Disclaimer: This post will be the least religious, most basic intellectual deconstruction you’ll find on this topic!
A frequent post which appears in BootsnAll’s Around the World and Vagabonding Travel forum is the one where the future traveler starts to feel anxiety around his or her long term journey. Usually, they post a message a few weeks or days prior to departure, stating how nervous (yet excited) they feel. In response, veteran trampers write words of encouragement to nudge them past their fears. For the past year or so, I’ve responded by saying I can’t wait to have that feeling, and be the person posting about it. In actuality, I’ve already started to experience it.
In less than 6 months, at age 31, I’m going to quit my job of 5 years, sell or donate almost all my possessions, and get on a plane to fly half way around the world, with only a backpack, some money, and my wits to sustain me for months, if not years. If I hadn’t been interacting with so many others who have or are already doing it, I’d think I were crazy!
In many ways, this plan is very NOT me. My family brought me up to get good grades in school so I could get into a good college. Do well in college, then get a job and start a career, and family, which results in buying a house and having kids (grandchildren for my parents). Then the cycle starts over again with the new generation of Lee’s. As you can tell by now, I took an offramp from this traditional road, though it doesn’t mean I’m not scared at times about it!
And this brings me to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In the third installment, Indiana is on a quest for the Holy Grail. As he draws closer, he’s faced with three tests. When my nerves start to fester about my upcoming trip, I recall Indy’s third test, the Leap of Faith, where he comes across a bottomless canyon which he must cross. The problem? There is no visible bridge for him to use. What is our hero to do?
Indiana Jones steps out into the void on faith, not reason. To his surprise, and ours in the audience, a bridge did exist, though camouflaged with the canyon walls and only visible once the camera pans to a perpendicular view.
So when my reasoning turns to anxiety, like Indiana Jones, I remind myself to have a little faith…in myself…my fellow travelers…and the locals of each country I will visit.