Now she's living Up North and blogging at This City Life, she kindly agreed to guest post whilst we're recovering over the New Year period.
Travel’s made me fearless.
I’m a scaredy cat, through and through. I rarely do anything without listing the pros and cons first, don’t have the stomach for exotic foods, and think those who enjoy skydiving are seriously underestimating how great sitting down is. But, thanks to travel I have managed to grow a (small) pair in the name of getting out there and putting myself in situations I normally wouldn’t. Here are some of the ways that travel’s made me fearless.
Trekking America with strangers
Social anxiety since childhood has made making friends seriously difficult. I’ve got better since being that blushing 15 year old who wouldn’t go into a shop alone and never answered the phone, but some things still put me on edge. So when me and my husband signed up for a Trek America tour with 12 strangers, I spent the flight there petrified about socialising with new people.
We were about to spend 24 hours a day with total strangers, travelling in a mini van. I didn’t have enough chat! I wasn’t cut out for this kind of close social environment! What was I doing?! It took a couple of days to settle in and plenty of campfire games, but by the end of the trek we were all best mates. I went home pleased as punch that I’d survived group travel and pretty positive that I could handle a solo trip in the future.
Walking along the Caribbean ocean
You could say the reason I’m not the first to sign up for ‘dangerous’ activities is because I’m always What Iffing. What if it goes wrong? What if I get ill? What if I panic and pass out? Always thinking about the worst possible outcome, just in case.
When we visited Aruba for a couple of weeks, one of the excursions was to a little activity island with a water park and scuba diving. I wasn’t ready for scuba, so opted to try Sea Trekking instead – walking along the seabed with a diver’s helmet on and having a little cuddle with some of the fish.
It was another situation where I stared at the safety waiver, gulped and just signed the hell out of it. The safety talk that mentioned ‘the bends’ scared me again, but once I got 20ft down and set eyes on a real parrotfish, all was forgotten.
Climbing a bloody massive rock
Adding to the never-ending list of things I’m scared of – heights. One bad experience on the roof of St Pauls Cathedral and suddenly I’m finding stairs difficult.
When we booked our honeymoon to Sri Lanka, I immediately started researching loads of awesome things to do, and one thing that kept popping up was Sigiriya Rock. It’s a rock leftover from a volcanic eruption than an ancient prince attempted to build a palace on the top of. The climb involves walking up a metal staircase that is literally bolted onto the side of the rock.
I know, it doesn’t sound cool does it. But so many people told me I had to do it. So, on the day I just found myself going for it. When was I ever going to get the chance to do this again? How could I go back home and tell people I was too scared to climb a boulder? And it was so worth it for views like this one. Unforgettable.
I think that Charley is amazing, and has done so much I would NEVER, EVER be able to bring myself to do. Thank you for guest posting lovely! Go read more of Charley's adventures - seriously - to give you an idea these are some of her passions;
I heart: Rich tea biscuits, shoes, dinosaurs, turtles, watching the rain from inside, tropical storms, Grandma’s shortbread, the front seat on the top deck of a bus.
I dislike: Elvis impersonators, owls, spelling mistakes, red onions, internet arguments, anything low-fat, waiting for trains.
Do you find travel makes you fearless?