by Davey Wavey - by gaytravel.com - MyGayToronto.com media partner.
I recently saw a diagram that says it all. On one end, a circle is labeled, “Your comfort zone.” On the opposite end of the illustration is another circle. Its label? “Where the magic happens.”
It’s only when we push ourselves beyond our boundaries—and outside our comfort zone—that we invite the excitement, zest and vigor that comes from new experiences and personal growth into our lives. This is the magic—and it doesn’t come from doing more of the same.
When I reflect on my own life, I know this to be true. I was terrified to spend a week in Provence this past summer. I didn’t know the language, was with a group of strangers and wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was the most amazing and delightful trip that I’ve ever had. Spending a month in Buenos Aires was even scarier. The language barrier was enormous, the poverty was overwhelming and I knew very little about the Argentinean culture. But it was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life—and something that I’ll cherish always.
So why don’t we spend more time where all the magic happens? Why don’t we inject some excitement into our lives and take that dream vacation to Europe, the African safari about which we fantasize or trip to Australia? We know that vacations need not be expensive—there are plenty of ways to travel cheap. We know where to go and what to see. We know what to pack and even where to stay. With no good excuses to fall back on, what’s holding us back?
For most of us, the answer is fear. We stay within our comfort zone because it’s so damn comfortable. In fact, knowing what to expect resonates with us at an instinctual and evolutionary level. Knowing what to expect—and having those expectations met—was, at one point in early human history, a matter of survival. But times have changed, and living within our comfort zone can result in a watered down experience of life.
As we start the new year, perhaps it’s a good time to renew our commitment to living with a little more adventure. The last calendar year went by in a blur—and 2012 promises to go by even faster. Whether it’s fulfilling our travel goals or anything else in life, we can’t let fear paralyze us from living our dreams.
Here’s to 2012 being a year of magic for all of us.