About a month ago, I conquered something off my bucket list that I never thought I’d be brave enough to do…skydiving! If you were to have said to me ten years ago that I would one day free fall from 14,000 feet in the air on my own free will, I would have thought you were insane. But alas, for my 25th birthday, I wanted to do something brave and crazy, and could not think of a better activity than to dive through the sky!
And honestly, I owe a lot of my bravery to do such activities from my travel experience.
For those who experience their first time traveling out of their country of origin, it is very difficult to know what to expect. My first experience abroad was volunteering in a third-world country, with a culture completely different from my very own. In a way, you have to be prepared for the unexpected! Here’s my personal reflection on how travel has helped me be more daring and get out of my comfort zone, even when I’m not travelling:
- Your expectations change when you travel somewhere new.
My first time outside of the U.S, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had no idea how I would feel, react, or handle being in a foreign country, especially among an impoverished country. Having Nicaragua to be my first county to visit outside of the United States helped me to develop an open mind, when it comes to travel and a sense of adventure.
Surprisingly, many people have given me a difficult time having first traveled to Nicaragua, a “third world country”, instead of a European country, such as England or France. However, I felt that (for me personally) traveling somewhere more exotic and completely foreign to me, helped me to become more adventurous overall.
2. You’ll want to “have a taste” of everything.
Due to academic and professional commitments, I usually only have a short amount of time to take off to travel, usually giving myself 10 days for each trip. Therefore, I want to be able to squeeze in as much as possible during every visit. I want to be able to see all of the tourist attractions, while getting a taste of what life is like as a local. Since my time is so limited, I no longer let fear prevent me from experiencing something new (whether I enjoy it or not is a completely different story!).
3. You’re pretty much forced out of your comfort zone, simply by being in a foreign country.
Just the act of traveling itself can get you out of your comfort zone, even if you’re a travelling professional. Whether you’ve traveled to the same country 20 times or if it’s your first time out of your homeland, you’re still leaving your own culture and customs behind. Experiencing another culture can be intimidating and even downright scary! My trip to China was a prime example of this for me. Never have I ever felt so out of place in my life, yet, I enjoyed every minute of the chaos. Travelling somewhere new has become thrilling to me and has given me a desire for new experiences (and has made me a bit of an adrenaline junkie)!