“If you stand in the center, you will never be amazed. You will safely see what you have already seen, know what you already know. You will never start a fire in the mind of another or be party to the exuberant chaos of invention. But if you are bold – if you step to the edge – you can unlock the embrace of the familiar and open your mind to the daring notions of others. When you venture to the perimeter of your understanding, your eyes widen, your senses sharpen, your intellect becomes more agile.” – Unknown
I’m not usually one for inspirational quotes, but this one gets me. One of the reasons we love travel (so much that we blog about it right here for your general amusement) is our desire to experience the unknown.
My first trip overseas was a 10-day adventure through Italy with my well-traveled friend (and eventual husband), Zeke. Leaving the United States beyond a carefully-orchestrated cruise through the Caribbean or a visit to Atlantis was well outside my comfort zone. That was part of my rationale behind asking Zeke to go with me; he had already been to Greece, England and Egypt. He knew the routine, how to navigate a foreign airport, where and how to get money exchanged, even how to muddle through when you don’t know the language. Zeke helped me expand my comfort zone, and (obviously) I was bitten by the travel bug.
We’ve already discussed some of Travel Channel host Samantha Brown’s finer moments with foreign languages. In spite of a few moments she’d rather forget, she maintains it’s better to butcher the language and show you’re trying than to expect everyone, everywhere adapt to your language. No one on the other side of the conversation will expect you to be fluent, but knowing how to say hello, please and thank you is essential.
Over the years, my comfort zone has expanded to include not only Italy, but Greece, England, Canada, Mexico (at least the areas suited for tourism) and several lovely Caribbean islands. My list is nothing compared to Samantha Brown‘s, of course, but she shares our inquisitive nature — and there is still somewhere on the planet outside of her comfort zone. She’s so excited to see it, she’s trying to get the Travel Channel on board to film her next show there: