I have only ever been to two foreign places in my life [Singapore and China] and the former is only a mere fragment of my memory. When I think about it, those memories have merged with a convoluted blur of images hinted from the photographs of the 5 year old me. I don’t remember much.
I’ve never really been committed to making my travel urges become reality and even last year when I finally built up the courage to work my way to the ‘Confirm Tickets to Malaysia and Thailand’ page online, my travel buddy said last minute that he had a bad feeling and the laptop was closed and that was that…
I envy those with a travelled spirit and yet I’m so used to staying at home during the holidays that I’ve just slowly let those dreams slip to the back of my mind. It wasn’t until December last year when a friend made me promise to go to Europe with her in 2016 and it sunk in that I was finally making my first baby steps with travelling. And from that, another trip was planned – Japan and Malaysia in 2015!
What stopped me from booking plane tickets in the past was that I was fearful of feeling like a lost soul in a country where I wouldn’t understand any of the people or the signs. I didn’t like the idea of not having the necessary speech to communicate with others and I also didn’t want a situation where Liam Neeson would have to intervene… Well-travelled friends tell me with a calm and knowing look not to worry because the whole point of going away is to get lost in a completely different setting and to experience all that the world has to offer.
Something that really opened my eyes late last year though was when I played a game at a house party where you needed to write down the first words that came to your mind when you were given a word as a stimulus.
For example, one of the questions was, “What do you think of when you hear the word ‘ocean’?” Look away and do it right now if you’d like and just think of a couple of words without thinking too much.
So apparently, what you associated with this word is your outlook on life. What did you guys think of? When I did this, I wrote down the words:
‘fear, big and crossing.’
And then it hit me. All my life, I have been so scared of SO many things that I never got to go out and experience much at all. This made such an impression on me that quite quickly, one of my New Years Resolutions was ‘to be fearless’ and to not let myself be stopped by something as irrational as fear.
This has resulted in me falling in love with lion imagery and other symbols of strength. My laptop screen saver for a long time was of a lion on my Mac and my most recent phone case is of this gorgeous Aztec lion. At least this goal has been going fairly well so far, I think. I mean I took a dive and started S&S with Robyn, I talk to strangers and in another scenario even got into an argument, something I hardly did before in fear of hurting the other person. But to stand up for yourself and to do things for yourself is one of the basic foundations of being a human with values, and slowly I’m learning to improve my current prototype.
With Japan as my destination in a few handfuls of months, I have made small preparations and it has been so exciting planning the itinerary and learning the language. I mean to get really good at Japanese because I believe how you speak definitely represents your character and I want to be a good character when I’m in Japan (LOL) Anyway, this objective should be relatively easy because thankfully so many people in my life already know Japanese, including Robyn!! Ahh HD’s here we come 🙂
So to wrap it up, I think we should all try to ignore those voices that tell us we can’t do something, because nothing is impossible! Just follow your dreams!
Here’s to new experiences and to be able to speak without barriers!