Far from brave

I’m always embarrassed -and at times, a little worried- whenever friends and family members (usually older women) tell me how brave I am to go off and travel by myself. I cringe when they say things like that because courage or bravery has nothing to do with it.

What comes across as bravery is nothing more than wanting something really badly, setting out to do it and preparing for it. It’s a terrible cliche, but I’m a bundle of nerves every time I go off somewhere new. I worry about slipping and falling to my death while hiking (I have wonky feet), I worry about hurting my back (that’s wonky, too) and the thought of being assaulted or robbed scares me like crazy (as the title of this blog suggests, I have short legs and can’t run very fast).

That is not how a brave person thinks.

So in order to ‘make’ myself brave, I read as much as I can about the country or city I’m going to, which is actually what every traveller does. I do this so that I won’t be fumbling through any maps at the airport- I’ll already know which train to take into the city, where to take it and how much it costs. If I have to get down at a train station, I’ll know exactly how to get to my hotel so that I won’t look nervous or lost and become an easy target.

To make sure I don’t hurt my back, I simply don’t carry a heavy rucksack and come equipped with whatever painkillers that are necessary. And what about being robbed and chased? I don’t make it a habit to hang out in dark alleys, which is actually pure common sense.

The idea of taking a taxi alone after dark in a strange city freaks me out, so if I’m going out late, I make it a point to know when the last train or bus leaves. I can’t imagine anything worse than not being able to get back to your hotel at night.

So, yeah. I’m not brave. In fact, I’m a complete scaredy cat.


© 2012 – 2014, Anis. All rights reserved.

You may also like...

5 Responses

  1. I agree with you – I don’t think travelling is about how brave you can be, but instead being able to enjoy the experience.

    Whilst getting bragging rights with dare-devil tales of getting mugged may appeal to some, I don’t think it can have been very much fun for them at the time.

    It pays to know where you’re going, especially as a single gal travelling by herself! So dues to you for admitting that you’re a scaredy-cat… I am too! 😉

  2. Anis says:

    I know what you mean about bragging rights! One of the chapters in ‘Video Night in Kathmandu’ (I think it was the one on Nepal) describes a conversation where everyone’s trying to outdo everyone else with horror stories of being mugged and assaulted and surviving 64-hour bus rides. I’ve met a few people like that!

  3. Exactly – plain weird if you ask me! Where is the fun in that… ? Better be prepared 🙂

  4. aud says:

    Just found your blog 🙂

    I got way too many ‘what?? on your own? are you sure?’ from even my closest friends when I told them I was going to travel solo for a few trips. That was a few years ago. Now it’s ‘going on your own again?’

    I guess I just enjoy my own company more 🙂 plus I get to hog the bed and bathroom. Here’s to ..fearless travels!

  5. Anis says:

    Hi Audrey,

    I agree with you. Tell me about hogging the bathroom!! Nothing like it :). Safe travels always, and thanks for dropping by!