Don’t be Afraid When Traveling is about overthinking and considering too many opinions that make the traveler afraid. It happened to me in Ecuador when I was researching on how to get to Puerto Lopez.
It was the end of another sightseeing day in charming Quito. I went back to my hostel and started researching the best way to get to Puerto Lopez, a fishing village on the Pacific coast of Ecuador. I noticed a lot of people reporting how dangerous it was to travel to the Ecuadorian coast. Reading ten or twenty reviews started to create a reasonable doubt in my mind.
What puzzles me is that I actually considered not going! The idea of Puerto Lopez came to me the day I saw the famous American chef Anthony Bourdain film an episode there of his fantastic show No Reservations.
So I decided to apply a trick I use when I’m in doubt: sleep on it. That was the best decision I made.
Get A Good Night Sleep!
The next day I woke up full of energy and decided to go. Why? Because I thought that if I was going to skip places I wanted to see because of fear, I might as well have stayed at home. Read other people’s opinions and learn from their experiences, but keep in mind that you’re traveling to create your own experiences and stories.
My conclusion was simple: there are a lot of people that travel with fear and miss out on a lot of great experiences. They don’t eat local food, don’t dance, don’t listen to music, don’t mix with locals and they only do tours with other visitors. These travelers end up missing so much. It’s fine if that’s your style, but keep in mind that bad things can happen anywhere, including back home.
I went to Puerto Lopez and it was magical! From there, I also went to Isla de la Plata and saw whales for the first time in my life. I had no problem whatsoever and met a nice couple that happened to cross my path again in Peru!
Your safety should always be a priority, but don’t be afraid when traveling! Don’t overthink things and don’t overvalue the opinion of people you don’t even know. Remember: keep calm, it’s your trip so don’t be in a hurry to make decisions.