What it takes to get out of your comfort zone
I've been thinking a lot about travel and how I've been so extraordinarily lucky to have gone the places I've been. I've also been thinking about how difficult it is for others to get started. Leaping out of your comfort zone is one of the hardest things a person can do.
However, it's surprisingly easy to keep the travel streak going after you first start, but it's that initial moment of getting the ball rolling that's always the toughest.
The decision to go. It's never easy.
For some, it's incredibly easy to say, "Hey, let's pack our bags and go somewhere." But for others, leaping outside your comfort zone isn't quite that simple.
There's a lot that comes with it. Where should we go? Where should we stay? How will we get around? What can we do while we're there?
Traveling for most is complex, scary, full of unknowns and can be extremely stressful. And truth be told, at first, it totally is.
And let's face it. Having a routine is nice, driving a car feels great, having things to come home to feels good. Accomplishing the daily to-do list makes you feel excellent. Going to the gym on a regular basis, grocery shopping, going out with friends, it's all part of our normal white wall existence that we become accustomed to over a great deal of time.
So, why should we leave our comfy couches, 70 inch TV's, warm houses and full fridges?
The answer here is because the world teaches you things about yourself you can't find in a 9-5 job. The world is so chaotic and full of beautiful illusions, random chance meetings and opportunities you couldn't ever have dreamed of while sitting at home.
It's a big world out there, and traveling leaves everything to chance. It's risky, it's scary, it's nerve-wracking, not knowing what's coming next, where you might eat or sleep next....backpacking is one of those things that once you do it, you never fear doing it again.
(You also don't know how the hell you survived sometimes) but once you stuff your whole life in a backpack and hit the road, there's really nothing like traveling to make you realize how tiny and insignificant you are in the world.
And truth be told, there's nothing more spiritually humbling than that.
So, what does it take to get out of your comfort zone?
You've got to be willing to take the first step. You've got to say, 'Ok, let's do this.' That's it.
You've got to stand up and say, 'I'm fucking doing this, right here, right now.'
That's seriously all it takes to get outside your comfort zone. It doesn't even have to be travel, that's just damn good advice for life itself. So, stop making excuses. Decide to travel. Period. No matter what.
Understand that travel will present you with opportunities, challenges and situations you won't ever be able to imagine, replicate or experience anywhere else but outside your comfort zone.
Now, the caveat being, you don't have to throw all your belongings into a backpack, quit your job, sell your car, break up with your loved one just to hit the road (I've done it) but sometimes all it takes is to stand up to yourself and say, "Hey, I deserve to go somewhere awesome this year."
It doesn't have to be three months, it doesn't have to be six months in New Zealand, or a year at a Chinese Monastery, but start small. Get out of your comfort zone at least once a year for AT LEAST a week.
I would love it if everyone that read this post signed up for a trip, but realistically I know that's going to happen. So, take this for what you will. Travel as much and as far as humanly possible. And trust me, once you start, it's not as hard as you might think to keep that ball rolling.
Hell, you don't even need that much freakin' money to do it, or get started.
Now, get out there and be somebody dammit.
- Cam King