Are You Missing Out?
January 13, 2015|Posted in: Travel Advice
“Now that I’ve gotten to a certain age, I really like my creature comforts,” a friend recently admitted in response to hearing about some of my adventures creating itineraries for Llama Expeditions.
I completely understood. Long before I reached that certain age, I too had grown to like my creature comforts. My vacations generally consisted of staying in tastefully decorated B&Bs and doing nothing that would make me break sweat except maybe lying on the beach.
For some reason, I had convinced myself that I couldn’t handle anything more adventurous. And, I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around the idea of being voluntarily uncomfortable.
Then, a divorce turned my world upside down. My entire life felt uncomfortable. In fact, I had the disorientating sensation of having woken up in someone else’s life. The process of adjusting to this new normal had me re-thinking all of my assumptions about who I was and how I fit in.
In an attempt to escape the murky swirl of emotions that enveloped me, I turned to adventure travel.
And, unexpectedly I learned some very important benefits of going on adventures and, yes, choosing voluntarily to be uncomfortable.
- Kodachrome memories. I remember very little about all those lovely B&Bs I stayed in or the activities I did during my “comfort” vacations. But, I can see a Technicolor slideshow in my head of the time I trekked the Inca Trail, the home stay I did on Amantani Island, the hike through the Lares Valley with llamas, swimming with baby sea lions in the Galapagos, and the Jeep safari across the Bolivian salt flat. Those memories are priceless.
- Amazing stories. Everyone’s life is a story. Adventures make that story exciting to live and to tell. Going on adventures makes you an interesting person for others to be around.
- Improved confidence. Part of the discomfort of going on an adventure is the fear of not knowing if you will be able to do whatever it is – summiting a 14,000-foot mountain, swimming with sharks, staying with a local family who doesn’t speak English. You build confidence when you find out that yes you can do it in spite of the discomfort.
- Agility. I think when we stay in our comfort zone in one area; we tend to stay in our comfort zone in every area. Because we aren’t venturing out into the unknown, our assumptions about who we are and how we see things are never challenged. Going on adventures that take you out of your comfort zone can help you to remain agile because you are receiving new feedback that tests these assumptions. You might discover that you have some re-thinking to do that ultimately changes your life.
- Young again. Many of the tourists that I see when I travel are in their sixties and seventies. I think the reason that adventure travel appeals to this group so much has less to do with checking a destination off their bucket list than it does with getting back in touch with their younger selves – the little kid that scaled trees, built forts, swung from vines, ran through the woods, and rode a bike faster than anyone else in the neighborhood. In fact, I have pictures of some of our clients doing these very things on our trips to prove it!