“During these travels, I’ve done a lot of things that, upon the re-telling, cause people to look at me aghast. Hitchhiking? Yup. Staying with strangers? Yup. Hiking in incredibly rural mountains, sans guide? Yup. Not booking a place to stay ahead of time? Yup. Sleeping in bus stations? Yup. And I’ve been to places that cause people to shrink back: Burundi, the deadly mines of Potosí, even Siberia. But you know, many of these experiences have been the most rewarding and revealing.
The next comment I get is, “wow, you’re incredibly brave!” Here’s the thing: I’m not. Here’s the extra thing: I’m far from it; I’m anxious. As in, clinically anxious. There are things that scare me that shouldn’t, and I have the capacity to worry myself literally crazy. And it’s not as if my travels are absent of worries. But I’ve realized that the things many people worry about are misguided. So I go on and do my travel thing.”
I am now writing a travel advice column over at The Beautiful Wild Magazine! Check out the intro and the answer to my first reader question, on traveling with student debt. If you’re curious about how I’ve done what I’ve done after reading any posts on here, ask away! I’ll do my best to dispense good advice in my articles over there.