When you travel, you never know what you are going to be faced with.
Even the most well-planned journey can have moments when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation that challenges you either physically or mentally—or both.
Being out of your comfort zone could mean trying to communicate in a situation where no one speaks your language or trying a new activity that is outside of your usual physical activity level. It can also mean doing something that you don’t like to do.
I recently challenged myself to overcome my fears of driving on the left-hand side of the road.
I am not fond of driving, period. It doesn’t matter where I am. It’s not that I am a bad driver so much as I am a nervous one. So, the challenge of driving on the opposite side of the car on the other side of the road with my two daughters in the backseat was not my first choice. However, the rewards that we would reap when we arrived—sailing in the Bay of Islands, hiking to waterfalls and seeing family and friends—was enough to get me off my butt and on the road.
The challenge was worth it. I spent a day driving around Auckland, getting used to the car and the other side of the road. I practiced parking and got my bearings. It turned out not to be as bad as I thought. In the end, only one person honked at us and we just got a tiny bit lost on the four-hour drive (curse you, GPS!).
And this is what we saw when we arrived…
The lesson I learned was that the beauty of travel is it opens people up to new and challenging experiences even if it involves some unpleasantness along the way. The most important thing that you can do when you are on the road is to put yourself out there because you never know what can happen. That thing that you hate at home may be okay when you are away.
For me, I think that I might actually enjoy our drive back to Auckland and stretch it out a little bit longer so we can see even more on the way home.