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Travel Show: Andrew McCarthy, on travel's fear-busting rewards

February 21, 2013|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Andrew McCarthy wants you to go somewhere, anywhere.

The actor turned travel writer thinks fear holds Americans back from going places. And he should know. McCarthy, editor-at-large for National Geographic Traveler and author of "The Longest Way Home," writes about the fears he has faced and conquered through travel, and it's a lesson he hopes will inspire others.

"My soapbox is 'changing the world one trip at a time,' " he said in a National Geographic Live! interview last October (see video). McCarthy will talk about his writings (and likely his fears too) as one of the featured speakers at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show on Sunday.

In the story titled "What Am I Doing Here?" in the October issue of National Geographic Traveler, McCarthy detailed the fear that derailed him during his arduous 500-mile walk along Spain's Camino de Santiago. And it appeared again in a hotel in Singapore and in the Brazilian Amazon, too. He writes:

"It’s through travel that I’ve stared my fear in the face, revealing it for the phantom it is. Now, on the road, I’m a better version of myself, less defensive, more open, more curious. The person I bring home is closer to the one I want to be, and I’m damned if I’ll let fear stop that.

"My journey away from fear has taken me around the world. An accidental moment under a hot sun in rural northern Spain cracked me open, offering me a glimpse of how to live a different life from the one that had been leading me. Nothing has been the same since."

If only we all could find such profound results in our travels. Or maybe that's exactly McCarthy's point -- we absolutely can.

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