Nothing grows in a place called the comfort zone

Aveiro and Costa Nova - Perfect Day Trip from Porto

Stepping outside of your comfort zone will take you to new and exciting places. Here is why nothing grows in a place called the comfort zone.

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 most 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 a social media portrait. But apart from the lovely story of this couple’s life and thoughts, 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.

Nothing grows in a place called a comfort zone
Nothing grows in place called comfort zone

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 ok 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 the 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

And 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 became 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 haven’t seen other women doing it. I would not have ever thought that living in a van is 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 – in 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 of 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 discover 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, 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 your comfort zone.

And in between, I will also jump into the pool whenever I can 🙂

Nothing grows in a place called the comfort zone
Nothing grows in a place called the comfort zone

As I grow into my future travel plans I do get scared more. I realise I have no idea how I’m going to feel about it and how things will go for me. 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. And nothing grows in a place called comfort zone

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 became 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 or vanlifers 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 is 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 to 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 🙂



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Pati's Journey Within

Hi, I’m Pati. A traveller, photographer (aspiring), dreamer and hopeless believer in magic. I caught the travel bug in my forties – and not planning to look back any time soon. I travel solo and on a budget and I try to spend as much time and effort as possible to truly immerse myself in the country I am visiting.

Whether you are like me and decided to change your life around a new dream or just wandering (because not all who wander are lost) – I am here to tell you that everything is possible. 


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