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.
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