I’m sure you’ve heard this topic before. Travel fears and how to conquer them are all over the internet, like this post here by Young Adventuress or Silverspoon. They slowly conquered their travel fears, and I’m sure you can too, whatever they may be. This is the number 2 reasons why people don’t travel the world. Number 1 is believing you don’t have enough money, FYI. This is a list of mine, and how I plan on conquering them.
Not Being Able to See Everything
It’s probably the biggest travel fear I have. It’s not really humanly possible to see everything the world has to offer within a lifetime. There are rainy days, cloudy days, days where people get sick, and I’ll miss a bus or a train or the exit I was supposed to take. I guess it’s like FOMO, fear of missing out.
While I’m in the United States because I’m a citizen I can travel it for as long as I want. If it’s rainy for two days I can wait it out and see it when it’s sunny a couple of days later and I won’t have to shorten seeing anything later. Other countires require visas for different lengths of times and if it’s not a good day to see something it’s going to be like suck-it-up and see it or miss out.
This happened to me when I was visiting Maryland. I wanted to do more and see more but basically the whole second week I was there it was rainy and cloudy. I still saw what I wanted to but the weather was crappy which can really dampen a mood.
How to Fix It
There are other chances. It’s not like you can only visit a museum once, or it’s only open 1 day a year. If there are museums like that in the world it must not be very popular. Not being able to see something shouldn’t be a travel fear since I can always return to that place.
For Maryland and Washington D.C., I already have a plan on going there in late Spring/early Summer again. This time I’m staying for a month, and this time I’ll get my own car and go by a schedual I can handle. Also doing research ahead of time can help too. Does weather bog you down like it does me? Well, looking at weather patterns. In Southeast Asia it might sound better to go in winter, it’s cooler right? That’s only a good idea if you don’t know that’s their monsoon season, where it rains sideways for over a month.
Haggling in Another Language
This is also a big travel fear. I’ve read about countless stories of people who are multilingual and nearly being ripped off while trying to haggle. “Let’s rip off this white girl,” they’ll say in Spanish, meanwhile white girl is Mexican just like them and is like, “That’s not the price you’ve been telling these other people,” in Spanish. It happens all over the world too, all the time. You can read those stories here, here, and here.
I’m going to get ripped off. It’s not even a question. I don’t know Spanish. Even if I do get to know Spanish, I’m still a foriegner. I’m not Latin, or Hispanic, or a Latina even if I did know Spansih so they’d know right away. In Asia there is also haggling. I’m obviously not Asian. Chinese is a very hard language to learn so there’s no way I can go in there and be like, “Give me the same price you give the locals” in Mandarin. Same thing for Vietnam or Thailand or anywhere else they do haggling. It’s quite a big travel fear to have, right?
How to Fix It
By making friends. Unless you already have a good grasp of the language before you go somewhere (like can speak it conversationally) then learning the language might not help as much as you think. You’re still a foreigner. So, by make friends with a local you’ll not only meet someone new, you also won’t have to pay gringo price on everything. Travel fear gone.
I’ll Accidentally Offend Someone and They’ll Take It Badly
Some cultures take things very seriously, while others don’t at all. I have a travel fear someone will see me as some cocky, annoying foreigner if I get something wrong and will just hate me as I travel. “This American girl, she’s rude, she doesn’t even know that gesture is offensive to us! I hate Americans.” Anyone else something like this is going to happen?
As you travel you become the ambassedor for your country. Thankfully the US is huge, and has hundreds of millions of people in it, so I probably won’t be the first one anyone meets. Although this still does make me nervous.
How To Fix It
Read up on the culture as much as you can, and if the worst happens, apologize. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know,” should work out. I suggest learning this phase in different languages around the world. Also, sometimes people already have preconceived notion on what someone from a certain country is like. The thing about stereotypes, is that they’re “kind of-sort of-ish true.” It’s usually something someone from somewhere saw or heard before and whether or not someone sees that in you could change their whole idea of what someone from your country is like.
I’ll Burn Out In the Beginning
Burnout is a thing and is the 3rd travel fear people have. Spending two weeks in one city and then driving for several hours to get to the next one only to spend a week there. Then driving all day again and spending a few days at the next place only to do it all again. I’m getting burned out just thinking about it! That’s while road tripping. What about when I don’t have the car anymore and are bussing it? Riding a bus all day from one destination to the next doesn’t sound all that exhilarating either, especially when you’re doing it all the time.
It’s one of the main reasons I’m starting in the US. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a citizen here so I can take as much time as I need to see any and all sites. Feel a bit burned out? Well, stay for another few weeks in one area until I get wanderlust again. Simple as that. Although, with visa complications in other countries that might not work so well!
How to Fix It
Like I said, travel slowly. It’s okay to miss out on some things. I can always go back to them later. It’s better to miss out on something and focus on mental health than to stress yourself out and see everything. How good of an experience are you having if you force yourself to see everything and have a bad time? As long as you don’t overstay your visa, you can return to that country later in life and see something awesome.