One of the biggest components to growth and self development is the continual stretching your comfort zone.
Often this in small ways on a daily or weekly basis, mental reasonings that may have no obvious manifestation to the outside world. Small wins that would mean nothing to anyone else.
Every so often we might decide to spice things up a little, fast track our growth and take on a bigger challenge. Remind ourselves what it's like to feel scared, to get that sicky feeling in the pit of our stomach, sweaty palms, tears that prick at the corners of our eyes..
That was me this morning.
Yet I feel almost embarrassed to tell you about it, as for many it would simply be part of common routine, a means to an end and certainly not something given and emotional energy.
For someone who has parachuted from 12,000 ft, run a Tough Mudder obstacle course and quit her steady career to leap into the unknown, what I am about to tell you pales in comparison.
I boarded a flight on my own. To a holiday destination alone.
I have never travelled alone, but it's been something I've wanted to so for such a long time. My younger brother and sister have both enjoyed solo travels and each time I am quietly envious if their 'bravery' vowing to plan my own trip.
But I'd been all talk and it had never happened... That was until a couple of months ago when I booked my plane ticket to Lanzarote and 10 nights stay through AirBnB. The idea being that this was a semi working holiday- a chance to read, write and think deeply... All the things so important to my coaching practice yet all to often relegated down in the list of priorities amongst the demands of everyday life and other work engagements.
This trip was to set the precedent for future explorations.
This was it there was no going back.
As I type this I am in the air somewhere over France. A chance to reflect. I realised that in the moment I boarded the plane and found my seat, my nerves had simply vanished. Literally in that moment. Any worries of touching down in a foreign country, finding a taxi to take me the short drive to my villa, meeting my host family, finding vegan food abroad... Simply weren't there.
A calm sense of what will be will be settle into me, there was nothing more I needed to do.
In that moment I also realise that my nerves had all related to preparation logistics...
...Will I pack the right things, will the wifi at the villa be strong enough for my laptop, will the weight of my hand luggage get through security, will I wake up on time for my crazy early flight, what if I get stuck in traffic on the way, or have problems with my boarding pass matching my passport name, have I got all my paperwork...
All the worries were those that could have impacted me actually leaving the UK... There were literally no worries beyond that. How strange. I also noticed that most of these concerns could have been avoided with better planning (if I'd been so inclined) such as booking a flight at more social hours, buying a lighter cabin bag so as not to worry about weight, ask my host even more questions, print and prepare all documents further in advance allowing time for changes if necessary.
I still have no idea what I'll find when I get there, but unknown intrigues me rather than tightens my chest, that's a happy feeling of anticipation. The growth begins again....
(note: I've just arrived and am sitting in my new home for the next 10 days... listening to the sounds of nature, dipping my toe in the pool and wondering if i'll ever want to return!)
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