The world is not as scary as They tell you

I like adventure stories, whether it’s told through comic books, novels, television, or movies.  I like stories about people heading out into the big wide world, stumbling into an adventure, meeting strangers who help them on their way and forming teams to complete epic quests.

I like video games because it’s one step closer to actually going on an adventure.  You are an active participant within the story, teaming up with strangers and forming allies to complete your quests.

The real world, sadly, is not so full of helpful strangers, potential teammates, or epic quests and adventures.  Or so people would have you believe.

I decided to challenge that and make my own adventure. I decided to throw myself into the world and see what happens.  I decided to walk across America.

When people find out what I’m doing, and that I’m by myself, they tend to say I’m either crazy or brave, and never quite sure which. People all across this country have tried to warn me about the dangers of going out alone. I have, rather ironically, been told by a complete stranger to be careful and not talk to any strangers.  Nearly every person I’ve met has said or insinuated that I, as a single female walking across America, am going to be raped or attacked in some way. People have this idea that everyone is out to get you and the country is full of rapists, murderers, and thieves.

But you know what? People are wrong.  I have not met a single bad person on this trip.  I have never felt truly in any danger.  All along the way people have volunteered to help me, be it stopping and giving me a bag of dog treats and some water, offering me a ride out of nasty weather, inviting me into their home for a warm meal and a place to sleep, or just helping when asked.  In my experience the Good far outnumber the Bad.

We may lack the sense that there are people waiting to help in real life, but that doesn’t mean they’re not there.  You just have to go out and find them.  And if your life is lacking an appropriate adventure, well then you’ve got to go out and find one yourself.  That’s what I’ve done, and it’s been a pretty awesome adventure so far.

Adventure awaits, you just have to go after it.

The road awaits

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6 thoughts on “The world is not as scary as They tell you

  1. Really applaud you for your perseverance here. Overcoming fear seems to be a fundamental problem for us humans. As a mother it’s a struggle not to give in to the perception (from the media) that the moment we take our eyes off our child some one will be there to snatch her up. It makes me wonder how we’ll ever allow our children space necessary for them to gain independance and confidence in themselves. A mother I know at work was horrified that some other mothers were going to allow their 5th graders to ride their bikes to school in a group. We are passing on our paranoia to our children and I think this is a very sad thing. So, I’m going to be able to use your adventure as an example for my daughter.

  2. You are so right, and it’s so sad how the media has imbedded in our heads that the world is such a cruel place, especially alone. It’s always amazing to others when you challenge yourself and your surroundings just to prove them wrong. Adventures are out there, everyday, just waiting for us to arrive. All we have to do is go find them!

  3. what an amazing adventure and story you’ve shared with us. i’m so happy that i found your posts on facebook while you were still walking across indiana. your comments here should give all of us hope and inspiration that the state of humanity is not nearly as bad as it’s made out to be. congratulations on taking the chance, facing your fears, embracing the challenge, and making an amazing journey happen. this is something you will remember for the rest of your life. your last two paragraphs really moved me. beautiful, simple words that sum up what you and anna have discovered on your adventure perfectly. great job! i wish i could be there in san diego on 11/11/11 to give you a high five!

  4. Pingback: A Look at Those Who Came Before | We Walk the USA

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