Do you live in a cozy apartment that you love? Do you have a routine that you’re comfortable with; waking up, making your favorite tea and browsing the news or DIY’s on your laptop, sheltered by your favorite fluffy blanket every morning? Can you imagine saying goodbye to your comfortable, predictable life in the next month to live the life of adventurous uncertainty? No? Perhaps that is exactly why you should.
A few months ago that cozy apartment life was mine. I had an enjoyable, uncomplicated routine of waking up, watching Netflix, going to work, coming home, going to sleep, repeat. I am extremely introverted, so that habitual security made me happy; but I knew I wasn’t taking advantage of the life that will, at some point, inevitably end. I talked with my boyfriend, he agreed, and we made a plan to pack up, quit our jobs, try something new: move 4,800 km across the country.
Now, I can absolutely not say that it has been a smooth ride. We lost some money from the move, had a horrid roommate, both got laid off from our new jobs within the same week over Christmas, our car could die any day, it’s been hard to have the motivation to go out and meet people through the cold winter– but we also saw mountains and climbed them, were mesmerized by the northern lights, witnessed a herd of elk right in the front yard at dawn, became a part of nature, realized what it takes to be happy at the core… most importantly, we’ve grown.
Here’s why I encourage others to do something similar- leave the comfortable, embrace the unknown, quit your job, plan a trip, see new things, get energetic, water your desire for a full life… take it into your own hands to live:
- Satisfaction: Being brave enough to try new things yields an intense self- satisfaction. You realize that you can step outside your comfort zone and not implode into a violent death. You tried something new and are o.k.
- Different perspective: When you are stuck in your routine, your perspective stays the same. When you move, go for a nature hike or bungee jump, you are introduced to new emotions and concepts that you never would have experienced in your living room.
- Confidence: When you live in your comfort zone, you are hardly ever introduced to unheard of problems. When your car breaks down on your cross-country move and there is no one to help you but yourself, you will figure it out. And you will feel amazingly confident afterwards.
- Self-understanding: Breaking your sense of security leads to thorough self-understanding. You now question everything: why did I want to move, why did this experience make me feel a certain way, why am I happy/unhappy today? You will be more mindful about the choices you make and the emotions that follow; and in this world, it really helps to understand yourself.
- Well roundedness: Perhaps right now there is a certain niche you feel confident at: writing, playing an instrument, or practicing a sport. When you choose step outside your life of routine, it’s almost like you’re thrown to the unfamiliar (or the wolves). But they only look like wolves from inside your comfort zone. Outside your comfort zone, they are actually puppies. And you can handle them. How would you have known, if you had stayed inside your comfort zone?
- New experiences = new energy: Participating in new experiences will allow you to feel more alive. You will gain all of this new, revitalized energy. This feeling will leave you hungry for more change and more motivated to achieve it.
- Even your mixed emotions will make you feel alive: Do you remember when you were a kid and you were confident that today was the day you could jump off the big diving board at the local pool? You got half way up the ladder and probably would have turned around if it weren’t for the daunting looks from the long line of the big kids at the bottom. So you convinced yourself to get to the top and when you were at the edge, you knew that you had definitely made a mistake. You were hesitant, but walked a few more small steps and felt an invisible force push you off the diving board. As you free-fell to the water, your stomach was light and your heart giddy. You let out a shriek and an uncontrollable giggle, and then you hit the water, reinvigorated with the desire to do it again. That to me, is the best feeling in this life.
- You will learn that the society is designed to make you feel defeated; and will feel incredible when you show it that you are, in fact, not defeated. You are winning at life, trying new things, witnessing new adventures and participating in new experiences. Sometimes it feels like the world wants you to live that routine, safe life; and it feels so good to break free and show it up.
- Inspiration: By showing your friends, family or followers on Facebook that if you (ordinary, comfortable you) can make changes in your life, anyone can. Your friends may look at you as a source of inspiration and say, “I wish I could do that,” and you will be able to assure them first-hand, “You can!”
- You will not relive the same year 75 times: this may be my greatest fear. After all, life is for living, right?Let me know if you’ve tried anything new or “crazy” lately! Happy adventures! Sidney