I’ve started planning a 3-month trip to Turkey. It is one of my dreams to experience “living” in another country rather than simply a visitor. I’ve been to Istanbul several times and I love it. I keep going back, however, I have yet to roam outside of the city to the rest of the country. This is my chance!

And I’m freaking out.

I started with a simple task, researching plane fares and finding out that it is MUCH more expensive to fly from the West Coast than from the East. I start feeling overwhelmed looking at a multitude of alternatives, plus accommodations, in-country travel, food and the money it is going to take. My stomach gets a sick knot inside of it. My heart feels like it is pumping from somewhere outside of my neck, right next to my ear, so loud that I swear my eyes jump with the vibration.

I’m thinking “Is this really what I want?” “Maybe I don’t want to go live in Turkey.” “Maybe I’ll just stay here.” “Maybe I’ll go someplace else where I can stay with people and won’t feel so alone.”

FEAR takes over

False Evidence Appearing Real

In reality, I’m traveling ALONE but I am not going to BE ALONE. I have a support network of friends in Istanbul, and I didn’t want to just visit. I want a little struggle, so I can learn the language and get around more confidently and….have an experience! Isn’t that the whole point? Heck, I just spent 4-months traveling the US, why am I scared of doing the same in a different country? I’ll manage, I’ll stumble, I’ll recover and I’ll survive and MAYBE even THRIVE. Then I’ll look back and say “why was I so afraid?”

I continue to freak out.

I shake my head and laugh out loud. “Wow, Piper you are such a BRAVE person!” Ha! Yeah.

In times of stress I do an exercise. It can be done at any time, yet I can only remember it when I’m freaking out and feel like my world is falling apart. That happens quite a lot. “Morning Pages” come from a fantastic book called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Basically I get a cheap notebook and every morning write 3-pages in it, like a brain dump, anything that comes into my mind. It doesn’t have to be a real word, or sentence, or legible, or proper. I will never go back and look at it.

The purpose is to PURGE THE MIND.

Getting out all that crap that’s bogging me down, allowing me to start THIS DAY fresh and new; allowing room in my mind for new thoughts and experiences. Sometimes I’ve filled my pages with “I have no thoughts” over and over again and then something flutters across my mind and I write that. I don’t stop until 3-pages are filled. When my notebook is full, I throw it away (or burn it) and get another one. This might go on for a few days or a few months. Time doesn’t matter.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ― Jack Canfield

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