Comfort zone is a snug couch with huge plush pillows. The heart beats with a soft rhythm, the stomach gently digest the pabulum of the day and the brain creatively builds boxes to pass the time and make everything easy, categorized, sorted. Nice!
But comfort zone also makes a huge butt and so I, from time to time, haul up the same to get myself into trouble and outside of the cozy fleece. Right in the beginning of the adventure, I hate myself. This happens every time I go jogging. Lift up the butt, put on the shoes, discuss with myself, leave the house, daaarn! What the hell am I doing here!? Knee hurts, lung bursts, heart screams. How would this be something I’d do of my own free will. I must be nuts!
My favorite travel style has the same effect on me. It takes quite some effort to overpower the inertia of everyday life.
Request vacation days, get a plane ticket to somewhere and make a reservation for one night in a hostel. Then the couch pulls me back and I sit there pretty comfy till vacation day suddenly is here.
Uh-oh, seriously? What was I thinking, reservation for one night only? And how do I get from airport to hostel? What’s the exchange rate, should I get a guide book? Aaah!! Shoes on, clothing and camera stuffed into backpack and off I am. Flying is still somehow comfort zone, not like a couch, but like a footstool. But right after leaving the destination’s airport in far-away-and-never-visited-before country, my heart screams, my stomach hurts and the confusion is tangible.
The first cab ride is always a rip-off and I already hate myself. Communication hurts! All the well hidden vocabulary has to be de-dusted by the brain, which was caught by surprise. Fragments of a once fluently-spoken language are found after a while, contact to locals is made hesitantly and with perplexity I notice that they understand me. I start liking it. Energy is pumping through my body as I sit in a local bus and small talk with the guy next to me about the weather, where do all these words come from? I am steam hammering my spanish weather vocabulary out and can’t believe it. I’m up to travel speed and never want to stop again, ever!
Every other day I stuff my things into the bag and further I go, travel, explore, discover, talk! And when I find myself sitting on a soft white blanket of beach sand, marveling at beautiful sunsets under palm trees with a coconut rum – pineapple cocktail called panty ripper in my glass, suddenly a huge rubber band catapults me back into my couch, stuffed between the pillows.
Yes, there is also a point where blisters start growing, muscle ache and knees squeak from traveling but that point will never be reached with 15 vacation days per year, the rubber band is merciless. Back on the couch heart still beats the travel beat, stomach still chews street meat and brain juggles with colorful painted boxes.