How do I feel about quitting my job and chasing my dreams to travel solo?
Lets be real here…
At times, I’m dancing around the house with joy.
At other times, I’m sh*tting my pants. I thought watching Stranger Things while home alone was scary. It’s a walk in the park compared to telling your boss it’s time you had some permanent time apart so you can find yourself in Europe.
There are moments of pure bliss and ecstatic highs where I know I can achieve anything in life and the world is a playground where I will be creating my own destiny with stamps in my passport and ecstatic joy in my heart.
This sometimes flips to earth shattering fear. The part of my brain that has evolved on an instinctual level to keep me safe and alive knows that I’m about to embark on something that is incredibly out of my comfort zone. So naturally, my brain is like “Excuse me, but WTF are you doing?”
My comfort zone is based on celebrating my strengths and avoiding my weaknesses.
For example, if I’m comfortable and know just one person in a group environment – I can make friends with anyone. If I have my safety blanket friend, that one person who will laugh at my jokes regardless of how terrible they may be, then I’m fearless when it comes to meeting strangers. I relish in mingling with all types of people in all types of social settings.
However, if you remove that one known person, aka the “safety blanket” from my social encounters, then I turn into a slightly nervous, self-conscious human. This fear of doing things on my own is a big one. I have never taken myself on an outing by myself. I’m 100% frightened to go to the movies, out to dinner, to an art gallery or even a yoga class by myself. Being seen as someone ‘by themselves’ for some illogical reason frightens me to the point where I simply won’t do it. I won’t.
But soon I will be.
So now I’ve laid it all out on the table, you can see why traveling for four months in Europe is making me question my sanity on a regular basis.
Luckily, I’ve got three coping mechanisms that I’ve been working on to gain my courage:
- Push Fear Aside: I’m avoiding emotions of fear when they try to creep up. I talk to my fear like I’m a receptionist of a high profile CEO “Unfortunately Kia isn’t available for you right now, She is very busy, maybe try again later”.
- Stay Inspired: I’m focusing on the inspirational side of my decision. How f*cking cool that is it that I’m about to do something I’ve always wanted to do? Not to mention, there are multiple sources of travel inspiration to keep me on track, such as reading travel books or blogs, listening to podcasts, forever scrolling on Pinterest or Instagram for those #wanderlust #travel posts.
- Keep things in Perspective: I’ve started looking at my decision from an outside perspective. I have friends who have travelled Europe before and some have moved to different countries on their own. It’s not really THAT big of a deal. I just need to calm down and see it for what it is; an adventure of a lifetime.
“Courage is more important than confidence” – Debbie Millman
One thing I know to be true is progress and self-development can never come from your comfort zone. The fears we don’t face become our limits, and I don’t want to live a life of limitations.
If anyone reading has jumped or flown out of their comfort zone (or even watched Stranger Things and had to hide behind a blanket) I’d love to hear more about it!