s the place of all-knowing and will always guide you in the right direction.
There is always the possibility that something can go wrong, but as your news will tell you that possibility exists in your very own town, and that does not stop you from going to work, going to dinner, having fun and promoting it on Facebook.
Why not do the same in another country?
You cannot let your fears determine your reality. It is not worth passing your dreams up for. You may have a safe life on the couch at home, but what is it offering you in terms of growth and life-long memories? The small risk stepping out into the world represents is so worth you living the life you truly want
Turn off the news and start planning for your dream today.
Do you feel the world is unsafe?
How has it taught you that it isn’t?
Read more reasons why you won’t travel and what to do
- I can’t leave my family and friends
- I have too many responsibilities
- My career will suffer
- I don’t have any money