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!


Elizabeth Joy said...


Jamie said...

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

free counter