As some of you might have seen from my Facebook posts, I was in Asheville, NC last week braving the cold and exploring new scenery. Asheville is a thriving little city that combines a growing hipster vibe with deep historical roots. You’ll find new world coffee shops dotted amongst 200-year-old buildings. In short, it’s a mishmash of different styles that give it an identity all its own. I loved it 🙂 A quick Google search can tell you more about Asheville or any other city, but what it can’t do is share with you the lessons that travel provides. So today, I want to reveal what this recent trip taught me about life and myself.
When I first signed up for this trip, people thought I was crazy. I knew no one, had never been to Asheville, and had no idea what we were going to do while we were there. I just knew that I had to sign a few waivers and meet on campus at 7am. Anyone that has ever met me knows that I like to have a plan, and this obviously was not the case. Did I have any doubts about going? Absolutely. I wouldn’t be able to workout for a week (which is very hard for an active person like me), it cost money, and again I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
So to tell you the truth, I don’t know what made me sign up. I’d like to think it was because I was seeking self-discovery or a new experience, but who knows? What I’m sure of, however, is that I had the time of my life. Not knowing anyone or what we were going to do each day really forced me to step out of my comfort zone. It compelled me to embrace life and see the value in spontaneity.
I get so caught up in the security of my day-to-day routine, the demands of college, and just life in general that I forget why traveling and getting out of my comfort zone is so important. It’s in these times that all of us learn new things about the world and ourselves. It’s how we find out what’s important in life. This trip reminded me that memories and new experiences are what I want to be able to look back on at the end of my life. I’d much rather be able to tell stories about me climbing Machu Picchu, seeing the Mediterranean Sea, or just laughing with my new friends in a little Asheville coffee shop rather than being able to say that I squatted 500lbs. Yes, exercising has taught me a lot about my body and limits, and I will forever continue to be active for these reasons. But, there is so much to see and so much to do that if I need to take a week off, then so be it. This goes for anything in life. Had I given into the apprehension, I never would have found out how much I love sitting in coffee shops with friends and just hanging out. I never would have experienced the pure quietness snow covered land exudes. Most importantly, I never would have participated in a World Café where I discovered a deep connection with new friends, found my calling, and realized what I was truly seeking in life.
So, what do I want you to take away from this? Get out of your comfort zone. Try new things. Do what makes you uncomfortable. I promise you’ll learn new things about yourself and grow in ways you never thought possible. Will you always like every experience? Probably not, but that’s okay. Life is too short to live with a bunch of what ifs.
So to close, I’d like to pose a question to you…
What’s holding you back?