Deep breaths. That has pretty much been on constant repeat inside my head for the past couple of weeks as today approached. “I don’t want to go, I’ve changed my mind” has also been said out loud more than once. Despite bubbling anxiety and more than a few sleepless nights, I boarded my plane today knowing, I got this.
That’s the thing about facing your fears. It is totally fine to have them, even braver to admit you do. It is whether you succumb to hiding in your comfort zone or push past that niggling voice in your own head reminding you one more time you can’t do this. Actually, I can. I know it.
Maybe I am lucky to have faced more than my fair share of personal challenges which has given me that inner strength even when I don’t feel it, I know it is there.
At one of my many farewell dinners I commented, I hope I make it. To which my friend replied, are you worried you won’t, like mentally it will get too much? No, nope, definitely not, was my immediate response. I was in fact talking about my fear of major mechanical failures. But my total lack of hesitation in my answer surprised myself. I guess I know deep down I will have no choice but to deal with whatever comes my way as it happens, but I certainly don’t have that level of confidence in my every day life.
It has made me sit back and objectively question why that voice in my head has been making so much noise, doing it’s upmost to convince me this is at best foolish and at worst the most ridiculous idea I have had to date (I’ve had many before this one). On some level it is of course self-preservation. Riding motorcycles is a dangerous thing to do no matter where you are in the world. However, I suspect it is much more likely that the voice in my head usually has the floor to speak its thoughts and make them mine so often that my inner strength over-powering those doubts even if only sub-consciously for now, is going to take some getting used to.
I have had an amazing amount of support as I planned this journey. When I say plan, I mean throw a few things together and wait to leave. However, at the same time a good number of people immediately projected their own fears on to me at the mere thought of travelling the world alone on the back of a motorcycle. ‘I could never do that’ has been a fairly common response. That’s ok, I’m not asking you to!
I am asking you to stop and think though. Next time someone tells you about something that makes you feel scared or uncomfortable try not to immediately relay your own fears onto them. A person, who I am sure is being brave and pushing past theirs. Think about why they might be doing it and be the cheerleader you know you would want for yourself when you take the first step towards getting out of your own comfort zone.
With that, to everyone who has already cheered me on and continues to do so, thank you.