I’m scared.

I’m absolutely terrified of this trip I’m about to embark on. Every morning I wake up, see the countdown has moved a day forward and I’m filled with apprehension and dread. Don’t get me wrong, the apprehension and dread is intertwined with excitement, euphoria, and overwhelming happiness, too. There are so many ups and downs and it all comes down to one thing:

Fear of the unknown.

This trip will be a trip of firsts. I’ve never traveled alone before, I’ve never stayed in a hostel before, had to navigate an unfamiliar transport system, coped in a country where I don’t speak the language. It’s incredibly daunting, and my main fears that I am having to deal with at the moment are:

What if I don’t like it?

This seems like something so trivial. I mean, this has been my dream for as long as I can remember — how could I not like it? I’ve always wanted to travel the world and now that the departure date is fast approaching, my mind has gone into overdrive. It’s easy to be consumed by a dream and know in your heart this is how you want to live your life. You read about other people’s experiences and think how amazing it sounds, and how you’re desperate to live a small part of your life in a similar way. However, when you make that important decision, and it suddenly becomes final — there’s no backing out. What happens if I just don’t like travelling alone?! This brings me onto my next fear.

Being lonely

I’ll be honest here, at home I’ve never been a hugely social person, and I like to think that I can cope perfectly fine with just my own company. But months and years of just me… will I be able to handle it? I don’t regret my decision on deciding to travel the world solo — I have experienced both sides of the coin, planning this trip first of all with a boyfriend, and then by myself. I want to travel the world on my own. I want the freedom or being able to go wherever I want, and to do whatever I want without having to think about someone else and what they would rather do. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But at the same time, it worries me that experiencing all of this without someone to share it with might fill me with sadness and emptiness once I’m out on the road. Not having someone else to look out for me and take care of me makes me worry.

Having to deal with unfortunate and unfamiliar circumstances alone

I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit that I completely lack common sense in every sense of the word. I don’t have much life experience in general and if an unfavourable situation were to arise, I feel like I would be incompetent, and be terrified about how to handle it on my own with nobody else to rely on. I’ll have to deal with getting sick, getting lost, sorting out visas, managing my finances, all on my own. This is something which I’ve never had to do before.

You’ve probably heard of the book Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. I’ve never read it, but I think it’s a really great line through which to live your life.

And that is exactly what I’m going to do.

I know that this trip will be a life-changing experience. It’s been my dream for years, so I’m not going to give up and never travel just because I’m scared of doing it alone. There will be times when it will be hard, and I’ll feel like giving up and getting straight on a plane back home. But these are the moments that will strengthen me and turn me into a better person. They will be the experiences that I will remember most clearly and I’ll look back and feel proud at how well I dealt with them – or laugh at how badly I coped!

I don’t think that anyone who knows me in my day-to-day life would ever imagine that I’d be the sort of person who would just pack up and leave behind her friends and family, get out of her comfort zone entirely and go off to experience the world alone. I don’t think I ever imagined that I’d be capable of doing such a thing.

But, hey, I’m doing it now and I couldn’t be happier.

Too many people don’t achieve their dreams through fear. We make excuses to not to do so. We convince ourselves we are just being realistic and cautious, that the timing isn’t right yet, and so it’s for the best to put it on hold. But then we never get to it in the end. Why?

Because we’re afraid.

Afraid to fail, afraid to be ridiculed, afraid that we’re incompetent.

It’s like riding a bike. At first you were afraid of falling. You probably did fall, but eventually, with persistence, you succeeded, you learned to ride and it was awesome.

Following your dreams is no different.

You’re bound to experience fear, and worry about what will happen, and if you’re making a huge mistake. And if you can’t think of enough reasons to be scared, your friends will help you with even more terrifying possibilities. But you don’t know unless you try – And by letting your fear consume you and rule your life, can you ever truly be happy?

So face your fears and embrace them, and then you can follow your dreams too, with no regrets.

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