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Why I Travel on My Own With a Disability

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“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear” — Nelson Mandela

While I’ve been traveling, I’ve noticed many people are amazed that I’m traveling on my own. Here’s why I do it and why I believe if you can, you should do it at least once.

Have you ever been so scared you didn’t do something? And then not felt any satisfaction afterwards? How about doing something even when it scares the s*** out of you, and then feeling unstoppable once you have done it? I want the feeling of invincibility.

As long as I remember, I’ve been doing things that have scared me. Pushing up in front of the class to introduce myself in the 13 or 15 different schools I went to growing up, going out in public, hitting the dance floor at a nightclub, going swimming and everyone seeing my chicken legs, traveling with no one to help. I’m always scared. The difference is that the feeling that comes after conquering something that scares you has replaced the fear. For me, fear is now associated with confidence and succeess.

Being in my present moment is how my fear is transformed into mental invincibility. Lessons are learned from experience; experience comes from putting yourself in experience’s way. If comfort is presented in front of me, it is hard not to take that option. I could travel with my best friend and not speak to the person next to me on the plane. I could stay in hotels and not speak to the person sleeping above me. I could drive myself and not be picked up by a stranger with an amazing story… but where’s the fun in that.

Now next time something comes up that scares you — dancing when people can see you, showing someone a talent for the first time, sharing how you actually feel, connecting with a stranger — bring yourself into the moment and do it.
Let me know how you get on and whether you felt like you died, or felt like you just lived.

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Photo by contributor.

Originally published: July 24, 2017
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