Last week on worldwide travel chat, “The Road Less Travelled” (#TRLT), on Twitter we discussed “The Unknown” with all of you; expert, novice and those of you who aspire to travel.
Fear of the unknown is the biggest factor that holds people back from striking out in the world and tasting what the travel experience is all about. Of course, survival is guaranteed when we go nowhere, meet no one and only move in and around our known space. It’s completely natural to want to be safe, secure and in control. Like a baby is pulled back from a hot fireplace, it isn’t until he actually experiences that hot surface that he has the full understanding of “hot”. Some of us are reticent and never become acquainted with the neighbour across the street. Most people travel the same route to work for 20-30 years. For me it is the mystery and the unknown that is so passion filled and surprising. Having travelled the world from the remoteness of the Sahara, camel hair chafing my thighs, to the depths of the Congo jungles inundated with invisible, seething fire ants that left me with second degree burns from their venom, blistering from the inside out. Scuba diving in the Galapagos there were hammerheads menacingly pacing overhead. While traveling real life unfolds, and my mantra is, “To embrace life is to live”.
Stepping off the beaten path rewarded me with the most educational, life altering experiences. [Check out “BEST 3 BUDGET ACCOMMODATIONS for an Authentic Travel Experience”]. Can you imagine being me and accepting an invitation from a complete stranger that I sat next to on a local bus in Afghanistan while travelling from Kabul to Kunduz? He was all gung-ho for us to come with him to his sister’s house and meet her family. We had no idea what to expect or whether we were in safe hands. Would we be kidnapped? Would we be harmed? Should we let someone know where we were going? When we unexpectedly showed up, what might happen? And when you come to think of it, OUR arrival was equally as unexpected and unknown to the sister. Upon entering we discovered that the man’s sister was a beautiful, 18-year-old young woman with strikingly large eyes outlined in thick, dark lashes. We learned that she was the third wife of a very well-to-do man in the city of Kunduz and was carrying his 18th child! Dinner and overnight in a traditional Afghan home gave me an intimate view and a sensitivity that you can’t get from a travel book, a newspaper or a documentary. We entered unexpectedly so there was no time or need for them to clean, change, or prepare an altered reality just for us. This was real. In my view it is the most valuable kind of experience one can collect. At 14,15,16 I was afraid and in fear. Now at 26, I have overcome any fears or prejudgment that I “should” have prior to visiting a new country. Even one like Afghanistan that comes burdened with exterior world criticism, serious threats and false realities. We were warmly welcomed as friends and treated like royalty in their home. They introduced us around town like family, fed us like kings, and even called in live music to entertain us. I will never forget the hours we spent with them.
I would urge you as travelers and potential travelers to stay acutely aware of the reason behind why you ever say, “No”. I promise you, if you step over the borders of your fears and expand into a new space you will be and feel more alive than you ever have.
“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” ― George Addair
Join us TODAY at 1pmNYC/6pmUK on “The Road Less Travelled” Twitter LIVE chat for a chat about COURAGE. Search the hashtag #TRLT to find us and be sure to include the hashtag in your tweets to us when you participate with your fellow travelers. When you’re inspired, I’m inspired. I am here each week hosting the live chat with fellow travellers Shane Dallas (public speaker, visited 100+ countries), Jessica Lipowski (accomplished author and “foodie”) and Anton Magnin (specialist in family travel).
Your partner in travel enrichment
Categories: Savannah Grace