Goodbye Fear, Hello World

Goodbye Fear, Hello World

One of the most frequent things I hear from people I meet around the world is this: “Id love to do what you’re doing but couldn’t ever find the guts to actually do it. You are soooo brave.”
I respond in two ways.
In my head: Am I really though?   Half the time I have no idea what I’m doing.   The other half I’m just in pure discovery mode…like a child….Did you just say I’m brave?!
In reality, out of my mouth:  Thank you so much!  It’s been quite a journey.  
Plain, simple and, quite frankly, a bit shallow.  I still, two and a half years later, don’t know exactly how to take that compliment and run with it.  I think it sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable because I know that when a lot of these people say it they have this sense of fear behind the sentence- as if they couldn’t do what I’m doing.  The absolute truth is so far from that though.
Fear is debilitating…and I hate to see it consume so many people I’ve met around the globe.  I feel their pain, because I know the feeling all too well myself.  Fear almost kept me from seeing the world, and actually living my life.  Fear paralyzed me for a good portion of my existence.

I almost missed out on my own life.

It’s become somewhat of a mission of mine to show that “Hey, if I can overcome years of self-abuse and drowning in fear, you can too.  If I can go out and see the world as a single, solo woman, so can you.”  I’m no Warrior Princess, I’m just human…with just enough madness to be mistaken for gumption.
I truly, with one hundred percent of my being, believe that if I can kick fear in the face and go travel the world, anyone can- so long as it’s what they truly want.  Why?  Because we make sacrifices for what we really truly want.
What have you sacrificed for lately?  Your family?  Your job?  Your friends?  Yourself?  Your addictions (because those really require the most sacrifice, don’t they)?
Before late 2015, I regularly made sacrifices for all of the above, to my own detriment, and I often felt used up and empty…and full of fear.  But what was that fear?  I couldn’t even see what was affecting me back then.  I could barely feel anything at all.  I was a robot who produced and produced, anesthetized, slept, rinsed and repeated.  I’m sure there are many of you who can totally relate to this cycle.
After 2.5 years of traveling the world, and 31 countries later, here’s what I’ve learned:  You have to be willing to sacrifice and WORK for the good things that you TRULY want in order to harness change in your life- and I mean the GOOD, healthy things that you want, not the destructive things.
Now that I’ve had plenty of time to reflect back and consider the root of the fear that branched out into all areas of my life back then, I see what the triggers were and where I went wrong.  It’s true what they say about hindsight vision.  The trick is to apply that perfected vision to the present moment, right?
If I am applying what I know to the present moment, and being totally honest with you… what I see now are forms of that same Fear rearing its ugly head in my life today- yes, even now.
So what is the root of it all?  It’s a fear of TRUTH.  It’s a fear of taking risks on account of “following my intuition.”  It’s a fear of the unknown.  It’s sometimes even the fear of my own strength…the fear of my calling.  It’s always easier to do what’s considered “normal,” and I’ve often been tempted to go back to normalcy.  But I’ve been off that path for too long now.  There’s no going backwards.  Only forward.  Fear be damned.
Am I “brave?”  Sure.  But I still feel Fear often, even on the other side of the world, traveling around and living out my dreams.  Fear never goes away.  I’ve just learned to accept it, acknowledge it then flip it the middle finger.  I’m an asshole like that sometimes- and I urge you to be an asshole too.
Yes, you read that correctly.  When fear comes knocking down your door telling you not to quit the job you hate, or to breakup with the jerk who mistreats you, or to change your habits…be a coldhearted asshole.  Tell “Fear” to step off and stop raining on your parade. Tell that pesky little voice in your head to STFU and move on with your day.  Find the sun through the clouds, and if you can’t find the sun, at least acknowledge the light. It’s there.  It’s always there.
Because, sure, it’s your party and you can cry if you want to, but isn’t better if we all laughed loudly in the light instead?
I’m laughing all the way from Panama today, and I am kicking my daily task list in the butt, while enjoying a view of the Caribbean.  Fear isn’t invited to this party- not today.
Where are you laughing from?  And do you have a good view?img_5839
Sending you lots of love and BRAVERY from the Caribbean.
Ps. I’m serious!  I want to know where you are today, so leave it in the comments below!

By |2018-08-07T21:51:59+00:00December 12th, 2017|Dear Diary, depression, Overcoming Fear, Solo Female Travel|6 Comments

About the Author:

On August 14th, 2015 I left my life in the United States behind with the intention to never look back. I had the "American Dream" and I woke up from it, to create a new reality for myself. I sought out beauty in a world that was increasingly dark for me at the time and ended up finding more than I bargained for. With only a backpack, I traveled across Europe, South East Asia and then on to Africa. With over 30 countries stamped in my passport, I've become an entirely new version of myself with a broader perspective on what it means to be a woman in today's world. My hope is that by sharing my stories and featuring women like me from around the world, we can inspire others to break down their own internal barriers and go cross a few international borders while they're at it. I truly believe travel can be healing to a troubled soul, empowering to the lost and rejuvenating for the exhausted. Perspective is everything, and I believe in the power of "going global," what about you? is a site that started out with my stories and grew into a platform for women all around the world to tell their travel tales of trials and triumph. We all believe that the more you see of the world, the better you can be as a person who inhabits it. Women encouraging other women to grow, travel, evolve- that's what SGG is all about. ---> Read my very first blog post (see "Archives" for August 2015) to learn how this all began.


  1. Kate Corbett December 12, 2017 at 9:50 am - Reply

    I so enjoy reading all your stories. I am at home baking Christmas cookies. Happy Holidays!

  2. chloeluye December 12, 2017 at 10:02 am - Reply

    A really inspiring read! I’m not anywhere nearly as exciting as Panama, but next year is a really important year for me and this is definitely something I need to keep in mind. Here’s to a year of saying no to fear, and achieving everything that fear tries to tell us we can’t! X

  3. Robyn B December 13, 2017 at 9:00 am - Reply

    I love this 5 years ago we moved across.the country not knowing a soul it was a wonderful Life changing experience (but also scary)

  4. Anthony (One of FourFriendsOneWorld) December 23, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    It is very brave to break away from the traditional “system” and live a travel dream. Maybe one day the friends will be able to shuffle off the corporate 9-5 life…
    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    • Heather Ditmars December 25, 2017 at 10:13 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for saying so Anthony! That really resonates with me, and I envy your travels with friends. So far, I’ve found it most fulfilling to travel solo but perhaps I just haven’t met the right travel partner yet. Time will tell! haha Wishing you a great holiday season and happy new year! <3 HMD

      • Anthony (One of FourFriendsOneWorld) December 25, 2017 at 1:57 pm - Reply

        It is very hard to find the right friends to travel with. We have been very lucky.
        Our recommendation is don’t give up on finding your travel friends… it’s a matter of trial and error, but seeing the world and adventure through your friends eyes is worth it.
        Happy holidays and future travel. Hopefully we see you out on an adventure one day!

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