The Delights of Traveling: Stepping out of Your Comfort Zone
Stepping out of your comfort zone
Regardless of whether you live a sheltered life or not, sometimes stepping out of what you know allows you to understand who you truly are. If you had asked me 8 years ago where I would have been, I will tell you that it would definitely not be here. People I have known for a very long time have even told me that I do not look at all like they would have expected all that time ago.
The question is, what makes people decide to go traveling? Is it because they are in between situations in their lives? Is it because they want to "find themselves"? or is it because they have accomplished what they want in life and are ready for a new adventure?
However, I think the important thing to realize is that not everyone is ready at the right time. For example, I had met these two Americans that had planned everything down to the last second and while that is great that they had a plan, they never wanted to waiver from it. They were also so stuck in their ways from back home that they wouldn't even eat the local food because they had read blogs and other websites that said that they had gotten food poisoning from the street food and such. They didn't want to experience the night life or go out at night because they had read that it was dangerous and they could get attacked. I mean, that type of thing could happen anywhere you know? Not just Southeast Asia. I thought to myself and I said that if they weren't going to experience the local culture and just sit at the hostel watching Netflix and not talk to anyone new, why wouldn't they just stay home and do the things that they were comfortable with instead of flying halfway across the world and was wasting their money?
The whole point of traveling is to meet new people and understand the culture of the country that you are in. Not stick your nose up at the locals of that place.
The few things of advice I can give are as follows:
1) Try the local food: Wherever you may be, it is important to try at least something local. Start small if you are too nervous. Another thing is don't try to be brave when ordering food at first, just stick with what you know. That way you know that you will like it and can become more adventurous over time.
2) Go for a walk: One of the first things I do when I arrive at a new place is, I go for a walk. I try and familiarize myself with the place so that regardless of what time it is, I know where I am and where I am going.
I also believe that having a solidified plan can really hurt your attempt to step out of your comfort zone. If you are one of those type of people back home that literally plan everything down to the second, try not to. The important thing when you are backpacking is to go with the flow. Obviously having some sort of idea is a good thing, but just keep it easy.
**One thing to understand is that cultures are different, people are different, mentalities can be different. Don't try to impact your views on other people without understanding another person's point of view. One of the most important things not to talk about when you are meeting new people is religion, another is politics. Like I said before, everyone has a right to their own opinion, but especially if your views are a bit "left-wing" it is probably not the best idea to talk about that kind of thing when you first meet people.
I personally believe that traveling is the best way for people to understand themselves and their surroundings. Some people can thrive from that and may continue traveling and enjoying the wonders that the world have to offer and some people will also realize that traveling is not for them and they just want to stay home.
Another thing that I have realized is that when people are open to change. they are more than likely to have a better time. Especially when it comes to talking to people. Extroverts will always be extroverts, but introverts become more welcoming and more open and that is what everyone wants right?
Which one are you?