Lessons I Learned from Outside My Comfort Zone

I used to play it safe. I spent years upon years living in a city I didn’t like, working in a job I loathed, and dating men who didn’t know how to love.

Essentially, I was flatlining.

Yet I stayed there – in that city, in that job, and in that relationship – because it was comfortable; it was safe.

I would wake up each morning promising myself I would do something about it…eventually. But I didn’t. I stayed there, in my comfort zone, with the curtains drawn, and a heavy heart.

I lost friends, gained weight, and lost faith until I finally cracked.

I remember it so clearly: It was a perfectly sunny day in October and I was ready; ready to break up once and for all with the man who made me miserable; ready to take the first step out of that city and ready to tell my boss my days were numbered.

It all happened so quickly – within a week I was single, had made the decision to move to Australia for a year, and told my boss that I had one foot out the door.

As soon as I made the conscious choice to change my life, to challenge myself, to finally indulge that little whisper deep within me – whose voice was getting louder with each passing day – things started to change in my life.

I started feeling lighter, I stopped wallowing, I strengthened my friendships, I saved more money than ever before, and I attracted love – the kind that makes your heart skip a beat, your palms sweat, and your toes curl with happiness – into my life without ever looking for it.

Fortunately, the man I fell in love with was an Aussie (imagine that!) and was moving back to Australia 6 weeks after I was due to arrive.

But I digress.

I had this sense of momentum I had never felt before and a sense of happiness that made my heart feel light; and it scared me to death.

What if it were to all fall apart? What if he turned out to be just like all the other men I had dated? What if * gasp* I hate Australia? My resistance crept back in just as easily as it had left, only this time there was no room for it.

Within weeks I was on a plane, on my way to meet my future, and ready to revel in the excitement (and discomfort) that comes with moving to the opposite side of the planet.

23 hours later and I finally stepped off the plane onto my new stomping grounds, eager to bask in the glorious adventure I had planned for myself.

Five days later, I wanted to go home.

I was jetlagged, lonely, lost and yearning for the comforts of home I once so desperately wanted to leave behind. But I decided to stay; to stick it out and see what this new life had in store for me.

A few weeks later and I opened my door to find The Aussie standing there, one week early, with a big smile on his face and three little words I had been longing to hear. It was there – in that hallway with the sunshine pouring in from the skylight above – that our journey together began.

We skipped from Australia to New Zealand, travelled from the Cook Islands to Canada, and jetted from Portugal to Costa Rica where he got down on bended knee on a deserted beach during a horrendous thunderstorm.

Two years later and my husband and I live in Thailand, run an online business together and continue to live an uncomfortable lifestyle – one that consistently challenges us and one I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to be living if I had chose to keep playing it safe.

Is our lifestyle for everyone? Definitely not. I’m sure a lot of people think we’re crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

After all, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

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