Stepping outside of your comfort zone will take you to new and exciting places. Here is why.
I felt slightly uninspired this week. I committed to writing one of these posts every week, yet the last thing I wanted to do was to force it. Those are meant to be my true, lived stories or thoughts, and I felt very disappointed when Sunday came, and I had nothing to share.
But hey, you get those weeks too, so I decided to relax and wait another couple of days. And if nothing happens, I will write about how hard sometimes it is to find inspiration. But this is possibly a topic for next week’s post.
As I relaxed, I decided to watch my favourite ‘guilty pleasure’ type of videos about the #vanlife, for pure entertainment. And I came across Kirsten Dirksen video portraying a couple living a life in their van and their story. The video is called ‘Vanlife with no filter’, and it shows Simon and Shelby on their journey. Probably some of the most genuine and inspiring stories I have seen recently. A story about stepping outside of your comfort zone.
The documentary talks about what it really is to live and travel in a van, the ups and downs and how different it is from the picture we get from social media.
And honestly, I was not surprised because life is not what we see on social media. But apart from the lovely story of this couple’s life, I took something more meaningful out of it, or more relevant for me.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone will make you grow as a person in ways you couldn’t imagine otherwise.
The journey was challenging and at times, hard for the couple. Shelby says at some point in the video:
‘Instead of focusing outward, I started focusing inward on this journey. On how it affects me and realising that it’s okay to live and to create in the place of uncertainty. And in the place of awkwardness and feeling uncomfortable. What this travel has become about, is taking myself out of my comfort zone. Even just surviving in a place of being uncomfortable is enough to make you grow and to change you as a person, and to be a valid experience‘
When I heard this sentence it just sat with me so well. I realised what is really important in the travelling lifestyle.
The art of travelling is simply stepping outside of your comfort zone and letting yourself grow as a human. And in doing a real thing – for yourself, not just for the viewers and likes and hashtags.
A lot of what is happening in the travel world right now has become a hashtag. Hashtag vanlife, hashtag backpacking. All for the show, YouTube views or blog visitors. And in a way, it is great because so many of us wouldn’t even think it’s possible to live this way if this wasn’t becoming more ‘mainstream’.
I would not have thought of travelling across the world alone if I hadn’t seen other women doing it. I would not have ever thought that living in a van was even an option. So for this – we are lucky. Yet I realised I was missing something.
I went climbing the mountain to learn something about myself. And like Shelby said in the video – the place where we feel uncomfortable is where we grow as people!
But comfort is what we strive for in today’s world.
It’s easy to buy a flashy van with your family’s money and create those awesome fashionable pictures. But doing it all on your own, saving up and building it on a budget? And then travelling, alone, while facing external and internal struggles? That’s a different story.
When travelling – we are seeing the world. But we don’t discover ourselves by staying in a fancy hotel and chilling by the pool.
It’s awesome – yet nothing grows there. Nothing grows in a place called the comfort zone.
I know (and this is true for me, doesn’t need to be for you) that I need to do the real thing, and push myself into the areas which scare me, where I feel uncomfortable. This is where I can discover my true potential and maybe learn who I really am. This can only happen by stepping outside of my comfort zone.
And in between, I will also jump into the pool whenever I can 🙂
But this is a great thing. Nothing grows in a place called a comfort zone (I’m pretty sure I have written it on this blog at least a couple of times). Yet it’s true. My life’s biggest passion isn’t travelling, or writing, or seeing the world and meeting people.
My life’s biggest passion is self-growth.
I know that staying where I am right now and keeping the status quo might make me feel safe – but it won’t make me grow. So right now as I’m writing it, in my little cute flat, whilst having a secure job and living in a safe country – I know this is not where I’m going to stay. I have to keep stepping outside of my comfort zone to become the best version of myself.
Who knows where I’m going to be next year at this time? Wherever that is – I hope I have grown and become a better person than I am right now.
A lot of the photos on the web, if not most of them, don’t show the true life. Yet a lot of people think this is real life. Whether those are full-time travellers, van lifers or any type of influencer lifestyle out there.
And I understand a lot of it is the way to make a living. Hardship and day-to-day struggles don’t sell.
But what we need to remember is that yes, the van life is real, full-time travelling is real, but we don’t see the day-to-day hardships and troubles. It’s great to dream and fantasize about life on the road but we need to remember that there is so much more to it.
I don’t think this takes anything away from the experience. More! It adds to it.
So here I’m making a promise to you, and myself. I will always show the truth, wherever I will end up on my journey. The great things and happiness as well as day-to-day struggles, whether it sells or not 🙂
Update (19th November 20123):
This article was written in July 2020. As I am reading it, I am sitting in a hostel in Malacca, Malaysia. I went outside of my comfort zone. Multiple times. I have been travelling for over 3 years. It is strange to look back at myself, the person who wrote this post back then. Dear, how I became a totally different person.
I Don’t regret anything! I have learnt so much about myself and what truly is important in life. Travel is the best university you will ever attend! Go out of your comfort zone and go travelling!