Sunday 25 June 2017

Become comfortable with being uncomfortable

I'm currently sitting on the train from Amsterdam to Paris, typing this post on my small laptop, feeling insanely worldly. While I've been travelling back and forth between Canada and Germany for the last 15 years, I'm far from a seasoned traveler. On the contrary, all the unknowns you can't control (train schedules, lost luggage, delays due to traffic/repairs/who-knows-what) always freak me out on the day before I go somewhere new. Is everybody like that? I suspect so, except maybe for travel pros who do it all the time. 

Yesterday I was a wreck, teary and emotional, not wanting to leave Rich and the dogs behind. 
But since this happens every time before going on a trip, I had to accept this annoying habit as part of my travel ritual. I seem to have to go through a brief period of freak-outs and grief, and once I'm on the road, I'm fine. I'm now in the 20th hour of my long travel day, and there is only one leg of the journey left: Taking the metro to our AirB'nB, where I will meet our butler Aurélien who is giving me the keys to our apartment, and waiting for my sister. 

During the flight, I reflected on yesterday (my yesterday, it's really 2 days ago - travel is weird), and my reluctance to leave. 
The reason for it is simple: I don't want to leave my comfort zone. Despite knowing that I have never regretted stepping out of it, it's a battle every fricking time.  

In my ongoing effort to overcome my fear of the unknown, I have a mantra that Jillian Michaels (yup, the tough-talking trainer from 'The Biggest Loser') always used to say: 

"Become comfortable with being uncomfortable."

That's just it, isn't it? If we choose comfort every time, we will never get anywhere. 
If we let fear win, we will never experience the thrill of catching a connecting train at the last second, because the original one isn't running that day, and other trains have taken over the route (this happened to me a few hours ago). 

In our normal lives, weeks or months can go by where nothing uncomfortable happens. We go the same way to work every day, doing jobs we have gotten used to with people we know. We eat the same foods, watch the same TV shows, and go about our normal routines. I do it myself, because, well - it's comfortable. It feels safe and nice. 

However, when it comes down to it, do I want to be a woman who always plays it safe?
Or do I want to find out what happens when I do the scary and uncomfortable thing? 
Judging by my personal history, the very best things in my life have always happened outside my comfort zone. 

I guess all we can do is keep reminding ourselves what we want out of life, and then force ourselves to do it
It will probably be uncomfortable - but it will also probably be worth it. 

Here's to becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable!

xoxo Miriam



  1. My pre-travel ritual includes freaking out about packing and everything in between. I am the most anxious traveler until I make it to my gate and know that I won't be missing my flight. Even better once I see my luggage come off baggage claim. Enjoy this big step out of your comfort zone. Sounds like it's gonna be amazing.

    1. It was! Everything worked like a charm, even if it included racing through the Toronto airport and sweating buckets to catch my connecting flight home ;-)
      Travel days may be uncomfortable, but the new experiences make it worth it!

  2. I get SOOOO nervous if I have to go anywhere alone. It's fear of the unknown and the built up anticipation. I will ask a million questions before hand if I can.

    1. I hear ya! I get nervous too. This time I booked everything from home, and then looked up as much as I can online (even tracing the way from the Metro to our apartment in Paris on Google maps), and it made me feel so much more secure. And everything worked out just fine!

  3. It's funny because when I'm leaving on a big trip, I'm like, "Let's get going!" I don't want to stay home. I get super excited. But then when the trip is over, I'm like, "I just wanna go hoooooooooome!"

    1. Haha, same here! I'm a real homebody at heart :-)


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