Have your ever been about to embark on a trip and you suddenly feel freaked out because you won’t be at home in your comfy little bed for the next number of days or weeks? Do you wish you would never have to leave your house ever again? Does the thought of leaving home keep you from traveling?
You are not alone. The older we get, the more we tend to fear leaving home base. One would think it should get easier since the older we are, theoretically, the less we have to lose. I remember when I was a young mother and I went alone on a trip. I thought, as I was up in the air in the plane, how selfish I was for going away and how I would never be selfish again if only I could get back to my three children. Mind you, I could have gotten killed driving to 7-Eleven to buy a diet soda, but the further the distance away, the more paranoid I got.
Now, I am older and my kids are grown. I have had a fabulous life with little regrets. I should be able to travel without being so attached to my home as I have so much more freedom now and much less responsibility, but, still, there is a bit of fear that creeps in, fear of not seeing my nice little house again, fear of being so far away from all I know.
Yet, I run tours and, this year I will be traveling (as far as I have planned) to five different overseas locations. So, why do I want to travel? Why do I make myself get over my fear and get on a plane to faraway places? And why should you?
Because living is taking a risk. Taking a risk in relationships, careers, and exploration of whatever sort exists is what brings vibrancy and newness into our lives. When we give in to fear and don’t take any chances, we might as well be dead…we simply will live the same day over and over again, days without surprises and freshness. Wait, yes, there will be change….but we won’t be in control of it! Health issues will bring changes, family will bring changes, finances will bring changes…the world will bring changes…and we will have to deal with them…but we won’t have the power to be the instigator of them, the master of them as we would if we chose change ourselves.
Travel in our older years does something very unique; it gives us courage, it gives us a completely new way of seeing things, exciting experiences that don’tdepend on youth to have them happen. In fact, when you travel, you will feel like you are in your teens or twenties again, living the free life….stepping into the unknown.
And isn’t that worth doing even if you have butterflies in your stomach? Go for it! You won’t regret it.
I remember a moment when I was in my tent in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle a couple of years ago with just my guide and the horse caretaker. Me! In the middle of the jungle! Me in the middle of nowhere! I felt like I was reborn…I wasn’t the person I was a week ago back in Maryland…I was a new me with a backpack and a tent and howler monkeys screeching all around me! I had been in this same jungle when I was twenty-four and now I was back experiencing this incredible place some thirty years later. The thrill was not gone. The thrill of adventure still existed in me and as I listened to the sounds of the jungle I thought how lucky I was to be alive and still have the opportunity to expand my horizons.
We don’t have to travel to experience new things; a new restaurant, a new hobby, a new book, and new group of people….we should be signing on for these new experiences all the time no matter what our age…but, traveling, wow, this is such a great way of really taking a leap….a leap of faith…and a leap into adventure.
Next time you start feeling nervous about the thought of leaving home to visit far places, tell yourself you are going to be brave because you want to have at least one more big chance to experience something completely different and, then, just do it!
Six spots left on our upcoming trip to Nicaragua in January 2016!
Learn more about all our trips, how we travel, and how little it costs at Older Women, Cheap Travel!