Most of us are scared of diving head first into the unknown. Into complete unfamiliarity, not knowing what might happen next and into uncertainty. We might avoid the unknown and stay in our comfort zone because we scared of failure or of all the things that could potentially go wrong. Getting out of your comfort zone can be very rewarding. Without a little risk, there is no reward. Getting out of your comfort zone could even reveal a passion you didn't know you had. If you think about it, everything was new at some point and if you don't give it a try then you will never know what you are truly capable of.
Stepping outside your comfort zone is something I want to encourage because through my own experience it helped me make the most of my travels. Not only has it helped me make my travel dreams come true, it has also helped me learn new things about myself in my day to day life.
Firstly, lets back it up a bit here ok. If you are wanting to travel then you are already saying yes to stepping outside of your comfort zone. You are willing and eager to explore new places, meet new people, try new foods, and immerse yourself in a new culture. That’s the main reason why we all travel, right? Travelling in the pursuit of new amazing experiences and lifelong memories. Where are also so many other unexpected benefits to travelling.
Before I left to go to Europe I had never been out of Australia, except a family holiday to Indonesia. Booking a solo one way ticket to go backpacking on the other side of world was a really scary prospect! When I would tell people about my plans they would always say that it was very brave to travel alone. I definitely had no idea what to expect. I did think about all the things that could go wrong and felt excitement mixed with a hint of nervousness about leaving my home in Western Australia. I remember so vividly how it felt when I said goodbye to my parents and got on the plane. The reality started to set in and I was definitely throwing myself in the deep end. I really had no idea at the beginning of my travels just how much I needed to go out into the world and do this for myself.
Learning to throw yourself into the unknown is all about acceptance and using your intuition. Making decisions based on your gut feelings. If you were anything like me, I grew up always thinking through ever variable. It was quite a foreign feeling when I started using my gut feelings to make decisions rather than my brain from time to time.
You find yourself being more spontaneous and open to experiences which then leads to you feeling more liberated and happy. A great example of this was when I was in Valencia on the Spain coast and met these 2 guys in a hostel who were travelling in their car around Europe. We got along great and they invited me to join them on their road trip to their next city destination Madrid. My brain was telling me, you don't know these guys that well and driving through the middle of Spain could be dangerous. However, my gut feeling was that it would be fine and a lot of fun. So, I decided to grab my backpack and go on this road trip. I ended up having the best 3 days hanging out with these 2 people. They were so generous and didn't let me pay for a thing. We are still great friends to this day! Sharing your experiences with good people makes everything more special. I really did feel alive and free.
We all have different ideas, sets of beliefs and opinions. We view the world through our own ideology and experiences. Opening yourself to new experiences will evolve and change the way you view the world. The changes could be small or maybe even huge. Your perspective will probably change as you gain a greater understanding of different cultures and ways of life. New experiences and life lessons will teach you a lot about yourself.
Travelling has a way of taking you out of your comfort zone regularly. Travelling was a catalyst to changing my mind set and to not worrying about things I cannot change. When things don't go as planned you need to just focus on finding solutions. When travelling by yourself you need to be good at problem solving. Once, I sat at the station waiting for my train for over an hour before finding out that the train had changed platforms. Obviously, I missed the train and there wasn't another train for 3 hours. Things didn't go to plan but it wasn't the end of the world. Accepting this, I booked a night at a nearby hostel. I ended up in the common area having a great chat to a bunch of German travellers and was even bought a couple of drinks at the pub next door.
You Can Do Anything
Most of us think of failing when we think of throwing ourselves into the unknown. However, life has a way of leading you to where you’re supposed to go when you just go for it. One event always leads to another. Although some events may seem like a disappointment and sadness at the time, in retrospect, whatever happened was meant to happen. In order to be able to achieve the most out of life, you need to go out there and make it happen. If you want something, you need to go for it. I was a bit anxious about skiing for the first time but I skied in Norway and France. I found out that I love it! It is exciting and thrilling. Watch us explore the French slopes. If you want to go paragliding, go paragliding! Want to learn how to dive, go diving in Koh Tao Thailand. You can only achieve that when you throw yourself into the unknown and give it a try. Don’t feel scared or feel that you’re inadequate. You can achieve anything you want if you keep trying. Most important, you need to have faith in yourself.