So what scares you activity-wise?

Me… I’m scared of deep water.

I don’t even blame the movie Jaws for this fear. The fact that there are creatures big enough to swallow me just by mistake is what continues to fan this particular flame of fear. That a whale shark as large as a school bus – no matter how elegant and beautiful – can casually swim by me, blocking out light, and putting me totally out of my element and depth.

But you know what?

I love being on and around water and the sea. I rarely get seasick, can handle rolling waves, and have been both whitewater rafting in the US and blackwater cave rafting in New Zealand. Heck, I’ve been on fishing boats far out in the Seychelles and Sweden, and on a small zodiac with only four people far out in open waters looking for humpback whales in Hawaii. Our rubber dingy bobbed up and down as whales swam around us and underneath our boat. I’d already made peace with God if our small float had happened to capsized then and there.

Some of my best snorkeling memories were in Fiji but always in shallow water. Because you know, that fear of the deep.

There are also tons of activities I personally don’t feel the need to try. For example, I’m not scared of heights and love being up high in the mountains, but I have no desire to go skydiving or bungee-jumping. Not out of fear but I personally have no good reason to convince myself to jump out of a plane or put my life in the hands of a bungee cord.

That said, hot-air ballooning (which I still can’t believe I haven’t tried) and gliding would probably be activities I won’t think twice about.

Nowadays I’m what you call an adventurous yet cautious risk taker. Mostly because I have a lot more to lose which is my young family than when I was solo so I usually adventure within reason.

Lehmonkärki. Lahti, Finland

This got me thinking about what scares you, me, us…

There are so many activities we would all love to try while traveling but sometimes fear can hold us back.

For me, it’s mostly been scuba and deep sea diving. I always picture myself panicking the minute I drop below the surface, gasping for air, yanking my oxygen tank off, and just going bat-shit crazy thrashing around until a shark swims up to me looking like a seal in my wetsuit.

While many people can’t handle frigid subzero temperatures, I absolutely love and thrive in Arctic weather and plan to explore more regions this year. As many already know, my dream is to reach the North Pole someday. Antarctica and the South Pole are definitely on that dream list as well.

This didn’t happen overnight.

My internal thermometer has slowly morphed over the years to seek out cooler temperatures over warmer climates. So, for me, activities such as chasing Northern Lights (which usually require very cold crisp temperatures), husky sledding, and other cold weather activities appeal to me. I even recently dipped in a hole carved in a frozen lake in Finland which was quite the experience I plan to repeat in the future.

Though when it comes to skiing, I have been only once and need to give it another chance. Again, trying to convince myself why sliding down the side of a mountain at breakneck speed is fun.

But going back to fear… some of my activity goals this year would be to try something I’ve never tried before (for example, my recent ice swimming dip in Finland). Face some fears, push myself, and keep being that adventurous soul I am…all within reason.

As for the deep…. yeah, that one’s gonna take awhile.

So what scares you when travelling? Are you scared of activities that involve heights, water, the dark, or frigid temperatures? Please share below!

  • I am always scare of road journey by car. Expecially those reskeless driver due to over speed.
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  • Fola

    Interesting read. I’m terrified of heights but I was still willing to try out bungee jumping in Victoria falls. Unfortunately, my fear got the best of me. Though I’m not an excellent swimmer, I’m not really scared of water and I’m up for any activity and involves being out in the sea.

    I’m surprised an avid traveller like you hasn’t been on a hot air balloon. It is something I’ll also love to try out sometime.

    • I know, right? I just haven’t had the opportunity to plan a hot air balloon trip.

      Might take one here in Stockholm. It’s one of very few cities in the world where you’re allowed to land a hot air balloon in town.

      Bungee jumping is out for me. I’m not scared of heights, I just have no desire to jump off bridges for fun 🙂

  • Immigration officials, when they say, This way please.”

  • Monica-USA

    I see no reason to jump out of a perfectly working airplane!! LOL My idea of being scared would be not getting the opportunity to walk off the beaten path and find a whole new world to discover. But I am with you Lola no jumping out of planes! But a hot air balloon does sound interesting?!

  • Mike C

    I’m not if scared is the right word. When I’m hiking and camping in the wild, I’m more aware of my surroundings and the slightest noise at night makes me think a bear is about to crash through my tent.

  • Johnny Normark Friskilä

    I think what scares me when traveling would be getting robbed of my camera equipment. Corrupt officials can also be scaring from time to time, although I think I have learnt how to handle them. At this very moment, the consular department at the American embassy in Stockholm is quite scary, as they might put a stop to a potential journey I am planning.

    As for activities, I have just never had any interest in bungy jumps and roller coaster – they make me feel unwell. Then I would much more prefer a helicopter ride (did it in New Zealand) or a hot air balloon (never done yet). I never had to chase Northern Lights since I grew up with them, but yeah, the Antarctica would be a dream – as long I don´t drink too much coffee before getting dressed to visit the penguins – then the dream would become a nightmare.

    • LOL @ American Embassy. Seriously though, very scary times with the new administration. I don’t like roller coasters either, come to think of it.

      LOL @ too much coffee. Nowhere to pee quickly and easily inside that huge suit.

  • I’m with you on that one, not knowing what is underwater and the strength of the ocean can be really scary. I was once surfing in Costa Rica and the rip currents pulled me out far into the sea. It was night time by then 45 minutes had pass and the only thing that guided me was the dimmed lights of a few restaurants at shore… Don’t get me wrong i love the ocean, now i’m just more cautious! Great Post!

    • Wow, that is so scary! I can’t even imagine what must have been going through your mind. Gratefully you’re a strong swimmer. I think I would have just made peace with God at that point and gone under.