Getting out or staying in my comfort zone? Creating a healthy travel style.

Travel to me means something that is a bit out of your comfort zone – going the extra mile, adventure, exploring new places that you might not have thought of before and opening up your mind to new cultures. I love to travel and I was lucky enough to go and travel to some amazing places like Cuba, Morocco, South-Africa and Israel. Places that I heard goods stories about but was quite reluctant to visit at first, afraid of the unknown, a culture shock. I would have never thought of going to South-Africa (Africa really never appealed to me, while now I cannot wait to get back someday). Isreal scared me because all the crazy stories you hear about the wars on the news, but it was such a wonderful destination to spend a family holiday there – who would have known ;)

I’m just saying, I’m grateful for these experiences and I’ve been proven wrong many times when I was biased a bit about a country, thinking it might be unsafe or unpleasant, while these actually appeared to be wonderful travel destinations! But each time, I did need a little push to get me over the edge and book these trips. Mostly because hearing good stories about the country or the fact that my travel companions wanted to go, got me over the edge and made me take a leap of faith. It may sound silly, but growing up in Western Europe in these recent years, you’re not experiencing much of poverty around the world or political instabilities and wars. I was living in my little bubble, visiting only European countries during my holidays and had a wonderful time! However – I do think it’s really valuable and see more of the world. Getting out of your comfort zone puts things in perspective, it makes you learn and understand so much more about the world and can help you appreciate the things you have and the place you live more.

However, I’m currently at a point that I feel like I’m getting saturated with travel. Constantly thinking of new and different places to visit can get tiring. Not to sound spoiled – but I don’t think people, in general, should strive to visit all the places you can think of in the world. It’s really great to get out of your comfort zone and travel to countries far away, however, I also believe it’s good to stay realistic and be selective in where you’re going. With plane ticket prices lowering, our global footprint is increasing and I think it’s good to be conscious of that. We’re basically at a point in time we could go anywhere we want! It’s quite easy to get taken away by the idea of visiting all these places.

Personally, I don’t want to fall into that hole of constantly be thinking of: what’s next?! what far destination can we visit now? I don’t think that way of travelling is healthy and you might need to focus on other aspects of your life to make you feel more fulfilled. I am sometimes quite guilty of this, and seeing all these travel influencers on Instagram going to the most amazing places, it’s really appealing sometimes. It can make you feel restless and stuck in your current life routines – needing to escape, while they are living the perfect life – travelling everywhere you can think of. Also, I experience a little pressure to travel, because ‘the time is now!’ – before you get kids, you need to see as many things as you can. However, I truly think you will enjoy travelling more and appreciate each destination more if you spend your trips more wisely, only going to places you really want to go to and not just going somewhere far just because you can. And in the meantime, focus on building a stable happy life at home and create a healthy balance with travelling. Who says you can’t go on far away trips with kids or after they have grown up as well? You still have time :)

Reccommended read: Travel is No Cure for the Mind

“Gratitude is what allows you to feel that same sense of wonderment about your day-to-day life as you would if you were walking the streets of a faraway city.”

For this summer, my boyfriend and I were thinking of where to go next, thinking of Georgia, Indonesia or somewhere in South-America. However, with South-Africa still fresh in our minds, we really couldn’t think of something that would top that holiday for us at the moment. We are still enjoying those memories so much and we did not feel like planning something just because it would be a cool and far destination if we did not really feel like we were really eager to go. We didn’t really feel the need to go ‘right now’ and it’s OK to give it some more time to decide where you really want to go to! Booking such a trip would not make us any happier than just spending a holiday a bit closer to home right now.  Therefore, we decided that this summer we’re heading to Italy by car, to go camping with our tent, to go hiking in the Dolomites and to simply just enjoy time together and relax and enjoy the Italian atmosphere. We are so lucky to have such amazing places so close to our doorstep as well! I think it’s good to realise that sometimes and not always strive for those crazy adventures far away. Those travels can be exhausting as well – planning everything out in unknown territory, trying to see as many highlights as you can think of and driving around for many days. So taking a bit of a step back and just have a more relaxing holiday to a familiar place, staying a bit more inside of your comfort zone can be very welcome as well. Holidays, after all, should also help you get some good rest too :)

I’m very much looking forward to this chill holiday coming up, but in my belly, it is starting to tingle as well – I’m sure we’ll plan an awesome trip outside of Europe again soon as well, but then only to a place we truly really want to visit :) What are your thoughts on this? How do you balance holidays for relaxation with adventures outside of your comfort zone?

– Elles



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