Fear is the mind-killer ↑ all posts

Fear is the mind-killer

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
the Bene Gesserit litany against fear, Dune

Having some time to spare in Zurich I’ve been reflecting on fear, and how different everything feels after a month on the road. Before leaving on a trip like this, especially having never done anything like this before, your brain decides that now would be a good time to think of all the awful things that might happen:

Fear that I’ll get lost, fear that I’ll get robbed, fear that I won’t find somewhere to camp, fear that I will and then get attacked in the woods, fear that I won’t be able to finish the trip, fear that my bike will break in the wilderness, fear that my body will break before my bike does, fear of getting caught in thunderstorms, snowstorms, fear of getting hit by a car.

Some of these are rational fears, others should just be ignored. How to overcome the fear is the hardest thing: I found that telling as many people as I could that I was definitely going to cycle to Istanbul, and then making it public with this blog, was a strong psychological motivator which helped get me out the house. Reminding myself that this is what I’d dreamed of doing for years, and thinking about the regrets I would have years down the line if I backed out now was even more compelling.

The hardest step is the first step out the door. Once you get on the road the big fears fade away, replaced with more immediate concerns: where am I going to get water, what should I eat tonight, is that a good camping spot

“The greatest danger in life is not to take the adventure.” George Mallory

A lot of people have asked me if I’m scared about the road ahead. Before leaving home I was terrified, I’d lie awake at night running through all the possible things that could go wrong, and how each of these improbable events was good justification for never leaving, for staying at home in comfort. I’m not scared anymore, rather I’m excited and filled with desire to get back on the road and explore. Fear is the mind-killer, don’t let it hold you back.