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The Worst Thing That Can Happen Rarely Does

Somewhere in my journey I learned an important lesson: whatever your location, you can choose to be at peace or you can choose to be anxious.

I remember shivering in a tent in Zimbabwe, feeling miserable yet still excited about the adventure. I was on my own in a new part of the world, and I felt like a conquering (though cold) warrior.

Taking the subway in Cairo during the hottest time of the year was disorienting and slightly scary, but I felt a surge of pride as I successfully navigated myself to the Pyramids. Small victories!

Other times, I remember getting upset about inconsequential things, anxious for no real reason, all while exploring beautiful islands or staying in nice hotels. There was nothing for me to worry about, yet I still felt troubled.

I noticed that sometimes my anxiety would somehow take over, preventing me from making good decisions. I became unable to relax, even in paradise.

Eventually I learned that much of the time I was anxious, my circumstances and location had very little to do with it. Even if I felt weird, I could make the choice to tell myself that all will be well.

When it comes to travel problems, most things tend to sort themselves out. If you forget to pack something, you can usually buy it along the way.

It’s usually a good idea to make sure you don’t forget your passport—but even if you do, you can often sort that out too.

If you miss a flight, well, there are other flights.

When you’re evaluating a decision and feel uncertain, sometimes it’s helpful to ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

I still get anxious and antsy, but no longer about the same things. It’s progress.

How about you—do you worry? Does the worst possible scenario ever actually happen?


Image: Fabrizio