“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” – Les Brown
I love to travel. That’s no secret. Having the chance to explore a new location and experience a culture different from mine thrills me. I love going somewhere new where nobody knows me. There are no expectations, no fear of failure, no worries about trying to be someone you’re not. It’s like you are being handed a blank piece of paper on which to begin a fresh chapter of your story. You let the adventure take you wherever it chooses and as a result your worldview changes and you are transformed. I’ve been to most of the northeastern states in our country as well as Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida. I’ve traveled out of the country to Canada, Romania, and the Dominican Republic. I’ve seen city skylines and breathed the fresh mountain air. I’ve stood along the Atlantic Ocean and hiked through forests. I’ve seen luxury and the stark contrast of poverty. There is so much to see in this vast world.
Lately, I’ve been trying to find a time that I could go to New York City because I absolutely love the city at Christmastime. It is simply magical this time of year. And several people have asked why I would want to risk that; after all, ISIS has hinted at attacking the city. This isn’t the first time I’ve been questioned when I share my desire to travel. “Why would you want to go there?” “Aren’t you afraid to be on a plane?” “There’s so much chaos and violence in the world, why would you want to leave home?” I’ve heard it all. And the talk of fear is even more rampant after the attacks in Paris. But you can’t allow yourself to live in fear. Fear holds you back. Fear cripples you. Fear stifles your dreams. Yes, there is reality. I could get on a plane that could be hijacked by a terrorist. I could be walking around a mall and witness a mass shooting. And I could be at an event where a bomb could go off. But I also know how much LIFE I would have missed out on if I allowed fear to overtake me. If I listened to others’ fears (and sometimes even a bit of my own), I would have never seen the beauty of the Rockies or Smoky Mountains. I would have missed out on the inspiring Broadway shows I’ve seen. I would not have the precious memory of holding an orphan in Romania or comforting a little girl living in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic. I would have missed out on all the friends I’ve made in my travels. I would have missed the sights, sounds, flavors, and stories that have shaped my life. I could have stayed put. I could have lived in “safety”. I could have stayed in my own little world. but I chose not to, because that isn’t life. Life is about getting out there and experiencing the world and all it has to offer. Don’t let fear hold you back. Become fearless.
“Fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.” – Taylor Swift