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The Biggest Reason You Don’t Travel More: Why It Shouldn’t Hold You Back

Now I know there are a bajillion reasons we can all come up with not to travel more. There’s no time. There’s not enough money. You couldn’t find a friend to go with you, so you decided to stick to a staycation instead. But none of these are at the true reason you don’t travel more.

I know because it has blocked me for years from traveling. It’s even blocked me from chasing my dreams and goals in general until now.

The real reason you’re not traveling more is fear.

Trust me, it’s not everyone’s first excuse they throw out when deciding not to travel more. Nobody wants to admit they’re scared. I didn’t want to admit it to myself!

travel more london

Almost not viewing this because I was afraid to fly? I still can’t believe it.

I remember my youth group was going to Colorado to go white water rafting. The trip included a flight. I had never flown before in my life and wasn’t about to start then. So, at 15 years old, I let my fear of flying prevent me from taking the trip, and missed out on all the fun!

At 21, I almost didn’t study abroad. I had never left North America and the prospect of going to another country (let alone another continent!) with only one other person I knew was daunting. I didn’t know the language. Did I mention I was terrified of flying (maybe still am)?? What if I didn’t blend in with the French culture? What if I didn’t make any friends? Honestly, if it weren’t for already having my student visa, a non-refundable plane ticket, and literally everything set-up to study abroad, I’m not sure I could’ve pulled myself together enough to actually go!

But then, the plane took off. I made it safely to France, made amazing friends, took trips all over Europe, and even learned some French. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. AND I ALMOST MISSED IT!

And while yes, I was tight on cash, time, etc., I’ve been short on those things before and still found time to go to concerts. I still had money to buy the newest Kate Spade purse. In other words, if you want something badly enough, you typically make it work. I can’t tell you how many strapped for cash college students (myself once included) who still make ends meet enough to go out Thursday-Saturday nights. Trust me, those aren’t the real excuses. Fear is the real excuse.

travel more chicago

Exploring the museums of Chicago by myself because 1) nobody could go with me, 2) I really wanted to go, and 3) because why not? Overcoming my fear to travel and explore alone makes me feel free.

Why should you stop letting it hold you back and start to travel more?

Because life is a journey. You don’t stop learning after college. It’s a continual process. Maybe you aren’t learning math or science anymore, but you’re learning about culture, about navigating the globe, and most importantly, about yourself. It’s the time to stop living in fear, because that isn’t living. Living is accepting the fear and your reasons for the fear and overcoming it.

Maybe you’re afraid to ask off for more than a week at a time to go on the vacation of your dreams. Maybe you’re afraid to travel solo. Either way, asking your boss (and even yourself) for what you want is a step in the right direction. What do you really want that you aren’t allowing yourself to have?

It’s all about stretching yourself beyond your comfort zone. Are you afraid to ask for more time off of work for that big trip? Start taking steps to build yourself up to ask for the time off. Terrified of traveling solo? Start taking yourself to the movies alone. Or even go to dinner alone. It’s all about baby steps. They seem small now, but once you do these, they are huge milestones that lead you to start feeling comfortable doing bigger things!

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Stretching that comfort zone isn’t one big leap, but rather tiny baby steps.

So with that being said, I challenge you. To stop living in fear. No, don’t jump on a plane tomorrow and go to Thailand. But say hi to someone you’ve never met at a grocery store. High five some strangers. Go grab dinner by yourself and enjoy it! Take the steps today to overcome your fear of travel so tomorrow you’ll be taking those once in a lifetime trips! And who doesn’t love to travel more?

Let me know what you’re doing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone in the comments! I’d love to know! And if you need someone to be that accountability partner for you, please reach out! My email is or Facebook message me!

Have a wanderful day!

2 replies
  1. Gary
    Gary says:

    I totally agree with you Kat. Fear does hold people back. One of the best things I ever did was look past the fear and take a vacation by myself to Sedona, AZ. I highly reccomend that everyone do it at somepoint in your life. There is a part of me now that wants to go somewhere in Asia, but I think there is some fear that holds me back because it is so different than anywhere else I’ve ever been. Thanks for the advice.

    • Kat and a Backpack
      Kat and a Backpack says:

      Aww thank you Gary! And I’m so glad you kicked fear in the face and took yourself on a vacation. You just have to take that approach again when going to Asia. Whenever I look back after doing something that scares me, I realize, “Wow, that wasn’t bad at all!” But start taking steps now to build up that confidence muscle to travel more!


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