When we talk about traveling, we tend to focus on the exciting and positive — sometimes even the Instagrammable. That’s a hard conversation to bring fear into, especially when it can feel like you’re the only person who’s not excited about heading to new destinations, or who has mixed feelings about travel. But fear or anxiety around traveling is very common, even expected, especially when you’re facing a longer trip or a totally new destination.
Fear of traveling is something that we talk about often now, accompanied by phrases like “increased exposure” and “calculated risk” — phrases that weren’t part of our normal conversation a few years ago. As conditions keep changing, new variants appear, and vaccination rates rise, it’s worth considering where your fear of travel is coming from, and how you should make a prayerful decision about your trip.
Here are some steps we suggest taking to work through any fear of travel you might be experiencing and discern the right decision for yourself:
1. Do your research.
It’s impossible to make an informed decision without knowing what the risks are, and the best way to understand that is to stay up to date on the latest advice from organizations like the CDC about their travel recommendations.
Understanding the public health situation as it shifts plays an important role in our decision-making process here at Verso, and we want to encourage you to do the same for yourself. Having that knowledge might make you feel more secure in your decision, or it might reassure you that postponing is the right thing for you right now.
2. Focus on what you are doing.
Right now decisions about traveling can feel like they’re something to be publicly debated and fought about rather than personally discerned. Spending your time and energy trying to convince strangers that your decision is right and theirs is wrong probably isn’t a productive use of your time, and it will only make you feel more anxious and defensive about your decision, whatever it is.
3. Spend time in prayer.
When you’ve gathered the information that you need to make a decision, it’s time to spend time in prayer. Bring your hopes and concerns to the Lord and ask him to guide you. Approaching this time without expectations of a certain answer, or even an immediate answer, will give you the space to let God speak however he needs to be heard.
Sometimes your prayer might be immediately fruitful. Sometimes you’ll be frustrated and feel like you’ve gotten no answer, or that it isn’t the answer you want — that’s not uncommon! Some of our greatest saints expressed great frustration in prayer, so know that you’re not alone.
Setting aside peaceful time to discern allows you to be more confident in your decision because you’ll have come to an answer through prayer.
Hopefully this process is helpful in making the very personal decision to travel during this time. If you are interested in traveling, consider one of Verso’s departures for 2022, which are crafted by our talented staff who are keeping your health and safety a priority in their work and prayers.