FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

All my life I have been waiting for a chance and now is the time. I am sitting at the Stockholm-Arlanda airport drinking a bottle of Swedish Beer to swallow the last traces of fear I have left. I am travelling to the most misunderstood continent on earth in a few hours. I do not know what I will find. I was trying with all my heart to not to let anyone or anything give me a glimpse to the future, because the truth is that most of them have never been there and the future everyone wanted to show me was dark and ugly.

A couple of months ago I had a mental breakdown. The pressure of the media about terrorism in Africa, my worried parents, my scared friends… It all took a toll on me. But after those dark days I regrouped and rebuild my courage and armed with will power made of steel I boldly went on with my plans. I decided that fear was not going to rule my life, so I sought knowledge. I did lots of research, I sent emails, I read the news outside of America, visited government websites from other countries and I got my peace of mind back. Unfortunately terrorism is real and I had to take some precautions that I thought were necessary in an attempt to blend in and also to comply with the unspoken rules of being a woman. I carried a scarf to cover my head and brought long sleeves and loose clothes to travel trough Muslim countries. I was a little worried about traveling solo as a woman, since I have read lots of articles of scared women traveling through Morocco and Egypt warning to not go.

There is no way back now. My plane is calling for boarding and there is a lot of people traveling to my destination. For one second I regretted declining the taxi pick up service that my riad (traditional guest house in Morocco) offered. I am the kind of do-it-your-own-way girl and sometimes I go a little too far in the name of ‘the experience’. I have my ticket and passport in hand and after swallowing the last bits of beer I walk towards my gate. This is where I say goodbye, but maybe I can take you with me if you can beat the ‘fear of the unknown’.

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