The first 12 hours: Toronto to Paris
Every time I travel I notice new things about the world and about me - my fears in particular. This voice in the my head - in everyone's head - has a pretty big say over what I will and will not do. It's kinda crazy when you think about it. This voice limits what we do with our lives! "Is it safe to board this plane?"
"What if someone steals my luggage?"
"I'm going to be so lonely travelling by myself!"
SO many fears decide to speak up when you're about to do something really amazing. They're like those annoying exes who run into your wedding at the last minute yelling "I object!" Rude and totally uncalled for.
But, maybe it's not safe to board the plane... maybe my luggage will get stolen... and, yeah, maybe I will be a little lonely. But it's all about your mindset. If you control your thoughts instead of letting them control you, you'll start getting comfortable with discomfort.
I've noticed that this past year I've become much more in control of my thoughts. On the plane to Kenya last year I was terrified - of what? The unknown. I didn't know what to expect, and that voice inside was expecting the worst. I kept thinking of the recent attacks on Nairobi, the whiteness of my skin (and how much I'd stand out), and the terrifying distance away from home. What I didn't anticipate were all the beautiful things: the people, rolling tea fields, teaching. Those are the things I remember most about Kenya now.
It's fine to be cautious when travelling - in fact, it's smart. It can be self-damaging, though, if you let caution consume you. Don't lose sight of why you're going... keep that with you the whole way there. And take it one step at a time... one flight at a time... one meal at a time. I know it's hard to do, especially when I'm so used to planning and preparing at home. But, if you keep anticipating, you'll miss the most important thing: right now. It's here and it's not waiting for you. Get that voice in your head to quiet down so you can start embracing the uncertainty of what lies ahead! It's probably something beautiful.
Onto the next plane I go! :)