If you were to watch me while traveling, I might not seem like the most welcoming of people. My face is stern, or colorfully called Resting Bitch Face by my friends and family (thanks, Dad for that strong jaw line). Mentally, I have a million things going through my mind stand up straight, chest out, arms at your side, eyes up, head up, walk faster, don’t look like you’re lost. I can almost guarantee that 90% of my traveling I rarely know exactly where I am, which I do not recommend. I bounce from one place to another and gravitate to whatever calls out to me, after a few hours I could be 10 to 15 miles away from my starting point. That’s where “fake it till you make it” comes out.
If I am creatively misplaced (never lost), that’s when the mentality of fake it till you make it comes into play. If you start to slow down, look around, pull out Google Maps, starting turning in circles, you are making yourself a clear target. I’m not saying that you will be attacked or that anything will happen to you, but it does scream “Hey, I’m not sure where I am or what any of these places are!” So, what do I do? I walk like there is a bad ass sound track playing; imagine the woman/man who just dropped the match for something to catch fire while they walk away with their back to the fire. Even if every fiber of your being is screaming, don’t let the fear show.
I’ve also received the compliment that I am fearless or “much braver than I ever will be.” Well, my first solo trip I didn’t sleep for three days prior, I was terrified! There were times I would be crying in my hotel room and would wipe my eyes, put on some eye liner, and go right back out to the city. But when it comes to me telling my family and friends about the trip, I make it seem like it was no big deal, because I made it.
Yes, I still get scared obviously. I am afraid the person I am going to go visit will ghost me, I’m afraid I’ll trust the wrong stranger, that I will be stranded, that I will be so focused on traveling that I will lose my roots, that I will be halfway around the world when my family needs me…the list goes on. But each one of us has the choice to fake it and say ‘screw you’ to our fears until we make it or we can be complacent in our ways.