The difference between being fearless and being brave.
Most of you came for the 411 on coronavirus and air travel, and I’ll get there. COVID aside, is it ever “safe” to travel? I get this question all of the time about almost everywhere. Is it safe to travel to Chicago? Is it safe to travel to Bogota? Where is the safest place to visit in Europe? Is my home town of Kansas City safe? Depends on what your idea of safe is and right now people are extra concerned about their health, and not their actual safety so I thought I would dive into the original meaning behind the question.
Asking this question over and over will kill any experience you’re wishing to have when it comes to traveling. Is anywhere truly “safe?” A fearless person dives into the unknown and uncertainty with confidence knowing there are risks in everything we do and everywhere we go, and maybe by default you believe bad things won’t happen to you, but you’re at least aware and you go anyway. Don’t stop yourself from trying new things or places because of fear. Do them all anyway because that’s what you want to do. I’d like to address I’m aware that being fearless might come easier when we’re young and naive.
I’ve gone by myself to Bogota, Colombia with hardly any cash and cell reception, and with a friend. I walked the streets of New York City at night by myself. I lived in an “up and coming” neighborhood in Chicago and took the train at questionable hours by myself. Being fearless allowed me to have experienced the thrill of Time Square lights at night, or the views of Mount Monserrate in Bogota, Colombia or taken the chance of moving to a big city like Chicago.
To answer the question, no. Nowhere is safe and to think otherwise you’re choosing to be vulnerable. Maybe your house in the suburbs is safe because it’s a gated community and you’re on the neighborhood watch squad and the cops only get called when I sneak a swim in your pool after midnight, I mean, someone sneaks a swim in your pool after midnight. By some extent that is safe. I live on the Country Club Plaza in a nice secure building with a beautiful view, a mile away from Mission Hills and multi-million dollar homes and I feel safe. My vehicle was still stolen a block away from my building and there is unreported crime every day throughout the city. Nowhere is safe.
Two VERY long, animated stories, short. I was pickpocketed in Bogota and a gun was held to me in Chicago. I always thought I was too prepared NOT to get my shit stolen. My phone was in my bra and my money in my waistband. Literally, try me. The phone went in my pocket for two seconds after a photo I took to use my hand to handle cash fr a coffee and it was gone. I was being watched. The gun incident in Chicago was by a well dressed, young amateur robber I kind of trusted, I even spoke to him before he turned on me and held what I assumed were his fingers under his shirt to imitate a gun, until he pulled out a real gun. The man got nothing from me, try harder, and maybe the details of that are good for another story so pay attention to the gram.
Being brave is experiencing risk first-hand or knowing loved ones that have experienced unsafe aspects of travel and choosing to keep living and doing all of those things you want to do and see anyway. That is being brave. I still travel to these same places I had bad experiences in and I will always encourage people to do so also.
Being fearless is how you handle the unknown. Being brave is how you handle fear of what you do know. Do you consider yourself either of these? I’d love to hear about what makes you fearless or what makes you brave, travel related or not.
As far as COVID and if it is safe to travel this summer, wear a mask. Wash your hands. Or don’t travel at all. It’s very simple.
If I can add one thing as someone who is constantly encouraging people to get out there and see this big juicy world, it’s this: After six years of seasoned travel, mostly solo, and as a female who considers herself both fearless and brave… I almost always have to convince myself to leave the damn hotel room.
“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”
View more of Jaclyn Heupel’s Travel Blog @ BoogieFlights.com