Wednesday, 4 March 2015

F. O. S. T.

It's easy, perhaps even logical to fear the unknown. We humans are creatures of habit. We are conditioned by nature to feel safest surrounded by what we know, in our familiar environments. However, isn't it always the case that what we truly desire, what will genuinely challenge us to become stronger, better and wiser versions of ourselves lies just outside our comfort zones?

It is my belief, that routine and these comfort zones we construct, are what truthfully cripple us in living a most fulfilled life. We have all experienced a life of routine, perhaps never even straying from the path set out for us by society. So with that I ask you to recall a period of your life -perhaps this even applies to the present- when you simply did not notice the faces of the people you passed on your way to work. When was the last time you looked up at the night sky just to stare at the stars? Is there a period of your life that you genuinely can't remember because every day was only a slight variation from the last? These thoughts used to terrify me. Not only was I living a life detached from what made it so beautiful and fascinating, but I had given up before I had even started seeking something MORE. My biggest fear was the thought that when I came to the end of my life, I would look back at only a blur of mechanical movements. Just shifting through the years, only to recall short holidays, or some lone incidents I may have stumbled in to. 

I made the decision to OVERRIDE my future. To make my own destiny and seek an existence that leads me on a constant path of discovery and awe because the TRUTH is, we forget too much of our lives!  The time spent filling the void between the next holiday, the next weekend whatever it is, it's not living.

So this is why travel is so important. It's a chance for us to create memories spent seeking a truer existence! Resist the tug of conformity in order to truly fulfil that desire and curiosity once so wild and pressing when you were a child! I mean, why is it that we seem to lose this desire to explore as we grow older? Is it really because of societies constant pressure to follow a set path? It's time to un-teach yourself that of which the older generations have concluded. You don't have to give up living in order to find security and 'success'. Is not the real success but being happy?

So lets talk about the fears and rationalities of those fears that come with solo travel. Firstly, you might be wondering, "But wouldn't it be preferable if possible to not travel alone?". Absolutely not! Here's why;

Solo travel is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself. Speaking from the perspective of someone who has suffered with anxiety amongst other mental health issues, I can tell you honestly and confidently that it would be the most positive, self assuring thing you will ever do. Overcoming anxiety is something that has changed my present life to the point where I feel like a completely different person! It made me realise that I was capable of enduring much more than I gave myself credit for. It was the first time I'd been truly self-reliant. With no home comforts or family around for me to lean on, I had to dig deep and deal with my problems in different ways, which often meant tackling the situation head on. It was either find away around the problem or be stuck at a stand still. Anxiety suddenly became an irrelevant issue, for once I knew what I was capable of, I only began pushing myself further!

If what you're worried about is being alone, I can tell you now, that will be the least of your problems. Making friends on the road is as easy as "hi!". In the 3 months I travelled around South East Asia, not once did I feel alone. I would even make friends whilst sitting in the airport waiting for my gate to open. It's not hard to spot someone who's backpacking, and given that 90% of the travellers I met were going it alone, everyone is in the same boat and is just as grateful for your companionship as you are for theirs. 

You reach new levels of companionship on the road. Spending 24/7 with people means relationships grow quickly. After a week with one person you feel like you've been friends for life. I even remain in contact with some people I spent less than a day with. One crazy night can bond people for life! 

The next issue people are often faced with is the old urban legends! Horror stories of muggings, cons, illness! Let's tackle this now; you might get mugged, you might get sick, you just could trip over your own feet and die! But you forget that you're also liable to these possibilities every day in your home country and yet it doesn't stop you leaving the house! Granted the possibility of these things happening abroad does increase the drama factor, but rest assured as long as your travelling you will be surrounded by fellow backpackers and locals who will just about bend over backwards to help you, because like anywhere in the world, there is good and there is evil. Keep your wits about you and you will survive!

If it helps, compare your fear to the rewards; day dream the 'what if's' or actually set out and see those incredible places, taste the food, submerge in culture and lose your insecurities with the help of like minded people!

I'm hoping some of what I've touched on is enough in itself to inspire you to take a leap of faith! But if you're still lacking the courage, you can always ease yourself in with a tour to build up your confidence. People never tell you how easy it will be, but theres a whole world of possibility out there and you're lucky enough to have it in your grasp!  

If you don't want to be subjected to living in a 'zombified state', be bold enough to decondition your thinking and begin the search for your own reality. Wake up and realise there is no map for how to live your life! Let's continue to follow this urge to find purpose and retain our desire to explore and understand. It is either this or stay oppressed by fear of the unknown, to not live but instead slowly die? Let's encourage each other to stay curious! Let us be brave and reckless! Because after all, the word reality is just that, a word.

Happy travels,


  1. This is encouraging. I totally agree with you, reality is just a word. We should create our own world and life, and not be scared by what society has told us. Can't wait to read the upcoming posts. You are inspiring mika :)

  2. Mika I'm really feeling the new direction of your blog, I feel I'm seeing more sides of you. I completely agree with your view on travel, staying in one place just makes one much more ignorant to the things around you, the things within your reach. I personally want to live everywhere! x

  3. Hey Mika. I've been an avid follower of you ever since your 15 year old fashion blog days and love seeing how you've grown as a person. Just wondering what camera you used to take the photos here. Are they all just disposables or do you have an actual film camera? xx

  4. Hey Mika!
    I'm leaving for SE Asia in two weeks, and I'm still planning my route.
    I'll be traveling for two months in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam and finally two weeks in Bali. Where exactly did you visit? :)

  5. HI!
    I really love the look of your blog and was just wondering where you get your theme from/ x

  6. HI!
    I really love the look of your blog and was just wondering where you get your theme from/ x