Friday, October 24, 2008

Valid Concerns

Yesterday my dad and I were chatting about my plans for this upcoming year and I was telling him about the changes to my plan that have happened in the last few weeks. What resulted from this conversation was frustration. Please understand that my dad is a wonderful person. I love and respect him and I value his opinion. He and I have very similar personalities and I think that is why I become frustrated with our conversations so easily. I’ve come to realize that the concerns that he has about my trip are the same concerns that I have, he just expresses them while I have reconciled them in my mind.

Now, I am an extremely rational person. I think things through and weigh everything out, but when it actually comes down to making a decision I usually go with my gut. I don’t forget about the rationale behind my thoughts, but I go with my intuition and when I move forward, I make arrangements to counteract my concerns as best that I can. I make my decision and I commit to it. I have to do this so that I don’t let my fear of the unknown keep me from pursuing what I want, because it will if I let it. So, when my dad begins to express his concerns about me traveling alone in foreign countries I become rigid.

I don’t want to have the fact that I’m a girl traveling alone be a reason for me not to have this adventure. Why should my plans have to be put on hold until there is someone else who can be a part of them? I don’t want to hear about how I’m going to be an easy target for thieves because I want to travel lightly with one or two bags. Why should I be any more of a target than I was when I was traveling in Europe with my family last time? I seem to recall that my dad was the one who almost got pick pocketed, not me.

Obviously I’m not na├»ve enough to think that I can go anywhere and do anything without taking precautions to be safe and protected, but I think I deserve more credit than that. I’m a smart person and I am aware of my surroundings. I plan to do my research and if I am confident in my actions, that’s half the battle to avoiding becoming a target. I fully understand that my dad’s warnings are well based. He’s concerned about me. He doesn’t want me to be hurt or be robbed and I appreciate that. I’m not frustrated with him for bringing these things up. I’m annoyed that his anxieties are the same worries I have for myself. I’m discouraged by the fact that there is nothing I can concretely do to ease those uneasy feelings. And that, for those of you who know me well, is probably the hardest thing for me to accept. I can’t fix it all. I can’t be in control of every step of my journey. I’m going to have to rely on myself in every situation I stumble into.

I don’t think my trip is going to be easy. I think it’s going to a huge challenge for me to be on my own in various foreign countries where I will have no clue as to what anyone is saying. But for me, that’s the beauty of it all. Am I excited? Yes! Am I afraid? Of course! But am I going to let fear of the unknown cripple me and keep me from an adventure I’ve been thinking about for over 10 years? Heck no!

2 comments:

Elizabeth Joy said...

:-)

Jamie said...

Good for you! Don't let fear cripple you.

 
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