You’re listening to Art of the Unknown, a podcast about traveling inwards, outwards and onwards.
Hello and welcome to episode numero tres of the podcast. In this episode I’m going to be talking about some pre departure thoughts what that means and kinda what it feels like. So in this episode I’m going to be talking about traveling but I’m kinda talking about long term traveling meaning that you depart in a way that you need to make some kind of change some kind of sacrifice or some kind of adjustment in your life in order to accommodate your trip. so when we talk about stepping into the unknown, I think that traveling and stepping out into the world physically is a great example of just fully embracing yourself in the unknown and kinda just throwing yourself out into the universe and just kinda letting the universe be your guide. so sometimes the hardest part about traveling no matter for how long or to where or for whatever other reason sometimes the hardest part about traveling is making the actual decision to leave. It’s not actually packing your bags or walking onto a plane the hardest part can be making the decision in your mind to go. it’s making the choice to step out completely into the unknown and be okay with it. Making that decision to leave means that you are giving up your life as it currently is. You’re giving up the life that you have right now no matter how long it took you to build. And its deciding not to focus on what you’re leaving behind or giving up or changing or sacrificing it’s instead having the ability to focus on where you’re going but also being able to focus on kind of who you want to be in a sense. Traveling is the perfect example of stepping out into the unknown because it is a physical manifestation of uncertainty. Getting off a plane somewhere not having any idea where anything is you don’t even speak the language you have no clue maybe sometimes where you are, I mean hopefully you will because you’ll be looking at a map but either way it’s as if everything around you has changed and everything around you you just it’s new it’s exciting I mean it’s unknown but it’s exhilarating which is why you wanna travel in the first place.
So making that decision, yes it’s difficult but it’s not that hard because you already have the desire to go you already know what you want you already know that where you are right now isn’t it’s not the end of the story, you know that there is more out there for you. so knowing that and having the desire to go and travel what is keeping you from doing it. Why wouldn’t you make that step? why wouldn’t you take that leap? And why wouldn’t you just go into the direction of what feels right and the simple answer to that question unfortunately is fear. and it’s not just fear sometimesit’s maybe a little bit of I don’t wanna say ignorance or hmm lack of confidence I wanna say that sometimes we cloud our minds with reasons why we shouldn’t do something but also worse we cloud our minds with reasons why we cannot do something. so it’s basically our mind or whatever aspect of the mind you think that is the ego whatever I don’t care whatever it is it is convincing you to not go, to stay safe, to not do things that scare you for whatever reason. I don’t even know why, but all I do know is that you can’t always believe everything you think. Okay, the mind isn’t always right, the mind will definitely lie to you. The mind will tell you things to keep you still to keep you stagnant to keep you from moving forward. Why I don’t know I just know that is what it does sometimes. so I can I can say that we’ve established that the desire to travel is there but the hard part is going to be acting on it. it’s going to be deciding that you are going to do it and with that decision you are not going to let anything or anyone else stop you from doing what you want to do, including, including yourself. Yes, it sounds simple but it is not easy. The desire the desire is there is no question but so are the fears so are the reasons why you can’t do it and then so are even other people around you convincing you that its scary the places you wanna go are not safe or that you shouldn’t go or you shouldn’t do it or maybe you should do it later but at the end of the day it ultimately doesn’t matter if you wanna do something you need to fucking do it there’s, if you don’t do it its just not gonna happen right and yes, I’m not saying it’s so easy to be like okay well I wanna go travel I’m gonna go travel. No, absolutely not it’s hard that’s what I’m saying this, this part right here before you leave that is the hardest part that is a part that once you recognize why it’s hard then maybe you can remove the barriers which prevent you from doing so.
