How to Step out of Comfort Zones when Traveling

com·fort zone

noun

a place or situation where one feels safe or at ease and without stress.

There’s something very freeing about exploring new territory. I love the feeling of stepping out of a plane or taking a road trip and the endless possibilities stretching ahead.

Whether you’re traveling near (around the same city) or far, it’s fun to ‘escape’ your daily routine every now and then. While routines give us stability, the unknown can be exciting, and offers us a chance to grow. The unknown gives us an opportunity to experience different things – to talk to locals, to taste new foods, to see a new culture.

When you think about it more, decisions you make during travel are about your comfort zone. You decide where you’ll stay, which sites you’ll see, who you’re traveling with, and who you might talk to. These are clear choices you have control over.

How to step out of your comfort zone:

  1. Consider approaching things differently. If you find yourself following a close schedule when traveling, break away from it. Test new cuisine, try a new route, go to an event or a market, and walk around aimlessly instead of planning everything to the last detail. Of course, use your judgment when you feel uncomfortable or when something doesn’t feel quite right. Our senses can warn us and you can intuitively know if you’re pushing the boundaries.
  2. Take the time to reflect. If you step out of your comfort zone and what you experience is positive, then maybe you can explore doing so again. If you step out of your comfort zone and feel stressed, don’t give up and maybe next time you can consider taking smaller, gradual steps.
  3. Learn a new skill. Don’t be afraid of failure. Learn a new language and practice it with locals when you’re traveling. They’ll appreciate your efforts to communicate, and it’ll give you the chance to test new waters.
  4. Just do it. Been wanting to take a trip or go skydiving? Too often it’s easy to make excuses to postpone things, or stay away from them altogether. But, without trying, you won’t ever know what might happen, and you could miss out on a great experience (or maybe even on a not-so-great one that will in turn teach you new perspectives). Safely pushing your boundaries ensures you are breaking down the mental blocks that prevent you from experiencing life.

 Comfort Zones

How do you break out of your free comfort zone? Do you see it as being physical (such as going skydiving?), emotional or mental? Have you ever felt uncomfortable at a certain point while traveling? How did you handle it? Share a story in the comments.

3 thoughts on “How to Step out of Comfort Zones when Traveling

  1. My friend and I were just having this discussion last night. We were mostly talking about how to make friends while traveling when it means that one really has to step out of one’s comfort zone. Great tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Thanks for sharing! That’s especially true when trying to make friends while traveling 🙂 It’s not always easy to connect with people (especially if there is a language barrier), but I admire people who at least try!

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