Living without fearI’ll never forget the first time I traveled as a mom, my baby girl was 3-months old and we had a 2-week vacation planned. We were spending a long weekend seeing the sights in San Francisco, 5 days snowboarding in Park City, then a week in San Diego visiting family. Looking back, I guess that was kind of an aggressive itinerary.

This was before 9-11 when you could bring seemingly limitless baggage, and there were no security lines to strip down for. We packed everything we thought we could possibly need, from snowboards to a stroller, and even a pack-and-play. When we picked it all up at baggage claim we couldn’t help but laugh, taking bag after bag off the conveyor. Our baby had an entourage. We caught a cab and quickly realized that they didn’t accommodate car seats. This new mom started to panic, what else was I unprepared for? What was I thinking when I planned this trip? I held my baby tight as we rode to the hotel. By the time we walked into our room, every obstacle we could possibly face filled my head. Mom guilt and hormones are a horrible combination.

I had a meltdown, voicing every fear, ending with, “How are we going to do this?” My husband calmly responded with, “We just do it, we move forward and figure things out.” Such reason. We got things together and headed out to see the city. The rest of the trip was fun, and overcoming the initial fear was liberating, giving me the confidence to get out more, try new things and make great memories.

That experience has stuck with me through the years. I now have two kids, one of them with special needs, and I have a chronic health condition. Traveling someplace new with my family can be daunting; not knowing if it will be accessible for my daughter, if she will be healthy, or if I will be healthy. But what’s the advantage to not taking the risk and staying home? By walking out the door and trying new adventures, I realize that there is so much more out there, my world expands and the troubles that feel big shrink by comparison. I become re-energized, even if things don’t go quite as planned. After all, life is an adventure, you’ve got to live it.

To me living fearlessly means pushing out the “what if’s” that can feel so heavy and thinking about how I want to live, then going for it without looking back. I even tried hang gliding and piloting a plane this year, talk about empowering! There are no guarantees in life – living fear less, or with less fear, is living life.

This Conversation to be continued on Monday May 7, 2012. Join the #TMOM TWitter party to celebrate The Big C Season 2 which is all about being fearless.

WHEN: May 7, 9-10 pm EDT (8-9 pm CT; 7-8 pm MT; 6-7 pm PT)

WHO: Panelists @TravelingMoms @KimOrlando @DebMomOf3 @CindyRichards @MaryHeston@LisaSamples @ConnieFoggles @ionMyAdventures @TibsTravel

WHAT: Twitter party – Fearless Travel

HOW TO JOIN: Follow the hashtags #TMOM and #BigC2

PRIZES: We’ll be giving away a Sony Pictures prize pack with copies of The Big C – Season 1 and 2, The Vow, Smurfs, and Zookeeper. We will also give away DVDs of The Big C Season 2 throughout the party.

RSVP: Fearless Travel Twitter Party

This post was sponsored by TravelingMom.com. All opinions are my own.

Karin Sheets is a techie, travel writer and mother of two teens, one of them with special needs.  She encourages all families to live the adventure of life.  Her personal blog is www.specialneedstravelmom.com and you can follow her @ionMyAdventures on Twitter.