- Mental Health
- Substance Use
- Healthy Living
I have just returned home from almost 4 weeks in the Philippines. I had not done a trip this long for about 3 years, and I had never been to Asia before. While planning the trip, I became really excited at the prospect of exploring a different part of the world for a significant period of time. I am not very adventurous by nature, but my husband Reed is and I appreciate that he sometimes pushes me (gently) outside of my comfort zone.
Travelling provides an opportunity to see and do things you wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to, especially for those of us (like me) who love and thrive on routine. Travelling allows you to see a different part of the world, meet people who have grown up in an entirely different environment and challenge yourself to try new things whether it is food, an unfamiliar language, or an entirely different way of being.
For me, it takes a bit of time to get used to my new and foreign surroundings, but I can feel myself being stretched and challenged to adjust and fit in. I’m very comfortable staying on the well-worn path of other travellers whereas Reed seeks out opportunities to diverge from others, taking me along with him. One of my fondest memories of the trip occurred while forging our own path. While staying on a small island with only 20 other inhabitants, we decided to go in search of a white sand beach we spotted on the boat ride in to the island. We start to pick our way across the rocks along the shoreline toward the other beach. They are slippery, jagged, and at times we have to wade in to the water to make it to the next rocks.
I don’t want to admit it, but I’m nervous. I’m worried we shouldn’t be there, or that something will happen. I’ll twist an ankle and won’t be able to make it back. You see, I’ve always been a very rule-bound person and any “straying” from the path is worrisome to me. Despite my worries, Reed is very encouraging and about an hour later, we make it to the beach and are rewarded with the most pristine, untouched beach I’ve ever laid eyes on. With no one else around we bask in the sun, swim in the ocean, and take in the beauty that surrounds us.
It may sound like a small thing but that mini-adventure gave me a real sense of accomplishment. We had an experience off the beaten track and our efforts were rewarded.
In addition to the experiencing the incredible beach, this adventure serves as a lesson for me. I don’t have to colour inside the lines all the time. I can push myself to do things differently, and it will be ok. Sometimes it might even be better than ok. It is in this uncomfortableness that we grow the most and reach towards our full potential.