The world truly is a beautiful place and is yours to explore and discover. Traveling is what enables the world to be your oyster. But if you are anxious about traveling and flying, it can feel as though that oyster has drifted out of your hands away in the deep ocean. For some, the thought of traveling can seem absolutely daunting and scary. Also, that fear and travel anxiety can appear to limit the world around you and your horizons.
Yes, a lot of people have an extreme thirst for exploring the beauty of this planet, but doubt and fear can sometimes consume us despite our nomadic dreams. But the good news is that fears can be faced and overcome. Fears can also be converted into excitement. Now it is time to take control with 10 self-help tips, book some flights and go on some wandering adventures of a lifetime that you have always dreamed of!
1. Look into the Statistics of Flying
Firstly, the fear of flying is more common than you think. Aviophobia affects 2.5% to 6.5% of the population. Although this is a small percentage, this does affect a lot of people if you think of this figure in terms of the world population! As you have probably heard many times, flying is the safest form of travel. The actual odds of being in an airline accident is 1 in 11 million, yet your odds for being in a car crash is 1 in 201. Yes, you have probably even heard this statistic a million times too! But think about it this way, the fear of flying is a lot more common than the fear of driving despite the statistics. So why do we panic more over flying? Hopefully, these basic facts will help you to rationalize your fears to some extent!
2. Challenge Negative Thoughts & Fears
Travelling can seem extremely scary and daunting, especially for first-time travelers. The worst thoughts can occur and be completely paralyzing. Also, it can be easy to fall into the trap of “fortune telling”. Fortune telling is feeling absolutely convinced that these bad thoughts are 100% going to happen. Fear and fortune telling induce that swirl of dread in your stomach and some go as far as preparation for that predicted event. Whatever that thought is, take yourself out of the situation and research the evidence that supports those fears. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that there is less evidence than expected or even no evidence that supports these thoughts. So next time you predict or prepare for an awful event, weigh up the evidence to support that.
3. Raise Awareness of Your Surroundings
When you are up in the clouds and cruising away on your flight, it is very easy to feel like your flight is the only one up there. This can make flying seem more isolating, risky and scary. To combat this feeling the best thing to do is raise awareness of your surroundings. You can do this by looking at the flight boards, cabin crew members and amount of planes at the airport before your flight. This is a normal everyday routine for the likes of businessmen, cabin crew and pilots. A lot of these people fly for a living. If it was that risky these people would not have these roles in aviation and travel. Also, there are thousands of flights taking place right now as you read this! Now, just let sink in…
4. Turbulence is Not as Common & Dangerous as You Think
Turbulence is one of the main fears associated with the fear of flying and flying anxiety. In fact, it can even trigger the fear of flying. However, moderate and severe turbulence is very rare. In fact, severe turbulence only affects 0.0001% of flights worldwide and is very short lived. In addition to this, this extremely rare type of severe turbulence is not even fatal. Also, pilots always plan the flight route beforehand and use weather maps to avoid this. What this also means is that the majority of flights are actually smooth! Another tip is to book your seat at the front of the plane, there is a lot less movement at the front of the aircraft.
5. Focus on your Self-Growth
Facing your fears and exploring the world can seriously help you grow and flourish as a human being. Just think about how amazing you’ll feel once you have faced your fears and started exploring the world! Plus, nobody can ever take that achievement away from you, It is yours for life! It is now time to find that inner strength and warrior. Life is all about seeing new places, doing new things and meeting new people. Self-growth occurs when you do things that scare you and get out of your comfort zone. If you stay in your comfort zone, there is no room for self-growth.
6. Write an Exciting & Motivating Bucket List
As cliché as it sounds, writing a bucket list can seriously motivate you to travel and face up to your fears. Whether it is practicing yoga in the tranquil rainforests of Bali, Skiing in the picturesque Swiss Alps or Christmas shopping amongst the bright lights of New York City, creating a bucket list will help you to get started. By doing so, this will help you to pinpoint some locations and conduct a real plan into action!
Think about it this way, you cannot do any of these things on your bucket list without facing your fears. Another tip to entice that inner wanderlust is to look into very specific locations such as hotels, restaurants, and attractions as opposed to coming up with vague ideas. This will make your plans and ideas much clearer and more motivating. So next time you feel anxious, use your bucket list as an incentive! The key is to use your excitement and inner wanderlust to outweigh those fears. You also do not have to jump straight into the deep end and go long haul! Starting off with regional or continental locations is a great start.
7. Think of experiencing the Sublime Beauty of This Planet
If you are stuck on writing a bucket list, doing some research can give you that strong sense of wanderlust! But yes, viewing beautiful travel brochure images online is good, but nothing quite beats experiencing the actual location and taking it all in! So instead of fawning over images of the white, sandy beaches in Fiji, why not actually swim in the crystal clear waters and enjoy that fresh sea air? Real experiences will exceed your expectations – guaranteed! There are many corners of this planet that you have not experienced and that you cannot even comprehend without visiting them.
8. Think of all of the Delicious Exotic Foods That you Have not Tried
Whether it is munching on quirky insect delicacies in Thailand, slurping on hand-crafted ramen in Tokyo or even devouring a deep-dish pizza in Chicago, nothing quite beats eating foods where they actually originate from! Have you ever visited a local restaurant and the food was disappointing and not authentic? Well, traveling for food can help you to experience the true crème de la crème of specific types of worldwide cuisine. So forget generic “worldwide” buffet style restaurants! There is an actual world of food out there to try and experience! Plus, there is no better combination than food and travel right? So why let fear hold you back?
9. Practice Positive & Productive Escapism
Escapism is actually not a bad thing! It can help you unwind and drift away from everyday stress. So, when you return to everyday tasks you can do so by feeling refreshed and motivated. Whether it is stress from a nagging boss, dull weather or your job’s tedious demands, in the right moderation, escapism is a fantastic coping mechanism. Also, the best form of escapism is travel. But this does not mean ditch everyday tasks and shut yourself off from reality. Instead, use it productively. For instance, it can even motivate you to completely reinvent yourself and work towards a much better lifestyle (including lots of exhilarating travel for instance!). So why not leave fear behind and start sooner rather than later? So, next time life’s negativity is getting you down (fear included), why not use and channel that negativity into setting some productive travel goals?
10. Think of the Alternatives to Confronting your Fears!
Fear can become insanely paralyzing at times. When you feel like giving up due to fear, ask yourself this – “What’s the alternative?”. Alternatives could range from never exploring the world, getting out of your comfort zone or facing your deepest and darkest fears. Try to think of even scarier alternatives to your fears, this can help give you a much better perspective and make your fears seem smaller and more manageable. Let’s face it, the thought of being restricted to one location and your horizons being strictly limited is much scarier! Also, the desensitization process really does work. The more you avoid something, the more that fear will build up and the worse that fear will become.
Final Piece of Advice
In conclusion, yes, facing your fears is much easier said than done. But always remember that you are in control! Traveling is not only exciting, exhilarating and fun, but it also has endless mental and physical benefits. This planet is truly an amazing and beautiful place with so many joys to offer and it’s truly yours to explore.
To wrap things up, there is one final piece of advice – Metaphorically speaking, instead of thinking that the world is your oyster that can drift out of your hands due to fear, think of the world as your book! A book that you own and is in your very hands. A book to be read and explored. Yes, some chapters will be scary and sometimes it will be hard to turn the page. You may even struggle to open that book initially. But guaranteed, once you start reading, you’ll get into the flow of reading the pages! The same principle goes for flying and traveling. Think of traveling and flying as turning the pages. But soon you’ll think of it as nothing as you’ll be focusing on and aching to read the pages ahead!