Why travel teaches us to take risks

Why travel teaches us to take calculated risks

We are built for change. It’s how we were made. Every 27 days even our skin changes and renews, we literally grow out of the skin we are in. Yet asking me to order something different at Nandos? To change my order? My heart quickens, my eyes frantically dart across the menu, panic sets in. A risk too far, my friend.

Travel has taught me so many things, how to hitchhike with my dog, why I should be afraid and how to make and break a promise. But it’s also taught me time and time again about the power and the value in taking a risk.

I jumped out of a plane in Cuba, threw myself off mountatin in New Zeleand only to glide into the sunset with my best friend and treked across portugal with just a yellow arrow as a guide. I’ve let go of love to see the sunrise on the other side of the world and I’ve risked losing everything I’ve worked for just to taste another adventure. Travel is the definition of risk.

What about you friend? What risk did you last take? When did you last put yourself out there? When did you last give yourself the opportunity to fail?

For me, the greatest risk is to live a life that isn’t full of passion and meaning and love. The greatest risk is giving energy to the wrong people, the wrong end goal.

But how do we know what risks to take?

You don’t.

You could take a risk. You could be someone different. You could do something different. If you don’t like something it, change it. It’s risky though. That’s the point. You won’t know if it’s the right thing until you’ve done it. The fear is what makes it’s a risk. The unknown. But that’s also what makes it feel right.

The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.” – Leo.F.Buscaglia

So how do you take calculated risks?

You need to get rid of everything and anyone that doesn’t support your ability and your will to change or try new things. It’s going to be hard enough to live a life of risks, a life of change, without being surrounded by negativity. So, surround yourself with people who make you feel like sunshine and rainbows. Surround yourself with people who believe in your limitless potential. Surround yourself that will support you with your risks. Because really when we talk about risks we really mean change. And we’ve all been scared of change for a really long time.

But when we talk about risk as change, we get to talk about change as a choice and THAT is empowering.

So why does travel teach us about risk? Because travel is about options and choice, about changing our routine and learning from all of the new experiences.


  • Resilence – Travel teaches us that by taking risks we made mistakes, we learn, we resolve and we recover. Risks build resilience.
  • Intention – Travel teaches us how to take risks because we live with intention and living with intention is risky. You open yourself up to living deeply, specifically with purpose. This is the greatest risk of all because it can make the ground beneath you disappear, you can see the world in a new light.
  • Stories – Travel teaches us how to take risks because we create stories and in creating stories we risk learning how to live better stories with our lives.  That’s super risky because it challenges to look at our lives and ask, is this really the story we want to be telling?
  • Kindness – When we travel we open our heart to strangers, we offer and receive kindness and in this vulnerable living we open ourselves to the biggest risk of all, the risk of a broken heart.

Calculated risks can be reframed as opportunities. Like the risk of booking flights, without the all-inclusive package – giving you the opportunity to piece together your own adventure. Or the risk of sitting on a bus for over 10 hours but it giving you the opportunity to see incredible places and make memories that will last forever. Like the risk of leaving a job to travel the world and meet the love of your life. Or the risk of simply deciding to make changes to your daily routine –  finding time to start that business, write that book or just have some time for yourself. The smallest risks often bring about biggest opportunities.

The greatest risk is living a life of fine. ‘Fine’ isn’t good enough for your friend. I believe in you and your ability to take calculated risks. 

What risks will you take this week? Did travel teach you to take risks? How will you turn risks into opportunities? 

In certain moments, especially those of potential personal growth, fear can point us in the right direction and should be examined and questioned. This is often how adventures are born” – Holstee.com


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