Why Living Outside Your Comfort Zone Matters
I will be the first to admit that I am a homebody. I like cooking lentil stew and talking on the couch. I would prefer to read half of a lot of books just to distract myself from doing laundry.
The way I see it, why go out?
Wine is cheaper by the bottle, anyway. So when my boyfriend and I recently took a road trip to Oregon's Crater Lake National Park, I was challenged more than once to step outside my comfort zone. To begin this story, I will say that I love camping and am acquainted with its grungy ways. In fact, I was the one telling him I am “not above eating food with dirt on it.”
My challenge came, as it often does, when I was given “an out.” See, we had booked a boat excursion of the lake, the deepest lake in the nation at 1,900 feet. And to get to the deepest lake in the nation, you have to hike down — and back up a 700-foot incline inside the caldera of a dormant volcano. A strenuous hike that has been said to be 1.1 miles down and 20 miles up. But, nearby forest fires had greatly obscured the view of the lake, which was a huge disappointment to us all.
You could barely even see the water.
So, the fires led us to consider canceling the boat excursion. My stomach jumped with excitement at the thought, “I might not have to even go on this boat!” Apparently it takes no time at all for a campsite to begin to feel like home. However, almost as quickly I said, “What if we didn’t go?” I also felt my adventurous spirit dwindle to the size of my little toe.
Though uncomfortable, I agreed to make it happen.
Fast forward to the 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, telling us to begin our hike down to the boat. The sun was rising over the mountains. The air had cleared considerably and we were ready for our water adventure.
The 8 hours that followed: hiking down, seeing the geological features of the inside of a volcano, hiking to the top of the island in the middle, jumping into 45-degree water and even the painful hike back up was the single best thing we did the whole trip. It was simply incredible.
Do you know how many more times I enjoyed going on the boat cruise than sitting in my tent? A BILLION times more!
Living outside of your comfort zone, challenging your norms, and taking on the unexpected are truly some of the best ways to live life.
These opportunities happen every day. So today, sing at karaoke, look people in the eye during your presentation, pick up an old hobby or “forget” to wear mascara. It will be so worth it. What I learned: Wine is still cheaper by the bottle, but you can drink it on the edge of the earth. What will you learn?
Written by Briana Malrick
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