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What’s there to be afraid of?

Remember how some dude said something about “the only thing to fear is fear itself?” (I’m being intentionally glib, fyi, so don’t give me too much trouble.) Well, today I actually thought about what that means. Why? I’ll tell you.

Early this morning I left the comfort of my Tel Aviv flat and took a bus to Jerusalem. I grabbed a bagel & cream cheese and then hopped on my tour with Breaking the Silence to the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank. I’ll upload photos and video from the tour and share them later (it’s important for people to see), but one thing that our tour guide said resonated with me. It’s to do with fear. And its many uses and powers.

Fear and Life

Over the past few months I’ve definitely grown as a person. I’ve probably regressed a little, too, but that’s another story. I’ve been afraid of a lot of things in my life. I’ve let many of these fears control my life for a long time. It’s taken me a while to grow up and grow out of some of them, but now I’m much less likely to let the fear of something affect my life. I’m in complete and total control of my life right now with very few commitments (oh! that’s another fear of mine!) and I’ve been able to break out of my comfort zone.

Fear has too much power. We need to step up, step away and allow ourselves to be free. We need to remember that the only thing to fear is, in fact, fear itself. What else is there to be afraid of?

We cannot allow fear to control our lives. Especially when it trickles down from the top. Especially when its put into place for political, almost Orwellian motives.

I admit I haven’t seen many of the things that others have seen. I know I’m living in a Tel Avivian bubble, but there is just too much irrational fear based on old standards and bad history. And too many people let these irrational fears control them, their lives and their neighbors’ lives. This is wrong.

You absolutely must not be unnecessarily afraid. Once you lose the fear, you are free.

  1. Stephanie says:

    Well said Adam! I was at the Meet Plan Go even last night talking to tentative travelers, and I think that fear is something that holds a lot of people back and keeps them unhappy. I won’t speak to the political side of that except to say that it is often in the governments best interest to keep people afraid and immobile.

    Travel is a powerful antidote for that.

  2. Jaime says:

    This is a great post. Its fear and our minds that screw with us the most. I just try not to think to much about it, cus its when you do that we allow fear to control our actions!

  3. Kristian says:

    Totally agree with this post. Reminds me of the quote: “Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for the past and fear of the future”. When I get into the ‘travel zone’ or whatever you want to call it, it feels so damn liberating.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As many times as I’ve heard that phrase, I still let fear control me from time to tim. Getting out of my comfort zone is one of my goals for traveling.

    • Adam says:

      I think you’ll find it’s rather easy to escape from your comfort zone when traveling. But telling yourself to not be afraid is challenging.

  5. the destination india says:

    great! nice write up.

  6. Jade says:

    I agree with you, Adam. We can’t let fear hold us back from achieving goals and experiencing life. But at the same time, I think some fear is good. For me, knowing and accepting my fears pushes my boundaires and keep me alert. Plus, when I do overcome them- I feel really powerful!

    • Adam says:

      Yes, some fear probably is good. You’re right that it can drive a certain type of person to push his or her boundaries. If only we were all so brave!

  7. I conquered a huge fear when I decided to travel alone. In fact, I conquered more than one fear with that choice and action. The first fear was actually making the decision to travel alone. The second was traveling alone. The third was actually making friends on the way. Great post!

    • Adam says:

      Sarah, excellent summary of your fears for traveling alone. I pretty much did the exact same three things! And then I conquered a handful more once I decided to travel a bit slower and stay in Tel Aviv for a few months….

  8. Nicole Tedesco says:

    I just found your writing through “Recommended Sources” in Google Reader… loving it!

    The more I travel and the more I experience, the more I understand that fear truly exists only in my mind. It’s great to see that others are in the same place. :-)

    I’m headed to Israel in December–can’t wait to see your reflections on your Hebron tour.

    • Adam says:

      Hi Nicole,
      Thanks for finding me! I didn’t know Google Reader loved me because I pretty much abandoned it once I started traveling :/

      Fear definitely exists in the mind more often than in life. While I do think there are some very legitimate concerns, we shouldn’t let fear run our lives.

      And my Hebron post will be up soon – as soon as I find a way to transfer a video from my slowly dying camera….

  9. Jason says:

    Well said Adam. There is no doubt that many people live in fear of the unknown, and I agree that Governments from all corners of the world constantly press this fear upon us, through the media. Travel is constantly brought into this realm by the issue of security advice and alerts, that constantly add to this fear. There is no doubt that certain area’s of the world at particular times are quite dangerous to visit, and yes these area’s should come with warnings, but blanket statements covering complete countries (or cities) are ridiculous at times.

    • Adam says:

      It’s a complicated affair, Jason. But generally speaking (and that’s what I was trying to say in this post) is we’re more afraid than we need to be.

  10. […] a political perspective, I’ve covered the nature of fear and its affect on people, and the responsibility of travelers to Israel to know that their travels do have an […]

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