The times and places I’ve loved the most, have been those that were totally foreign to my normal life. It feels good to put yourself in a position that is outside your usual comfort zone. I loved taking a bus to Northern Peru with my daughter to get to an isolated tiny town, making our way on Public transit to Casablanca (instead of taking the “safe” taxi) and going as a pedestrian across the Guatemalan border. Those experiences all made me feel a little uneasy and uncomfortable. However, they also made me feel pride and like I was better off for not having chosen the safer option.
Teens and young adults are in that position all the time, as they enter new schools, new jobs or travel around the world. The unfamiliarity is so beneficial, it helps them grow personally and gives them a better appreciation of global issues.
As we age, however, we tend to stop putting ourselves in new, uncomfortable situations. We stick to the same job, friends, restaurants and vacation spots. Just look at the popularity of the cookie cutter, all-inclusive resorts.
I think as we age we need to continue to stretch our minds and bodies and be uncomfortable, try new hobbies, expand our social circles and go to foreign countries where we can live like the locals. In my quest to live life to the fullest, I vow to be uncomfortable more often.