You might think with all the political unrest that has been sweeping the country in the last couple weeks that would be the reason. I knew three people who had been here during the worst part of the protests and they said they felt safe as long as they avoided the protests. So even though that was a concern I knew as long as I kept my wits about me I would stay safe and that alone wasn’t going to stop me from going.
It could have been the money, because I didn’t account for 50% taxes to be taken out of my severance. Which could definitely put a damper on how long I travel, but I have been saving and have a budget I am living by pretty religiously including a very luxurious travel budget so it wasn’t that either!
What almost stopped me from going to Nicaragua was my dad. He said a lot of words to me and in my own stress about solo travel I let his fear become my fear. I had literally convinced myself that I was going to die.He was terrified about the protests and political unrest and that his only daughter would be traveling in the heart of where all the action was! I called some friends and confessed that something didn’t feel right and because I pick amazing friends they told me to meditate.
My dad’s fear and also my need of approval from him almost stopped me from going on this trip. He begged me not to go, said he was disappointed that I was ignoring my safety, and that he believed I was doing the wrong thing.
After I meditated I realized my stress was because Spirit Airlines wouldn’t let me check in online and I hate lines, I hadn’t heard from my shuttle driver who was supposed to pick me up at 12:20 in the middle of the night, because the thought of the security line at SeaTac, and because I still had to stop by REI to grab some last minute things before even tackling all those other issues.
Travel stress is real and is okay and normal, but I let my stress become real deep seated fear because I let someone else’s belief’s about travel become my own. After I meditated I realized my dad’s expression of fear is his way of saying I love you, please be safe, you better freaking come back to me in one piece. And how lucky am I to have someone care about me so much?
As lucky as I feel I am also so grateful I chose to ignore his fear, push through my own fear, my own stress, and adopted my favorite travel mantra; I trust the Universe. Two flights, a cab ride, and a Microbus later and I have landed in Granada, Nicaragua.
My advice to you if you want to travel and are letting things stop you.
Expect to be met with some opposition, especially by those closest to you.
Your family and friends love you. They want to keep you. Let anything else they may say to you fall away. People convince themselves things to protect themselves and those they hold close. Don’t let their beliefs become yours. If you are scared to solo travel or travel at all, start somewhere you feel comfortable. Go travel your own city by yourself or maybe a city in another state, then maybe book the one way international ticket. Or just book the ticket, that is up to you.
Come up with a financial game plan.
Do your research on where you are going. Check average Hostel prices for the dates you are thinking about on http://www.hostelworld.com. Read travel blogs for your destination on how much buses, groceries, meals, drinks, excursions, and tours cost. Put it in an excel spreadsheet and decide a maximum daily budget. Whatever your total is save double that! Do whatever it takes to save money at home while you save for travel! And make sure you save enough so when you get back home you have a little nest egg to take care of things at home as well.
Call on your tribe when you need to.
When the stress feels like too much, which it totally will at times! No one likes to talk about it but planning for solo travel is stressful. I lost my ish a couple times before I left, I cried, I was mad, I was a human who was putting myself in a new situation and uprooting my daily life. Allow yourself to feel all the things, but have friends you can call when it is too much. Let them catch you and love you, and also listen to their advice. My friends told me to meditate and I did and it was magic.
Research all the things you are excited about on your trip.
Remember why you are going in the first place. Something there called to you deep enough for you to buy or consider buying a plane ticket. Make a pinterest board, find a picture of the place and make it your screen saver, do whatever it takes to keep the stoke larger than the fear. Make a game plan of all the exciting things you plan to do on your trip and do not let yourself forget them.
Buy the GD Ticket.
That is gosh darn for those who don’t know! Just buy the ticket! I had not solo traveled in another country in 4 years! I was nervous and excited and it might have taken two glasses of wine and my roommates sitting me down to make me buy the ticket. Once I committed though the game plan and the adventure was set in place. Stop talking yourself out of it! Just go do it!