Buying meat pies in Belize City, Belize

This video Q&A is a part of a series: Our Video Responses to 55 of YOUR Questions.

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Question: How do you overcome the fear of traveling to countries that are so different?


When we thought about driving (for the first time) to Costa Rica from the United States in 2007, WE WERE TERRIFIED!

We were certain we would get robbed, maybe murdered...

Was there even a road that went all the way to Costa Rica?

As we did more research, and then eventually gained the courage to try it ourselves, we learned that most of our fears were based on ignorance and a lack of viable information.

If you are afraid of visiting a place, there are few things you can do:

  1. Analyze what your fears are, and where they come from (media, family, friends, etc.)
  2. Analyze the source - do they have first-hand experience? Do they have another motive? (bad news sells)
  3. Do your own research, talking to people, reading books or blogs, of people that have actually been (and have the right attitude)
  4. Go for it. The best way to overcome fear is to do the thing you're afraid of

How have you overcome fear about traveling some place?



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8 Responses

  1. Carol

    Good to “see” you two…you are looking GREAT! Love and miss you!
    You have come a long way, baby!

  2. Holly

    I love what you said about prejudices. My husband tells this story way better, but I’ll give it a shot. We were on a bus in Nicaragua, traveling from Granada to San Jorge. The passengers on this bus were more diverse than the NYC subway. We try, like everyone, not to be judgmental, but sometimes the 30+ years of American conditioning takes over.

    Halfway through the trip, the bus stopped and new passengers got on. We recall seeing a young man, in his 20s with tattoos all over his face and neck. I’m sure we subconsciously avoided eye contact and clutched our bags, probably while staring, but trying to look like we’re not staring. The trip continued for about another hour and as we approached our final destination, the bus stopped and nearly half of the passengers got off. I asked the old man in front of us if this was our stop. He very passively answered no and told us via his body language not to ask him again.

    The bus made a few more stops and each time my husband and I looked at each other like, “is this it?”. We were about ready to just get off and figure it out from there when the young tattooed man came up to us and said your stop is next. The bus stopped, my husband jumped out the back and I handed him our bags, and like a gentleman he helped me get off of the bus. It’s kind of an embarrassing, yet heartwarming story all at the same time.

    Before we left on our trip to Nicaragua, all of our friends and family were sure we wouldn’t come back alive. When we came back, everyone was very curious about our trip and waiting to yell, “I told you so.” We told everyone how kind, generous and beautiful the people of Nicaragua were, especially the young man with the tattoos.


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