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After the climb, Brie gave me a book called ‘The Rock Warriors Way’, its a book about how to overcome fear when you are on the side of a mountain & feel like you are going to die. Now I’m not telling everyone here that they need to go and start climbing mountains to overcome their fear; but I am saying that it helped me train and talk my mind into working through the fear. After this experience, and continuing to climb with another friend of mine name Joe; I was able to overcome my fear of falling from great heights. Trust my gear, trust my body, and be able to experience the amazing views that were the reward of doing so. Trust me, I came home from JTree bruised from armpits to my knees, and have taken falls, and would still get terrified if I took a risk while climbing. But unless we take risks, and push those internal boundaries, we will never grow. [gallery ids="1369,1364,1366" type="rectangular"] There are so many aspects of all of our lives that I think fear of ‘what if’ or self depreciating thoughts that inhibit experiences that can really make our character grow. So what I would suggest is this, start small, start by going out to dinner on your OWN — especially you ladies. We all know girls these days can hardly go to the Restroom by themselves because they are social creatures. But seriously, try and go to a Restaurant, sit at a booth, put your phone away and on silent, observe the people around you, SAVOR your food, be in the moment and calm your mind. If you start getting uncomfortable, have a conversation with your waiter and ask them what their goals are, or their kids, or what they do on their off time. After you have mastered this, take a local road trip, where you are gone the entire day by yourself, exploring your city. Look at Trip Advisor, see what people recommend, I think you will be surprised at some of the things people find on there in your own town that you never even knew about. Once you master this, and can do it without fear or self doubt or self pity, then you can start thinking bigger. Think about going on a trip where you have to fly, somewhere within your own country, where its just you, and you won’t be meeting up with family or cousins or what not. My first solo trip was actually to Israel and Jordan (I know, go big or go home right). You can read those stories in another blog post here at www.gypsysouladventure.com. But still I was meeting up with a tour group there. I think this was a GREAT baby step for me traveling solo, its like I went solo, but then met some amazing people within the tour group and didn’t feel so alone anymore. We all stayed at the same hotel, had the same transportation, and people got tired of each other after awhile and wanted to know why this 20 something girl was traveling to these places most people are afraid to travel to, because of what they see on the news, all alone. My first TRUE solo trip was actually to Scotland, I stayed in a Hostel for most of the trip, all over the country (the blog about Scotland will be coming soon, so stay tuned). Yes at times I felt a little lonely, and thought it would be nice to have someone there to see all the amazing things I was seeing. But I think the feeling of how liberating it was, to know that I ALONE was the one who made this trip happen. No one else held my hand, I didn’t get lost (well not a lot anyway), and was able to see a land where my ancestors came from & find out that I actually have a lot of history and connection to this beautiful place that I now feel is partly my home. I had been through some traumatic things about 6 months before going on this trip, and I think going alone gives you time to reflect, and think, and that in and of itself can be scary. But seeing all the different cultural things, talking with people around me, saying hello etc… made my problems seem small in a way that made my mind be able to logically compartmentalize them more to where I felt at peace again. As Anthony Bourdain says “if you are physically fit, hungry to learn and be better–I urge you to travel, as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how others live, eat and cook. Learn from them, wherever you go”. I think the thing that is most edifying and enlightening is really connecting with people around the world. As human beings, our minds like to protect us from things that may potentially harm us, so it convinces us to fear and avoid those things, even if those ‘things’ are people, cultures races. Traveling helps you see past those stigmas and see why people think they way they do, and help break the boundaries either you create, the media creates, or someone helps you create. As my Boss always says, ‘Seek first to understand’; and I think the quote that really sums this thought up is by Maya Angelou, “perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but, by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends–“. So this is what we at Gypsy Soul Adventures are trying to create here, a place where we can share stories of overcoming stigmas, breaking those social boundaries, and lines that people tend to cross, and overcoming the fear of traveling alone or with children & help you understand each other a little more so that we can all grow from our collective adventures together.]]>