—by Chris Sinclair—
Four months ago, I sat behind computer screen running digital consulting projects for my clients. Deep diving into their business, I would uncover gaps and areas they need to improve and help set them on a path to success. I loved it, I loved my job and loved the people and the company I worked for, I was fortunate.
I had done a small share of travelling before taking this long journey, but never I had I thought to leave my job for an extended period, jump on a plane and start exploring the world beyond a couple of weeks holiday here and there. The idea of it actually gave me anxiety. If you asked anyone close to me, they would tell you I spoke more negatively of adventure to come, than I did positive.
It sounds weird, naive, almost selfish, but I felt this for many reasons.
Firstly, I had a fear of changing scenery impacting my dyslexia. Knowing I would be breaking rhythms and processes I had put in place to help me build confidence in everything I do. I talk a lot about this here.
Secondly was the picture I had of the world. Media would tell me the world is a dangerous place, filled with criminals, terrorist and communists. And while this is true in some areas, the fear that is built up through social media, news and magazines is far from painting an accurate depiction of what the world is actually like.
We just finished our trip through Central and South America, starting from Mexico and working our way down to Brazil. And while we encountered dangers, I can confidently say none of these should ever have faltered how I had initially felt.
On the contrary, the challenges and experiences have been uplifting and reassuring that even breaking rhythms can help improve how I can combat the functions of my mind. I’ve would continuously think through and write out the experiences I’ve had to maintain the structure, and utilised mind app games to keep my head busy. And more exciting for me, putting my thoughts into a blog to share.
What I’ve also learnt is that sometimes you have to take everything you hear as a grain of salt. The barriers we build around ourselves and entrench our lives in, create illusions of distress in life. Most often, painted by the false nature of today’s media. It extends to prove how important it is to do your own research and gain a better understanding of a situation before letting it truly impact your decisions or emotions.
My best example of this was related to Gabby’s and my own desire to visit Brazil. I had heard so many stories of the issues and violence that occurs in this country, particularly in tourist areas. Similarly, I was chatting with a Brazilian friend back home and mentioned I was visiting their homeland. Their response to me was, “why?” And then they continued to list off everything dangerous about it, particularly the tourist areas like Rio. What I didn’t ask in return, was, “what are the good things?” and “how then could I stay safe?” Instead, I focussed on these negative points, and almost convinced myself and Gabby that we shouldn’t go to Brazil.
Needless to say, if I hadn’t had visited Brasil, I never would have known what I missed out on – but current me would scream that I would have regretted it.
There are dangers everywhere you go, even my own country, which I would consider one of the safest places on this Earth. That being said, even just last week, it was uncovered that a tourist had been kidnapped in South Australia. It unfortunately happens.
I now sit on a plane, making my way across Europe, ready to experience a place I am most excited about, Greece. But I travel with a new appreciation after coming from the Americas. It’s not one of being fearless. Please don’t misconstrue my newfound appreciation for the world as one of being fearless, it doesn’t matter where you go, you should always be cautious and aware. Instead, it is one of excitement and challenge, an open mind to understand and appreciate what the world has to offer, and how amazing every culture is, both positive and negatives.
Central America, it was the land and nature. In South America, it was the people and culture. Most notably, my appreciation for even the roughest parts of the world, people are still smiling and welcoming (check out my story on the Brazilian Favelas here).