This is serious.
Almost everyone feels inadequate in at least one aspect of their life. And this can cause you to settle for less than you want or deserve in those areas--your health, your relationships, your economic status...
I've heard that 85% of the world's population are affected by low self esteem.
Traveling was the thing that turned my confidence around, and changed my life. I just deleted 11 examples of how this happened, because it really comes down to three important things.
People treat you differently when you travel
When you're visiting a new country, you'll meet people who are proud of their home and want to show it off. They will often be very interested in you, too.
They'll tell you stories, show you where to get the best food, and help you learn their language and customs.
Pretty soon you'll naturally expect everyone to treat you with kindness and respect. And when you go into a new situation with this expectation, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
You will be tested, and discover strengths you didn't know you had
When you put yourself in new environments and new situations, things will go wrong. You will lose your phone or miss a train. You will end up somewhere you didn't mean to go.
You'll be forced to be creative and resourceful as you get yourself out of this mess--and you will manage to pull it off.
You'll come away feeling rightfully proud of yourself, and you'll start to wonder what else you're capable of doing.
You will come back with new gifts
When you travel, you'll pick up new languages, new knowledge, and new skills. (I can field strip a katana, replace bicycle spokes using a large rock and two bottlecaps, and make you the best cappuccino in Los Angeles).
Most people will quickly tire of your pictures and your stories, but don't take it personally.
Once you've been outside your comfort zone for a while, you'll start to question things that you always accepted. You'll have a new perspective on old problems.
You'll see a lot of improvements in yourself, and soon you'll be thinking about how to improve the world.
Find out for yourself.
Starting in 2022, I'm going to organize at least one mass bike touring event in the Mediterranean each year until I'm too old to ride.
In the spring of 2022, we're going to follow the Via Appia in one direction, then cross the Adriatic sea and tour the Balkans.
I'm officially inviting you to join me for the whole ride or any part of it, or to follow along virtually.
While we ride out the pandemic in 2021, I'm going to help you prepare for the first ride. I'll teach you ways to pay for your trip, how to get physically in shape for the ride, along with the history, philosophy, and cultures of the places we'll visit.
I'm talking about this weekly on a Facebook page, where I'll be speaking live every Wednesday at 5 pm Pacific time. You can join me and ask questions here: https://www.facebook.com/AppiaBike