Does travel always equal going outside your comfort zone?
Particularly among those of us who travel extensively, there’s a temptation to draw the equivalence. While travel can present opportunities to escape the familiar, to experiment with new behaviors, and to subject yourself to vulnerability and emotional risk, it does not mean that once the backpack is strapped on, you have automatically departed your comfort zone.
We are not referring to Amazing Race-like stunts, or bungee jumping, skydiving or other extreme thrill-seeking travel feats. Instead, we are referring to the comfort zone of the cultural and interpersonal variety and the sorts of uncelebrated travel achievements of human interaction that push mental boundaries. This comfort zone is about overcoming fears of people and cultures different than our own – by doing more than just visiting ruins, churches and temples, mixing it up with the front desk staff of the hostel, and staring out the window of a spiffy tour bus while making grand philosophical projections about the life streaming by outside.
It’s about getting lost – sometimes physically, often times emotionally – and placing yourself in situations whose challenges spit you out on the other side – altered, slightly different, and just possibly a better person.
We’ve met travelers who would like to push themselves beyond the limits of what they know and understand, but they don’t know how to get started. We offer a few ideas on how to begin.
After this, you’re on your own. That’s when the real fun happens.
See the entire article here, on Uncornered Market.