Trying New Things While Traveling: Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone
It’s not easy getting out of your comfort zone. You are so accustomed to certain aspects in life and when challenged to step outside them, it can seem like a hard thing to do. I know I struggle with this as well. However, here are some benefits of trying new things and tips on getting out of your comfort zone.
Benefits To Trying New Things
When you’re open to trying new things, you are experiencing something new and adding that to your experience inventory. It’s important as an individual to always challenge yourself and to grow. The only way to do that is through getting out of your comfort zone to try new things
1. Personal Development
When you try new things and get out of your comfort zone, you are growing as a person in many different ways. From cognitive growth to emotional and mental growth, it’s all about growth as an individual. It’s ok to experience something new or different, take that with you, and use it to better yourself.
One new thing I tried recently this year was solo traveling. I was definitely out of my comfort zone as I usually travel with others. But you know what? I learned so much about myself as a person, my skills, and what I’m capable of. You can read more about my solo travel experience here.
2. New Knowledge
Gaining new knowledge, new information, is important for your cognitive growth and stimulation. Whether it’s something new you learned about the area, the local people, an object, it’s all cumulative knowledge which contributes to your understanding of the area.
I love visiting locations and going to museums. It’s so fun to me because I get to learn something new every time. Not only am I gaining new knowledge in a particular area but I’m stimulating my appetite to learn.
3. Gain A New Perspective
Another positive aspect of trying new things is that you gain a new perspective on your trip. If you are exposed to a new culture, it gives you a new and different outlook on how the world works. If you try a new cuisine, you’re gaining a new perspective on food, the taste buds, and how it’s intertwined with the culture.
The world is a vast place with many different people, cultures, and ways of life. It’s very limiting to stick to the same culture, same way of life, same outlook for most of your life. You’re not learning anything new. When you step outside that comfort zone, you’re gaining new, exciting, intriguing or even weird perspectives on life.
4. Learn Something New About Yourself
By stepping outside of your comfort zone, you’re challenging yourself. You’re testing your own boundaries to see what you know, what you’re capable of, and what you need to work on. Getting out of your comfort zone is a great way of learning something new about yourself and who you are as a person.
5. Create Memories
One of the best aspects of trying new things are the memories you create. Whether they’re good or bad memories, you’re creating imprints in your mind about your new experience. This leaves a lasting impression and image of whatever it is you did.
Travelers alike have many fun and happy memories of trying new things but also bad or sad ones. I, myself have quite a few happy and not so happy memories of traveling. You take the good with the bad, learn from your experience, and move on.
6. Have A Better Trip
Hear me out. If you try something new, get outside your comfort zone, you may have a happier or better trip. You may be pleasantly surprised with your experience and would have possibly regretted not trying it. Not every new experience will be a happy one but how would you know that if you didn’t give it a try?
A perfect example of this is when my friend Jenn held a baby alligator for the first time in the Everglades! She was hesitant at first because she was put off by the idea of holding an alligator. After talking to her about my experience holding one, and how she may not have another opportunity to hold one soon, she decided to give it a try. And she loved it! She was pleasantly surprised and was happier because she stepped out of her comfort zone to try something new.
7. Gain New Experiences
Traveling and trying new things creates such novelty experiences. Experiences are how we as people view the world around us by encountering and observing things. We use all our 5 senses to actively create new experiences and memories in our brains.
This is a good thing, because you are being active physically and mentally. You’re training your mind and body to experience something new, take in that information, adapt to the situation, and challenge yourself. You gain so much insight, benefits, and input from new experiences.
8. Broaden Your World View
The world is a huge place. There’s a plethora of variance and beauty, it’s a never ending place to find new things. Meaning, there’s more to this world and life. There’s more to life than the same people, in the same location, with the same way of life.
When you take that step out of your comfort zone while traveling, your view of the whole world changes and broadens for the better. You gain new knowledge and perspectives on how the world works, how other people live, and how life differs from place to place.
Tips On Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone
1. Have A Open Mind
The first and most important thing you have to do when getting out of your comfort zone is to have an open mind. Often, people tend to shy away from trying something new because they don’t have an open mind. They’re not open to the idea, they think they’re not going to like it, so they don’t try it.
I struggle with this sometimes but I promise you, going in with an open mind is the first step to getting out of your comfort zone.
2. Face Your Fear(s)
I know this one seems intense and for some people, it can be an intense experience. If you have a fear that you want to overcome, do so by doing an activity or something which makes you face your fear(s). It’s not an easy task but that’s how you grow as a person.
My friend Stephanie has a fear of heights. When we went to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, she was so afraid of walking on see through glass so high up above the canyon floor. Although she was scared, and baby inched her way around the skywalk, she faced her fear and made it! She was so happy she didn’t let her fear stop her from trying something new.
3. Find New Activities
A great way of getting out of your comfort zone is finding new activities to do while traveling. Try something different, something you wouldn’t normally do while traveling. If you’re into the historical, museum type of things, try doing a water sport. Or, if you’re into the beach and swimming, try a walking tour of a city.
It’s a little strange at first because you’re not accustomed to doing things that are out of your preferred interests. But you’ll thank yourself later when you took a chance and did something new.
4. Look For Similar Interests
If you’re having a hard time trying something completely different, then you can try inching your way into something new. Kind of like sticking your toes in the water first instead of completely jumping in. Try to find activities to do that incorporate some of your interests but still has new elements in it. That way, you’re slowly but surely exposing yourself to new things.
5. Change Your Routine
Another way of trying new things or getting out of your comfort zone is to change your routine. You can completely change your routine or change one or two things within it. This can be your travel routine, your eating routine, any routine you have already. The goal is to slowly change your patterns so you can adapt to new things.
6. Put Yourself Out There
As someone who is more on the introverted side, it can be hard to put yourself out there and to get out of your comfort zone. I’d rather let people come to me instead of me going to them. However, that’s now how I’m going to grow as a person and improve on social skills.
Try putting yourself out there when you’re traveling. Try reaching out to someone first, take the initiative to do something first, be open and transparent with others. You may end up meeting some new people, making friends, and loving the new things you tried out.
7. Positive Thinking
The biggest thing about getting out of your comfort zone or trying new things is positive thinking. Not only having an open mind but being positive about your new experience. Don’t shut an idea down or expect negative experiences without giving them a chance.
It’s a lot easier said than done in certain situations but try to keep a positive mindset. You never know what’s going to happen and you don’t want to live with regrets. You don’t want to say, “I wish I would have given it a try”. Instead, you want to say, “I’m happy I at least tried it but turns out I don’t like water sports that much”.
8. Set Goals
If you’re still having trouble getting out of your comfort zone while traveling, then set some goals. Before or during your travel(s), set at least one to three goals that you want to accomplish. They can be anything. Like, trying at least one new food item, one new activity, a new type of accommodation, you get the idea.
I do this myself with trying new cuisines while traveling. I’m such a picky eater in general, so trying new food items is hard for me. However, I set a goal for myself to try at least one new thing every time I travel. That way, I’m exposing myself to something new.
For some people, trying new things come easier to them than others. Some people have a real hard time breaking out of their comfort zone while traveling. It’s a lot easier to stick to the same things over and over again than it is to try something new. However, some people love trying new things and live for those new experiences.
Needless to say, you have nothing to lose and stand to gain experience from getting out of our comfort zone. With these tips and benefits, I hope you set out to try something new on your next trip. Be bold, daring, and brave!