Three Key Reasons to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone 

EdOdyssey Marketing Intern Amanda Lowrey bungee jumping, with her GoPro in hand, over the Kawarau river in Queenstown, NZ.

EdOdyssey Marketing Intern Amanda Lowrey bungee jumping, with her GoPro in hand, over the Kawarau river in Queenstown, NZ.

As new or veteran travelers, all of us recognize when there is a new food or unfamiliar activity that seems uncomfortable. When we travel, we have an opportunity to try something spontaneous, or even daring. When we face that challenge, we have the ability to make a huge impact on our time abroad and beyond! 

Taking the leap to go abroad is about embracing different experiences and learning about the place you’re exploring. In turn, you have a chance to gain insight into yourself, and how you can truly live your life to the fullest. 

Here are three key reasons why stepping out of your comfort zone is beneficial to your experience abroad: 

1) Leaping Beyond Your Boundaries

This is a 141 ft free fall off the original bridge built in 1988! This jump was a huge moment for me to let go of my fears of heights...

Growth occurs when we step outside our comfort zones. Though there will always be a few surprises here and there, things usually turn out the way it should. The challenges faced will make you a stronger traveler by adapting to your environment! 

Take that leap and try something you never thought you could. During my time studying abroad, I travelled around New Zealand for two weeks and decided to bungee jump off the original AJ Hackett Bungee Bridge. As someone who is known by her friends and family to be a cautious scaredy-cat who is afraid of heights, the jump was completely out of my element. 

And you know what? I learned so much about myself after I had accomplished it… 

You never know how freeing it is to take that literal leap and try something exhilarating unless you do it. Now, I’m not advising you to skydive or eat bugs, but even simpler things, such as conversing with strangers on an airplane or trying a traditional dish, are just as valuable when exploring the adventurous side of yourself!

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2) Minimize Your Worries

Try minimizing the ‘what-ifs’. What if the experience is too intense? What if I don’t make friends? What if I don’t connect with the location? These ‘what-if’ scenarios can plague our minds. 

Therefore, acknowledge stepping out of your comfort zone with both feet forward, and give yourself the power to decide what you want to gain from your experience overseas. There will be situations that are unexpected. Sometimes, the unexpected are the most exciting to remember.

You will grow as a person when trying things that might seem scary at first. You can’t expect to grow if you don’t if you stick to doing things that don’t scare you and you can’t always expect to grow or change as a person if you don’t have those brave experiences.

3) Bye Fears, Hello Adventures  

Amanda Lowrey having the time of her life white watering rafting in Quepos, Costa Rica.

Amanda Lowrey having the time of her life white watering rafting in Quepos, Costa Rica.

When I went abroad, I had to let go of my fears, stop thinking, and start living. Whether you go abroad for a few days or a few months, you’ll never have as much time as you think that you’ll have. Activities we complete and people we meet are all reminders of what we showed ourselves we could accomplish.

Do something to challenge yourself every day, even if it’s not signing up for skydiving or going to the extreme. When you travel, time can be your friend, and make the most of that. Seeing, eating, and doing things you never thought you would is what makes travel authentic!

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Experiences change how we live. During my time abroad, those moments that I took on unexpectedly are the ones that I cherish the most. My biggest takeaway from participating outside of my comfort zone was becoming a fearless traveler, and being okay with embracing things as they are, as well as celebrating the surprising circumstances.

The possibilities when it comes to traveling and the impact we receive by being adventurous, are limitless. Check out “3 Beautiful Realizations From Unexpected Travel Changes” about what you can expect to take away when things don’t go as planned!