Traveling with Fear of the Unknown

Oxford, England
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As I write this I am sitting on a bus, traveling from Ivalo to Rovaniemi, two areas in Lapland, Finland.  I had been dreaming of visiting Lapland since I can remember (let’s be real, honestly probably since I saw a picture of it on Instagram).  The white snow reflected against the northern lights. The idea of being in the Arctic Circle and that it’s dark for 24-hours!  Snowmobiling and husky rides!  The opportunities for winter fun seemed to be endless!



Booking my trip through Finland – and truthfully throughout the rest of Europe thus far – has not only fueled by excitement but fear!  Fear of the unknown!  What if my plane gets canceled?  What if I don’t have WiFi and I can’t find where I’m going?  What if the only bus that leaves this tiny village the entire day doesn’t show up?  What if I get laughed at for eating alone?  What if, what if, what if?!

These past three weeks have flown by.  And have been such a blessing.  I’ve learned so much about myself!  Learning to sit in the silence, and to enjoy my own company.  Learning different cultures and traditions and ways of doing things.  I’ve learned that some people around the world are jerks, but most will surprise you in the best way!  That if you take the time to listen and learn, you yourself will grow more than you thought possible.

One of the biggest lessons in the past three weeks has been tackling my fear of the unknown. What exactly does that mean and why does it matter?  For me, fear of the unknown is a bit debilitating.  Arguing with myself… should I really go that far north into Finland?  Should I really take that budget airline when they have a reputation for always canceling flights? I truthfully sat at my computer for eight-hours one day while planning my trip to Finland, just to go in circles due to fear!  After it was all over I had exhausted myself and wasted a perfectly good day just to worry about the “what ifs”.



So while I am sitting on this bus, the one I SWORE would never show up.  And even though I wasn’t able to buy a ticket online… I had to wait to see if there was room on the bus and buy in person.  Not even knowing where the bus stop was in order to get to my next remote destination, I got to thinking about trust.  And why we should all learn to trust the process.  So what if I miss my bus?  What is the absolute worse thing to happen?  I am still alive, happy, and healthy!  And I spend another day just where I am.  I’ve learned to trust the people around me!  Take their advice; listen to what they have to say.  Although I am traveling solo, I’m never truly alone.  It’s the people who have and will get me from one place to the next.

So for the next few months, or however long I last on this trip, I am letting go of my fear of the unknown.  And instead, I am taking up trust.  Trust in God, trust in humanity, and trust that I am in the place that I am meant to be in. Even if my plans seem to get derailed!  At least it would make for a good travel story later….

Derwent Water, Lake District


To read about Traveling with Loneliness, click here.


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Kylee is a traveling Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse and an avid solo traveler. She has spent 5 years caring for premature and sick babies in the NICU and has been a travel nurse for 3 of those years. Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering as a nurse in Skopje, Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Since 2017 Kylee has made it a goal to go on one extended solo trip per year lasting 8+ weeks. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – A vacation geared towards nurses aiming to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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  1. November 18, 2018 / 10:33 pm

    You are so brave! And honestly an inspiration for me and my future travels. I am ALWAYS worrying about the what ifs. Planning weeks in advance, making sure I have somewhere to stay, making sure I have figured out transportation to each place and making sure I have directions to every place. I love how you are taking on your fears on this trip! Really just learning to trust yourself, your journey and the people around you. I can’t wait for more of your adventures!

    • November 20, 2018 / 10:55 am

      I used to be like that too! But then I just let go and it feels so liberating! But my OCD-ness does still show its face at times!!!

  2. Cassie
    November 19, 2018 / 2:33 am

    You’re still killin it!! Love it! Such great lessons. Love you my traveler!

  3. November 30, 2018 / 8:32 pm


    What a lovely and honest reflection on fear and bravery. I think it is amazing that even though you have had so much fear of the unknown you are continuing on your trip. That is some bad ass bravery right there- being able to sit with fear and grapple with it and say “I see you AND I’m continuing on anyways”.

    You are totally right that trust is a much happier and peaceful way to be. I am glad to see you trying to lean into trust more than fear. It is a constant process though- because fill will continue to creep it, but just keep choosing trust instead.

    Wishing you the very best and can’t wait to read more. Sounds like you are up to some ridiculously incredible adventures.

    xoxo Chelsea |

    • December 3, 2018 / 8:36 am

      I can’t wait to follow your travels through South Korea! Now THAT is badass bravery. You go girl!

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