From Fear to There

This is not a travel blog. It’s not about how to quit your job and sell your stuff and embark on a trip around the world. It’s not about travel hacking, or manufactured spend, or trolling for glitch fares. It’s not about dancing the bonus airmiles credit card shuffle. There are already plenty of good sites out there that show you how to do all those things.

They’ll teach you how to travel for free, or almost free, by learning how to play the points game. They’ll show you how to cut your accommodation costs by couch-surfing, or pet-sitting, or house-swapping. They’ll guide you toward developing a portable income, so you can be location-independent, and earn all you need to get by in whatever part of the world is calling your name.

Once you’ve read Nomadic Matt, or The Points Guy, or The Richmond Savers, you’ll know “I can’t afford it,” isn’t much of an excuse for staying home anymore. But then again, maybe it’s not money that’s holding you back.

Maybe it’s fear.

If fear is your barrier, this is your blog. It’s about finding a way to move beyond a life that’s too small for you. It’s about climbing over, dismantling, or ignoring the barriers that can keep you from walking boldly forward into the wide, wide world. It’s about tending your dreams, and living with purpose, and making your life as big as you can stretch it. It’s about stretching yourself.

Yes, you’ll have to go outside your comfort zone to do that. You’ll have to move beyond the limits fear imposes on your life.

Here’s the good news – you can do it. And you don’t have to go it alone. There are plenty of people out there who can relate to your fear of travel. And there are plenty who’ve overcome it. They’re hodophobes turned hodophiles. They’ve gone from fear to “there.”

I’m one of them. Although I’ve been a specialist in the treatment of anxiety disorders for twenty years, I’ve been consumed with the study of travel anxiety in particular for the last three. I want you to benefit from what I’ve learned, so I’ll be sharing it with you here.

I’ll post tips for your trips, recovery stories of former hodophobes, pieces of my travel journal and any other informative or inspirational material I can find on the topic.

And if something you find here helps you live the life you’ve imagined, I hope you’ll write and share your story with the rest of us. Play it forward. Help an anxious traveler out.

Fear of Flying course

3 Easy Steps for a DIY Fear of Flying Course

Fear of flying is one of the primary barriers to a life of happy travel, yet courses designed to dispel that fear are abundant, affordable, and effective. You can even design one yourself, based on a typical program offered through many airlines and counseling offices. You’ll need to include these 3 easy steps.

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safety behaviors maintained my fear of flying

Safety Behaviors: What They Are and Why it Matters

Could the actions you take to get rid of your fears actually be making them worse? Afraid so. According to the research, “safety behaviors,” the common behaviors anxious people believe to be helpful in getting rid of anxiety play a role in maintaining it, instead. They can even make it worse.

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getting rid of travel anxiety

3 Pieces of Bad Advice for Getting Rid of Your Travel Anxiety

Isn’t the internet great for finding answers? Unfortunately, it’s easy to come across bad advice here too. It’s all mixed in with the good stuff, which makes it hard to know the difference. And to make things even worse, the bad advice often has a kernel of truth hidden somewhere in the middle of all the hype and misrepresentation. But finding the truth is like looking for a needle in a haystack. You practically have to be a mental health professional or a recovering hodophobe to tease it out of all that fodder.

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Showing the light for anxious travelers

Role Models for Anxious Travelers

I just came across this article by Tim Trainor for the East Oregonian. It’s an interview with Roanne Van Voorst, world traveler, anthropologist, risk specialist, public speaker, author, trainer, rock climber, personal coach…well, the list goes on and on. She has fear, or has had it, about all these things, but she doesn’t let it hold her back, and that makes her a good role model for anxious travels.

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We Hodophobes Overestimate Risk

The fears that kept us from hitting the road were way out of proportion to the risks. It’s not that the things we feared could never happen. It’s that the chances they will are far smaller than we imagine them to be. So why are our visions of travel disaster so persistent?

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Inborn traits may the source of your travel anxiety

What Causes Travel Anxiety – Part II

Not long ago, I mentioned that one possible reason for your hodophobia is an insecure attachment style. But it’s also possible that the way you were raised has little to do with your travel fears. Here’s another idea. Maybe you were born that way.

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What Causes Travel Anxiety – Part I

To travel is to be a stranger in a strange land. We may be calling your fears about this illogical today, but even though they’re out of proportion to risk, in fact they’re perfectly natural. Humans are designed to fear unfamiliar people. They’re designed to fear unfamiliar surroundings.

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