Naysayers Overcoming the doubts
I am writing this piece as a consolation to those experiencing adversity by those whom you ache most for their approval. What do you do with naysayers and how do you overcome the doubts? As I begin to tell those closest to us about our plans to live abroad, we often get mixed responses.
The usual questions are filled with intrigue, excitement, and fear: Why do you want to go away for so long? How will you afford it? Can you travel between countries easily? Are the dogs coming with you?
We try to dispel those fears by explaining that we are saving like mad men and branching into the online workforce. We explain the Schengen Visa and the ease of open borders. We discuss our plans to stopover in the UK, Romania, Moldova, and other countries to oblige by the “90 days over 180 days” rule. And, of course, the pups are coming with us!
If I am being honest, I too worry that we will not have the funds to live abroad for the full time we are planning for. These are normal worries but self-doubt sets in when those dearest to you mirror those fears.
I remind myself that travelers live out these dreams for years on end and we are just as capable.
When asked that first question, “Why travel for that long?” my response is, “Why not?”. I realize this is not the most mature and thought out response, but “why” is hard for me to answer. Why travel? To me that is like saying, why breathe? I breathe because I must to survive. I travel because it is what makes me happiest. I find my TRUEST self on the road and I am the most “Maegan” during the journey. I love languages and new cultures. I love the thrill of new smells, tastes, and sounds. I love conversations held between fellow travelers on the thoroughfare. I love wayfaring and want to experience life lived in other countries. These experiences will shape how I choose to guide my children.
I endeavor to have moments that take my breath away and bring me joy when I reminisce. I yearn for memories that comfort me in my ailing age. I want experiences that open my eyes and transform my thoughts from the shelter of my Southern upbringing.
I want to inspire others to ditch the 9-5 or the “norm”, to follow their hearts, and to create a life they don’t need a vacation from. I want to travel indefinitely, to pave the way for others, and to guide my family out of their comfort zones. Again, I ask, how do I put these emotions into words for someone disapproving. Simply just, “Why not”?
Anger sometimes surfaces stemming from fear, “Ya’ll are going to push your luck and end up in real trouble.” Our response, “We will prepare as much as possible but that is always the risk of travel”. I blame the media and their portrayal of the world through negative imagery, for the insecurities of my fellow Americans.
However, travel does not come without risks or fear. We are not blind to that. If I were to let fear dictate my every move: I would not have left home to go off to college, I wouldn’t have applied to the nutrition program for fear of not being “good enough”, Michael wouldn’t have moved 14 hrs from home at age 19, to be closer to his then girlfriend (aka: me), and we never would have dated, fallen in love, or married for fear of heartbreak and divorce. Surely some of these seem silly, but they were all fears we had along the way.
Our successes did not come without doubts and setbacks. We became homesick, got our hearts broken, and it took me 2 applications to be accepted into the nutrition program. We pushed forward and are where we stand today, despite adversity. Yes, our dream is scary and bigger than anything we have yet striven for.
Michael said it best when addressing our loved ones:
For the ones who feel lost:
“Move”- to be active in a particular sphere.
In our case the sphere will be this gigantic world we live in. We will be “move-ing” from here to become active in the particular sphere called earth. Bounding from place to place with a set destination. A destination unknown to family. Where we hope to share our sights, smells, and other experiences with that family. Sharing those experiences via our blog, videos, phone chats, and hopefully even face to face. Face to face, as in we will be “Move-ing” back (to the USA). But don’t feel settled by that, remember our definition of “Move-ing”. Our definition is different than most. Often we associate “Move-ing” with a changing of permanent residence. We will have no permanent residence. Our residence will be always changing. Changing scenery, faces, and cultures. We will meet more strangers than we ever thought; become friends with more strangers than we ever thought. We will be doing everything our parents taught us not to do as children. We will be greeting strangers. We will become strangers. Strangers to those in these foreign places we visit. Why is it okay for others to be foreigners in our country, but we cannot be foreigners in another country? Is it different? Is it dangerous? Is it scary? Sure. But we will not live in fear. That is not to say we wont be safe. As we have recently found out, no place is safe. We love all our family and wish for positive vibes, prayer and support for our “Move”.
Lastly, what is life if you are not pursuing your dreams and branching away from your comfort zones? Do you want to live your life your way or how someone else wants it to look? Remember your “why” and hold tightly to it when doubts set in. You are capable and deserving of the life you desire. Yes, pay attention to the world news and politics, and avoid “hot spots” for war and strife. Use good judgment and research places BEFORE you board the plane, but never let fear stop you.
Just food for thought on a lazy Sunday. I hope it inspired those of you who needed it and dispelled doubts for others. Beat the naysayers by overcoming the doubts!
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Be well and travel often!
**This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are my own**
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