People always ask me “but, aren’t you afraid? Aren’t you afraid to travel? Afraid to travel on your own as two girls? Aren’t you afraid of the terrorists?” These questions get thrown around in nearly every conversation concerning our plans for this year and the years gone past. I had never thought of it. I had never thought to be afraid of any of these things. The world is a pretty amazing vehicle for fearless adventure once you get to know it. Amelia and I have travelled to 25 countries together over the past 3 years, in Africa, Europe and Asia. We have swam in shark infested waters, we have driven through war torn countries, we have stood at the edges of cliffs and slept beside gypsies. We have done all these things and we are still here. But these moments are not when fear had crept into our hearts. When we were walking home from Christmas dinner in Bulgaria, a presumed drunk driver mounted the gutter less than a metre in front of us at high speed. We breathed a sigh of relief that night. When we were walking on the foot path of a tight street in Italy, we felt the mirror of a speeding bus brush the hair on our head as it sped past. We breathed another sigh of relief that night. We have become fearful of dying by road vehicle perhaps, but not because we were in another country. Every year, over 1000 Australians die on our roads in motor vehicle accidents, and people are afraid for us travelling? I am more afraid of dying here in Australia before being able to live my full life of fearless chasing of dreams. Do you know what the major killer for people my age is? Suicide. According to the statistics, I am more likely to die from suicide than I am a terrorist attack. Yet our TV screens depict acts of terror, instead highlighting the real risk to our kids; mental health. But this is another kettle of fish all together. But I can not be afraid to travel the world, because then I would never have the experiences I’ve had or will have. I would not be the person I am, or continue growing into the person I want to be. The world is not a place to fear, nor is the experience of travelling, especially as women. As Australian women, we are educated, we have common sense, we are able to make decisions in our best interests and this is something we should utilise to have a life worthy of the breath in our lungs. We do not need a man to protect us, for we have the ability to judge the dangerousness of a situation and remove ourselves. We don’t need a man to speak on our behalf, for we have voices powerful enough to be heard. Yes we are aware of the reality of our gender identity, but we do not see it as a travelling handicap. We are not afraid as women. We are not afraid as humans. We are not afraid. And nor should you. There are more women out there travelling than you would think, and ask any one of them and I am sure they would tell you the same as us. Don’t be afraid. Whatever your fear is, it is merely that; a fear. And fears are meant to be overcome.
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