So in regards to this trip I would say it took me a little bit longer than it should have to actually want to get up and do it. I could honestly say that I did procrastinate just a little bit in terms of this trip. I had the desire to really go and I really considered it about a year ago but I honestly just kept on putting it off. I convinced myself that it wasn’t the right time that maybe I should wait or you know what its honestly like it’s just too much work and it’s yeah. It’s just to much work to get all the way to Athens Greece. Athens is pretty far, you know Sarah, that’s like you do a lot in order to get there it’s not that simple. So of course I’m listening to myself and eventually a year kinda just creeps on by and it’s like oh well I haven’t left yet and if I keep giving into these habits of thought and of action of compliance it can go on forever it can go on to the fact that Ihave never leave the country again just because I’m giving into these thoughts that I’m having that don’t really serve me any purpose. Ultimately they’re not doing me any favors they’re just keeping me still they’re keeping me in a place that I guess the mind thinks is physically safe. and that the ind thinks is a good place for me. I could see that because being where you are you are there so you are pretty sure that where you are right now is in fact safe. Like me, right now I am recording this inside of a closet and I’m pretty sure that I feel safe but when I think about maybe say the fact that I’m going to be going to you know turkey in a month, that kinda, that kinda scares me a little bit. that scares me in a sense that I don’t know whats in Turkey I don’t know what’s going on there I don’t know how I’m gonna get from point a to point b. I don’t know who’s gonna be around me and I don’t know if I’m gonna be safe and I mean these are practical very practical and real world concerns that I’m having but at the same time its its still uncertain it’s still the unknown. you can create as many horrible situations as you want and by focusing on those then yeah then maybe you’re gonna convince yourself not to go there but then yo can also focus on the hundreds of millions of situations no matter where in the world you are that have always worked out and that have been fine but like no body has talked about because they’re just kinda normal right so it is depending it does it depend depend on where you wanna place your mind but regardless it it is a scary thing to wanna take the comfort of your own home and totally wipe that clean and just put yourself out into the world and step into the world alone and by yourself and just try to work your way through it. it’s not easy its really not.
My last little backpacking adventure I left for south America for I wanna say five months. I was going by myself I booked a one way ticket from LAX to Lima ,Peru and I can tell you straight up the week before I left I was having a straight up panic attack, like a week long panic attack. It was horrible I was like Sarah you’re crazy what’re you doing you’re gonna get robbed you’re gonna get killed like you should not be doing this you’re going to a foreign country you have no idea where you’re where you’re what you’re gonna do even what direction you are gonna head once you get there. you know absolutely nobody in that country and you know what, yes I freaked the fuck out before, the week before, the week before. I even considered canceling my trip but of course my ego was like no Sarah you can’t, you can’t quit your job and then walk back in a week later after everyone was like oh my god bye have fun and then come back a week later and be like I’m not going I chickened out. absolutely not so no just because I’m stubborn and I guess my ego is too, there was no fucking way I was going to do that, the only option I had was to get on that plane no matter how scared I was no matter how much I didn’t wanna do it but in those moments of fear it didn’t even matter because ultimately deep down I knew that this is what I wanted and even deeper further deepdown I knew that if Im so much afraid I’m so terrified of this, it means in a way that it’s something that I need to do. I’ve known people that have gone backpacking alone in South America, I’ve known people that go backpacking all over the world alone. its nothing new it was new for me that’s why i was fucking scared but but it it wasn’t anything that wasn’t done before so that kinda just reminded me that Sarah you can do this you can definitely do this. it’s okay to have that fear but it is not okay to act on that fear it is not okay to live in that place of fear and it is definitely not okay to revolve your life around avoiding fear. Absolutely not.
