What are the odds?
Studies show that about one in six people have the fear of flying. Most people are missing out on opportunities to see the world, explore, learn and pursue their passion because of the fear of flying or other fears of traveling.
Let me get a little personal here: I’ve overcome many fears and challenges of travels because I had no choice at an early age. There are ways to overcome your fears if you want to.
I wouldn’t call my situations phobias because people suffering from phobias have excessive fear of a situation, sometimes needing medical attention or professional help to overcome.
A person's genetics, biochemistry, environment, history, and psychological profile can all contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. Most people with these disorders seem to have a biological vulnerability to stress, making them more susceptible to environmental stimuli than the rest of the population. (Source: NY Times)
Here are 5 common fears of traveling:
Fear of flying- did you know that it is safer to fly than to drive? EasyJet has a course called Fearless Flyer. This course is hosted by UK’s prime-time TV special Fear of Flying host, Lawrence Leyton.
It helps you to deal with any misconceptions about flying, techniques to delete them and you get an “experience flight” with EasyJet’s captain, co-pilot and cabin crew. There is no hypnotism involved.
Fear of diseases- the exotic tropical countries with beautiful beaches, jungle wilderness, wildlife and outdoor adventures are exciting experiences. However there are the possibilities of tropical diseases and reptiles or insects harming you.
Fear of personal security- this was one of my top fears while traveling solo in my younger days. Questions like what if someone break into my room, what if the room is haunted, what if someone follow me when I walk in the street? Those are genuine fears and incidences did happen.
Practice caution and get to know the destination as much as possible before traveling. The U.S. Department of State has a personal security checklist for travelers on their website.
Fear of language barriers – imagine everything lost in translations or you just can’t get your needs across? English is widely spoken in our world. Remember over half of the world was colonized by the British and English is still considered important in most of these countries. From Kenya to Malaysia, Hong Kong to Guyana and Bermuda to Maldives, English is spoken there especially in the cities. You will not have difficulty finding a travel guide to help you if you are traveling to remote areas where little English is spoken.
Here is an interesting article by Rick Steves called Top Ten Tips for Overcoming Language Barriers.
Fear of the unknown – planet earth is full of the ‘unknowns’ even when we stay put at home. No one plans to fail and there is no certainty that all our plans will give us the 100% results we seek for. Nothing in life endures forever. So the only certain is the ‘unknowns’.
All that said, fear might still exist. Should we continue living in fear or venture out into the unknown and live the life we want to live? Or live a life under the shadows of fears?
Mark Twain said
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave."