Why Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone Is the Key to Being a Happy Traveler

Have you ever heard the phrase “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way”? We can all find ourselves getting stuck in a comfort zone — and while that’s fine for a while, you don’t want to stay there forever. Life is meant to be lived and there is so much of the world to explore. Travel can enrich anyone’s life.

Statistically speaking, travel has been shown to make people happier. It’s a stress reliever and health booster. I am grateful to have roamed all over the world. Eventually, I aim to visit every country on the planet. I always enjoy visiting Europe and I think everyone should go there. However, there are some hidden gems that get neglected when it comes to vacation itineraries. Those trips are perhaps the ones most worth taking.

I have journeyed extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East. Africa alone has 54 countries. I went to Nigeria a few years ago and I enjoyed that trip very much. There, I happened upon a precious group of children who were on a school outing. Dressed in their crisp uniforms, they had a tremendous sense of curiosity about me. The energy between us was invigorating. One of my greatest joys while traveling is connecting with people. We can learn a lot from just interacting with others, especially on a completely different continent.

I believe voyaging to unexpected places is the key to everyone gaining a deeper understanding of the world around them. I know it has certainly expanded my viewpoints. When you can immerse yourself in another culture and truly absorb all the sights and sounds and taste the local cuisine, it’s like an awakening for one’s soul. I have come to realize how resilient so many people are in the face of insurmountable adversities. They persevere through situations some could never fathom and I find that to be so uplifting. You can observe their strength and their traditions and it’s a wonderful thing to see.

I often fondly recall the many people I have encountered during my wanderings. Sometimes a smile or a simple exchange of eye contact can stay with you for a lifetime. When I was in Cameroon, I met an incredible man who didn’t have a lot of material possessions but he was so rich in customs and the love of his family. I was so in awe of the profound appreciation he had for his culture and it was absolutely a magical experience.

Traveling to Africa, Asia, South America, Central America, and places such as Guatemala, I have had a genuine opportunity to partake in these dynamic societies. In many ways, it has revitalized my own love for culture and tradition. I’m also hopeful that all the reopenings after the COVID-19 pandemic have inspired more Americans to travel outside their comfort zones. Many trends I’m seeing for 2023 already indicate global travel will be a hot commodity in the new year. I encourage you to book that trip that’s on your bucket list.



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