Being afraid, being afraid is not the problem being afraid is completely normal excuse me like you are leaving the country you are going to a fucking separate part of the world where you know absolutely no one. Like of course that’s scary, that is completely one hundred percent that is completely fine you need you should be scared. If you’re not scared then maybe you’re just a little bit crazy so fear fear fear my darling fear is not the problem. The problem is letting the fear control you. The problem is letting the fear make the decision for you and the problem is wanting so deeply to do something but then letting fear stop you. That is the problem, it’s not the fear itself, it’s the fact that its stopping you from doing and having and being what you want and what you know you can be. So everything I kind of consider you know uh should I do this should I do that should I take a backpacking trip that is totally how I think to myself um haha I am always reminded of Tracy Chapmans song “Fast cCar” where she say s leave tonight or live and die this way. I think that hit me very deeply because its so incredibly true. either you are gonna do what you want and you are gonna fucking leave and you’re gonna do it fucking right here, right now no waiting no excused if not now when right either you’re gonna do it or you’re not and you’re gonna live and die this way you’re gonna live and die in the exact same spot because you cause you made the decision not to change and not to push yourself and not to leave and not to grow. I found this to be so inspirational because to me it meant you are okay with the way that things are and if so then you need to be okay with the possibility of them staying that way forever or if you’re not okay with the way things are then you need to leave you need to change you need to make that decision and start taking action right fucking now. Make that decision and move the fuck on okay, okay? Because if you’re not gonna do it now then when whenever you feel like getting around to it whenever the opportunity just so beautifully presents itself to you which could happen but at the same time it’s up to you to make the effort to move and make that decision to go. so if you’re not gonna go not gonna do it how much longer are you going to put it off for? months year lifetimes I mean who knows that why when it says leave tonight or live and die this way usually if you’re not gonna make the decision now because the now is like all the little hippies say now is all we have, which I guess is true because you’re only in the now so if you’re not gonna make that decision now then you’re not ever gonna make it even after you make that decision to go here comes the ego and fear again they come creeping back in and try to just keep you from moving forward.
Hmm because that all too common question comes up what will I do when I come back? and this is a question that unfortunately is very is a very practical question but I feel like can lead down some very constricting roads so personally there was a little internal battle of what I should do what will I do when I come back and the question wasn’t um when do I leave? The question soon became how do I leave how many ties do I actually cut how many ties are needed for the price of freedom so the questions that I was kinda grappling with was well do I move out of my place do I keep it where am I gonna live when I come back am I gonna have a job when I come back. there are just so many different questions that needed to be answered or do I just say fuck it. I know its not just me but there’s other questions that other people have to face when they are trying to leave like oh do I quit my job do I end this relationship do I get rid of all my stuff do I sell my car do I move here do I move there so yes these are all very practical questions and they are questions that need to be answered but I’m gonna tell you how I got through my questions and I did so because I had the intention of really, I really wanted to answer these questions without making the decision based on fear. I wanted to answer these questions without playing it safe because let’s say I’m afraid to let go of something so yes I get it you can be scared you can question yourself but that is part of the process. So instead of focusing on the worst case scenario or circumstance that hasn’t even happened yet instead focus on the self confidence and the strength that you already possess because you know that’s there. Everything else you don’t even know that’s there or what’s gonna happen, it’s all different questions, so as long as you have that stability within yourself baby it’s gonna be reflected out into the world because everything within is reflected back out I guess the question is by deciding not to go by deciding not to travel I guess is that what you are doing are you letting fear hold you back.
That is the question you need to answer and if so are you okay with it because that that is the question and that is what you are going to have to live with. Are you okay with the fact that you prevented, only you, are you okay with the fact that you prevented yourself from doing something you wanted because you were afraid. That is the question and the answer is something you have to live with. so yes sacrifices have to be made, things will be lost things, will change but you are getting so much more in return by doing so, everything must end, especially what lies within those uncomfortable walls you have built. the question is how long do you wanna live inside those walls, and I’m telling you I’m fucking over living inside that shit right now I kinda just wanna leave so yeah I am in a place where I’m getting ready to leave on this journey this backpacking adventure but I’m just saying that you know what it’s scary it’s emotional so pre-departure thoughts stepping into the unknown physically. But baby you’re gonna figure it out, you’re gonna cross that bridge so well when you get there.
Released: October 10, 2016
Recorded: Oxnard, California