Here’s a post I’ve been wanting to share for a long time, but didn’t find the time nor the courage for it. It’s a post slightly more personal that usual and thus, a bit out of my, well…comfort zone! Nevertheless, I want to share with you how powerful leaving your comfort zone can be. They’re not meant to stay in – perhaps for a while, but certainly not for a lifetime. Traveling led me to where I was supposed to be in my life, and it all began with one decision.
”Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neale Donald Walsch
The unfulfilled soul
When I was just a bit younger than I am now, I was living in a whole different world. Or so it seems when I look back. It wasn’t neccessarily a bad one; I had everything I needed – except for a fulfilled soul, I guess you could say. On the outside everything was great; on the inside…not so much.
I remember I read something about comfort zones and how important it is to step out of them if you wish to grow. ”Sure”, I thought to myself and denied the fact that I was possibly living in a grey zone, in which it was too painful to look reality into the eyes. Cause how did I end up so far from where I felt I belonged? No one knew anything about it, I rarely spoke with anyone about my deep thoughts, cause ”if you’re unsatisfied, do something about it” – right?
At the time, I was in a long-term relationship with a great guy I thought I was going to marry and have children with. It was getting pretty serious, but something inside of me just felt wrong. We weren’t fully aligned.
I remember that I’d occasionally fall asleep looking at the moon outside my window, secretly wishing that a new path would magically open to me on the following day. It never happened; I kept being unsatisfied with parts of my life, primarily the ones evolving around love and adventure. Being a travel blogger, I’ve always traveled a lot, so it wasn’t that kind of adventure I was craving. It was deeper than that.
From broken dreams to new adventures
Then I learned (or shall we say, understood) something significant; you have to actively do something to change your reality. You really do need to step out of your comfort zone to actually see new results. And no one can do it for you.
It didn’t happen from one day to the other. It was a gradual process in which I felt both pain, happiness, dispair – and a courage I’ve never felt before in my life! Having lived abroad several times during my 20’s, I knew that settling for good in my home country just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t prepared to stay in one place and to close my eyes to the many opportunities awaiting abroad, if I just chose to grab them. I was sad by the mere thought of it. There had to be something more!
After 6 really tough months, my relationship came to an end. We both realized that we were going in different directions, and I moved back to my parents place for a short while. It was a hard time in my life – anyone coming out of a long-term relationship knows that it’s certainly not a walk in the park to deal with all the memories, the broken dreams and the dissapointment because it didn’t work out in the end. I began healing myself; diving into meditation and regular excersising, reading more books and reflecting about life; what I truly, deeply wanted. All I knew was that I didn’t have a clear goal in mind, it just felt pretty good being on my own, stronger than I had been for a long time. I felt the alluring winds of adventure creeping up on me again, and so, after a work trip to Germany, I decided to pass by the capital of Berlin. I had never really understood the hype about the city on my previous trips there, so I was curious to explore different parts of it this time. Today, I’m so thankful that I chose to go to Berlin on this particular warm summer day, and not Lisbon or Rome, which are two of my favorite cities. The universe had other plans for me; all I needed to do was to find the courage within to leave my home country and move to one of the largest capitals on the European continent. At first, it was just an extended visit, but it soon became clear to me that I had to move here. And so I did; on a very cold November day, I packed up my bags and moved to Germany, leaving my best friends, my family and my safety network behind. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have any particular savings to spend; all I had was my desire to pursue adventure after all this time being in a grey zone. I litterally left my comfort zone.
A leap of faith
It’s funny how life changes in proportion to your courage. Do you remember the last time you did something courageous or extreme that you wouldn’t normally do? Do you also remember what followed in the footsteps of your actions? Pretty often, extraordinary things happen to those who dare.
It wasn’t always easy building a life from scratch in a foreign country, especially when I was on my own. But I do believe that was a plus for me. I had a great time crafting a new network of people and slowly building the life I wanted to live. Of course I missed my old friends – I still do – but the real ones remain. They even come to visit from time to timeJ
Not long after moving to Germany, I met my current life partner, who I felt I had known for several years already on our very first date. And guess what? Today, I still live in Berlin – with him – and we have a beautiful son together. I don’t know where I’m going from here, I just know that I’m genuinely happy, with life and myself. I try to remember to count my blessings on a daily basis, cause there are so many of them. Which is probabaly also the case for you.
It’s incredible how fast your life can change when you choose to close one door and open another. That’s what pursuing your dreams is all about; stepping out of your circle of comfort and into the unknown. Cause sometimes it’s healthy to navigate without using a map.
I wish you all the best on your life’s adventure!