April 18, 2022
Fear of the Unknown: A Travel Obstacle Big People Can Conquer
Tiny ass airplane seats, impatient people boarding the plane, chub rub from all the walking, the travel industry isn’t easy on big people. The hardest obstacle doesn’t have anything to do with seat sizes or physical things. The hardest obstacle big people have when we travel is our own fear of the unknown.
Fear is a bitch. Everybody has some kind of fear of the unknown. It can be paralyzing, especially for big people taking a trip. Being a big person who travels a lot, I get it.
There’s a ton of information all over the internet on conquering fear. Most of it is bull. Seriously. Hell, fear has kept mankind alive for thousands of years. We weren’t running from saber tooth tigers out of curiosity. We were scared shitless and ran. That same fear pushed mankind to figure out some things. Like how to make fire. Build shelter. Make communities. All the things that make it where we don’t have to run our ass off from wild animals.
Fear is good, but you’ve got to control it. All too often we let our fears control us. The key to overcoming any travel obstacle you’ve ever faced is to turn that fear into excitement. I’m not saying you need to go out and bungee jump off a bridge. I’m talking about a state of mind. Check out some ways you can start moving your fear meter closer to the side of excitement.
The Elephant in The Room
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Body shaming. Travel makes us big people have to get in, out and through tight places that skinny people stroll through like a Sunday afternoon. Some people can be jerks about it too. The passive-aggressive comments. The looks. You know the drill.
Step one is admitting it’s there. Own it. Some people are going to think and react to you being big. Part of the fear of the unknown is what people will think. No matter how hard you try, some people won’t think differently. More important is that it’s out of your control. What is in your control is how you look at it. Why let other people’s phobia hold you back from stepping into the unknown of travel?
How you look at yourself makes a big difference. Years of giant posters of chiseled Calvin Klein models in our face doesn’t help. We might think, “damn, if that’s the definition of sexy, what the Hell am I?” First of all, that stuff isn’t even real. Most of those models are airbrushed all to Hell. Second, why compare yourself? Everybody is different. If we were all the same shapes, sizes, personalities, it would be a boring place to live here on earth.
Step two is being easy on yourself. All that pressure to be a certain size or look is in your head. You offer something to the world no one else can — you. Own it! Be you in all your glory.
The Downward Spiral
Fear is only a problem when you let it take hold. When that “what if” scenario drags your brain through the mud. Like “what if” I go on this hike and twist my ankle. Then someone would have to help my big ass back down the trail. If this is the way you think you’ll never leave the house, never-mind a badass travel experience.
Grab ahold before it gets out of whack. Your imagination can be a dangerous playground. The second you start with the “what if” scenarios, pay attention. Ask yourself, “Is this even real?” No is your answer. It’s all fake scenarios you’re dreaming up in your head to talk yourself out of doing something new. Call bullshit when your brain tries to roll down the “what if” lane. It’ll help stop the downward spiral before it starts.
Stop holding back. For real. The biggest obstacle any of us have is a fear of the unknown. We’re so quick to doubt our own ability we miss opportunities. It’s in your control to stop the cycle. The next time you feel the butterflies brewing, don’t ignore them. Face it head-on. Not only will you surprise yourself, but you’ll also start to attract what you want in all areas of your life.
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.