We openly admit it….. we have some fears about our upcoming indefinite journey around the world. How could we not? Yet we spend much of our time re-assuring others that we will be just fine and that no, we are not actually afraid of….
* falling sick with general maladies while abroad (“Jenni has fallen sick while abroad and has lived to tell the tale!”)
* not being able to find food we like (“People eat all over the world and so will we!”)
* not being able to live without pizza (“Actually, I am more worried about living without bagels with cream cheese…”)
* missing the latest episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” (“We don’t watch tv regularly anyway.”)
* or not speaking the local language (“We are planning on learning languages while abroad- that’s part of the adventure!”)
* not having toilets (“Believe it or not, toilets exist all around the world!”)
– and my personal favorite –
Aren’t you afraid of getting killed?!
(“You do know that you can get killed anywhere, right?? We’re New Yorkers. If we lived our days being afraid of this, we probably would have let everyone’s warnings about the “big bad city” seep in and steer us away from this city of awesomeness and hidden wonders. Besides, you can die/get killed anywhere…we choose to focus on living, not dying!”)
But in all honesty, we do have some worries about flying off to live a nomadic life of purpose and adventure. So, in the interest of full-disclosure and self-cleansing, here is our current list of fears about our upcoming journey…..
We are afraid of:
1. Failing; of returning home with our idealistic tails between our legs.
2. Finding scorpions in our shoes. (Aaron is more afraid of finding a crab in his shoe, like he did in Costa Rica.)
3. Swimming anywhere near sharks. Jenni is very afraid of this. Not enough to keep her out of the water but enough to make sure she freaks out every so often.
4. Not being able to make enough money to support ourselves on the road.
5. Getting so overwhelmed, annoyed, sick, tired, or fed-up that we quit before we really should.
6. Breaking a bone in a remote area. Well, Jenni is afraid of this, Aaron not so much.
7. Losing our passports. (Who isn’t?!)
8. Losing our optimism and idealism. These two things are very important to us.
9. Dengue Fever. Really, Aaron is a bit afraid of any illness we are not familiar with.
10.Returning (if we must), having sold everything, to…. well…. nothing.
11. Feeling isolated.
12. Encountering a climate that is so hot, Aaron can’t take it. (Jenni is not even a little bit afraid of this!)
13. Inadvertently offending someone due to mis-communication or simple ignorance on our part.
14. Doing harm rather than good in an area we visit due to mis-communication or ignorance on our part.
15. Forgetting something really, really important in our constant state of movement.
16. Scuba diving. (This one is Aaron’s fear, Jenni has vowed to get him to try it at least once. Aaron has agreed!)
17. A family member or friend dying while we are away and not being able to get back. (Morbid, we know.)
18. Not having enough alone time to develop as individuals.
19. Not being able to find a good balance between work and exploration.
20. Making a budget that is so off the mark that we don’t have near enough to survive.
21. Alligators in water near where we live. And crocodiles. Both of them. They are both scary.
22. Being utterly overwhelmed by the entire purging process that must happen before we leave. It’s exciting, but it’s scary.
23. Really, really missing the home we created in Brooklyn. It is a fantastically comfortable space full of art, music, color, and books.
Yup, we are afraid of many things pertaining to our upcoming journey. We are not, after all, idealistic fools who think this whole adventure is going to be filled entirely with rainbows and unicorns. We are certainly idealistic, but that idealism is peppered with a bit of rationality.
And yet so many of these fears could really be uttered by anyone living in one permanent place, couldn’t they? (ok, maybe not the scorpions one, depending on where you live, but you get the idea…)
Beyond all of the things we listed above there is one fear that is actually propelling us forward on this journey…..the fear that we will wake up one day and realize that we let fear dictate our lives to such a point that we forgot to enjoy our lives to the utmost of our ability.
So, we move forward! Can’t wait to see what we think about this list after a year of traveling!
What are your fears about traveling?