Top 10 Fears as We Embark on our RTW
My arms are sore right now following the seven immunization shots received yesterday. My pocket is also substantially lighter, as the total cost for my immunizations was close to $3000, with three rounds of rabies shots comprising half of that cost.
Our plan is starting to materialize and I find us wavering between moments of absolute certainty and times of doubt. All normal, I know. I scribble today to capture some of our apprehension. A year from now, will these have been groundless fears? Or intuition about our naïve ignorance? Preparing for my future look-back, here are the top fears I have at T minus 100 days from initial departure:
- Our budget is unrealistic for our desired/expected standard of travel.
- Travel becomes tedious, meaningless, unfulfilling.
- #1 and/or #2 happen. We return to America and find ourselves un-employable.
- We get sick, injured or die. A loved one gets sick, injured, or dies. We are routinely demeaned by gross travel afflictions (worms, lice, dysentery, …).
- Due to #3 or #4, we become a burden on our families or are unable to help family in need.
- Our health suffers from poor nutrition.
- Our fitness suffers from inadequate exercise.
- We lose friends, either because we fail to keep in touch or because our lives diverge to a point where it becomes difficult to relate.
- We struggle to remotely manage our home rental while abroad and, as a result, our income is impacted due to expensive maintenance or excessive periods of vacancy.
- Our belongings – especially identification documents, cash, or cards -- are stolen, lost, or damaged.
As I review this list, I consider that nothing in life is permanent. We will always worry whether or not we have “enough” as we prepare for retirement. Part of our reason for traveling is to learn what “enough” really means. Our careers today are tedious, meaningless, and unfulfilling, so we’re living that reality right now. Our earning potential is peaking and there are no job security guarantees; in a few years, we may be un-employable. While we strive today to maintain good health and fitness, at any time we (or a loved one) could get sick, injured, die or suffer from a humiliating affliction that burdens others. Acquaintances in our lives have always come and gone, but true friends are forever. We have budgeted in advance to accommodate unexpected income disruption. And finally, a fire in our apartment complex could destroy everything we have at any moment.
I guess these fears I’ve listed are not “travel" fears; they are “everyday life" fears. They will be with us whether we stay in Virginia or traverse the globe. Dale Carnegie advises "If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy." Well okay, then!