We’ve all been there, had what most would consider, the absolute worst day of travel imaginable. That is until you hear another travelers horror story. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the years of travel is that eventually you have to stop giving a fuck (excuse me language in this post). I’m not sure where the lesson hits you or how much travel you have to do but for me small annoyances don’t matter anymore. I simply shrug and say “I don’t give a fuck.”
This is not an article about why you should stop caring about the world and what happens in it. No, this is about understanding yourself and the rest of the world more clearly. This is about surrendering to what you can and can’t control. If something is truly out of your hands then it’s best to change what can be changed and then move on. Stress and worry must never come between your travels and most of the time it’s your own-self letting it.
One of my favorite social websites is Reddit and one of my favorites Sub-Reddits is /travel naturally. I go there for the interesting stories both horrific and amazing. But sometimes (and this is rare), I see fellow travelers who have become upset over things they can’t control. Getting checked at airports, other cultures, local food, stolen items, or even felt they’ve been disrespected. But beyond that I see travelers letting all of these annoyances get to them. I think all travelers have felt this way and it’s our nature to be mad. But remember that traveling offers no guarantees nor should it. That’s why we love travel in the first place. This article is about changing the way you think while traveling.
How I Don’t Give a F^!*
1. Through understanding
As a traveler I spend a great deal of understanding and learning even though I don’t necessarily agree. I come into a country or culture without being prejudice (most of the time) and try to understand why people feel a certain way. The more knowledge I have the more likely hood I’m able to shrug it off and not care. Many cultures can judge me but I don’t let it bother me. Being confident in yourself is important here and realizing that you’re a strong person. Just because majority of people believe in something, doesn’t make them always correct. Understand others so you then can appreciate them or politely dismiss them.
2. Keep an open mind
Keeping an open mind is key. It’s really an attitude change telling myself not to care and to not let it bother me. If I let every annoyance get to me then of course I’m going to have a terrible trip. You really have to rise above and tell yourself that it is all part of the journey. Also realize that some mistakes could happen and you’re presented with a challenge, or a lucky turn of event that may turn into your favor. I’ve had this happen several times and now when a challenge arises I tell myself to look at all the options. Sometimes waiting is the best decision.
3. Letting go
Let it all go. You think you have control but most of the time you don’t. If you can change a situation, do it. If you can’t, accept it and move on. That really is the answer to maintaining a stress free travel. Many times I’ve spent hours beating myself up over a mistake but over the years I still make some mistakes but don’t react right away. Instead I take time to reflect and figure something out instead of worrying. Because doing something is better than stressing and doing nothing. Figure out a way to make a bad situation into something better instead of worrying or complaining.
4. Sheer determination
It may be my personality but I put in effort to not give a fuck. I actually force myself to always look at the positives of things and tell myself that it could be much worse. Because it really could. So I missed a flight or got searched at the airport or feel sick. Every good traveler knows that it sometimes takes sheer determination, to see and do the things that are hard. It takes a great traveler to understand that not everything is easy or always even worth it. We all make mistakes and have received valuable “experience.”
5. Best to avoid drama
Everything can’t be always be avoided or changed and there are times when we feel passionate about something. I get it but don’t let it consume you and fill you with rage where it effects how you begin to see the world. There is a lot of shitty things in the world but you don’t have to become one of them. Yes I personally wish many things would change. I wish it was safe to travel anywhere. But that isn’t going to happen so you must be the bigger person and sometimes keep it to yourself. If you can’t then you probably shouldn’t be traveling. Travel is supposed to open you mind not close it.
6. Life is not as serious as the mind makes it out to be
This is the most important advice I have to offer. Your brain makes the world out to me more serious than it actually is. You have options in terms about how you think about countries, people, airports, and situations that arise when traveling. There is no purpose in worrying or stressing or caring about what may happen or did happen. Life exists in the now and the now is all you have so enjoy it. Of course that does’t mean you shouldn’t plan or take things seriously. This is saying the opposite. Every moment you have is valuable so spending it stressing is stupid and taking you away from your travels.
After you don’t give a F^!*
The lesson here is not giving a fuck about the world around you, quite the opposite. This is about not giving a fuck with situations that happen to you. This is about letting go when circumstances or mistakes happen beyond your control. It’s about having the courage to continue traveling and look above the fear, dread, stress, worry and annoyances. It’s about letting go and changing your attitude for the better so that you can enjoy travel successfully.
Once you let go of everything that could or has happen to you, a magical thing happens, you enjoy your travels way more. You stop seeing the world as black and white and consider both sides of any story. You stop judging other cultures so quickly, and start realizing that people do all types of silly things for all sorts of reasons. They also do all sorts of wonderful things. You stop generalizing and realize that information you have may be wrong. Sometimes you will agree and sometimes you won’t. Change what you can control and leave everything else behind that you can’t.
Not giving a fuck is actually surprisingly easy but like most things in life, you should practice it. The next time you hear that voice in your head complaining, dreading, worrying or stressing, stop it! Can you control the situation and change it for the better? If yes, do it! If no, accept it, get out of the situation and move on. Some things can be changed and others simply can’t. Recognize which is which and you’ll save much grief and time on your travels.