If you absorb anything from my blog, I hope it’s the concept of stepping out of your comfort zone. I believe that stepping out of our comfort zones is the greatest skill that travel can teach us.Robert Quinn, author of Building the Bridge as you Walk on it, describes this concept as adaptive confidence. Quinn states that, “The practice of adaptive confidence means that we are willing to enter uncertain situations because we have a higher purpose and we are confident that we can learn and adapt as we move forward.” Nothing helps us reach adaptive confidence like traveling.
By entering the unknown, we let go of the rational side of our mind and let the emotional side take control. This is when we are able to accept the new skills that travel is trying to teach us. I have been on a few trips that made me step out of my comfort zone, but the greatest learning experience for me was my time in Brazil.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, I studied abroad in Brazil for a summer during my undergrad. I didn’t know the language, area, culture, and I didn’t travel with anybody that I knew. It was my first time traveling alone and I was completely out of my comfort zone. I was forced to make friends with people at the university and other students in my study abroad program. The fact that I didn’t have any of my at home comforts such as T.V., playstation, friends, or cellular data made me more open to random excursions. If somebody came to my apartment and asked if I wanted to do something, my answer was almost always “yes.”
At one point in my trip, my friend Dan and I hopped onto a bus, not knowing where it was going (since we couldn’t understand what the driver told us). We got off when the bus was near a beach and ended up having an awesome day with a few local students who were there surfing. To this day, I am still in contact with the people I met on that beach.
So get out there and step out of your comfort zone, it truly is where the magic happens.