In today’s world, fear is rampant in almost every aspect of our lives – global warming, the economy, healthcare, international politics, and yes, even travel. Even the unintended consequences of American presidential actions induces fear among travelers. We can’t do too much about most of these fearsome subjects, but we can shed some light on fear of travel.
A little fear is OK. It’s a survival instinct that has served humans well since they started walking on two legs. It rears up while traveling since you’re out of your comfort zone – out of familiar environs and routines.
It may be dangerous commuting 30 miles to work going 70 mph on a freeway full of wacko drivers. Though we don’t look forward to it, we don’t fear it because it’s familiar, a known quantity, a routine. You prepare for your daily commute by checking traffic and weather conditions before you go. You make sure your car is in good repair and you keep your cell phone in your pocket while driving. You are prepared and experienced, so you don’t fear it.
Most experienced travelers do their homework too. They are prepared, substituting knowledge, awareness and caution for fear. Travel veterans are accustomed to stepping out of their comfort zones, even if they have the President’s Suite on a Caribbean cruise. They understand that stuff happens, whether its hurricanes in the Atlantic or pick pockets in Bermuda. They are aware of the risks, and they do everything they can to mitigate potentially bad outcomes, whether it’s scheduling the cruise out of the hurricane season or not wearing flashy jewelry.
Unreasonable fear keeps folks from living a fulfilling life. For dedicated travelers, exploring the world is one of the joys of living, and in some ways, it’s necessary for their wellbeing. Besides the pleasures of exploring exotic places, discovering great food and making new friends, it is the sense of adventure that makes travel so appealing. And adventure often comes from unexpected
experiences whether it’s getting lost in the streets of Rome or, as you will read in this issue’s cover story, cruising through pirate-infested waters in the Middle East.
Fear of travel is trumped by knowledge, appropriate caution and preparation. It is mitigated by our need to see new things, meet new people and find adventure.
After all of our years of travel, our only real fear is missing the boat.
Just do it – safe travels,