UPDATING QUOTE
UPDATING QUOTE...

This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more here.

TopDog
Need help? Freephone 0800 093 6686 Open Daily

Travelling Outside Your Comfort Zone

Travelling Outside Your Comfort ZonePublished: 01 March 2018

Author: Shilpa Ganatra

As a pampered travel enthusiast, I've always grappled with the issue of being adventurous. I love nothing more than the idea of hiking up a mountain, the most remote one I can find - just as long as there's a phone signal up there.

Of course, the world doesn't cater for urbanites like me; quite the opposite. So over the years, I've trained myself to get rid of my anxieties. I managed to zipline into clouds in a rainforest simply by not giving myself the choice to back out. And in the Maldives, I ignored my irrational fear of suddenly being swept out to sea by wading into the waist-high, calm waters and snorkelling. Very daring, I know.

To me, travel is about making memories, and that's not going to happen on the inside of a hotel bedroom.

But my recent trip to the Icehotel in Sweden made me reconsider the way in which I test my limits. The stay involved a night in the ice rooms, sleeping on top of a glacial block of ice with only a reindeer hide and sleeping bag between us. It's a common bucket list experience, thanks to its oddity and rarity.

It didn't go fantastically. As I tried to fall asleep in-5C temperatures, tired after a long day of travel, I was irked by the cold. I know I know, what else did I expect, right? It felt more like an endurance test than a fun experience, made all the worse by the fact that if nature called, I'd have to walk outside in -37C to reach the facilities. It also filled me with dread that wake-up calls were at 7.30am - not that people could sleep for much longer. In the end, the night was long, my sleep was broken, and my nose stayed cold.

The next morning, I was glad that I had experienced what it was like to sleep in an ice room, and on a practical level, glad I managed to at least get some sleep. But unlike some of the other times I pushed myself, I didn't feel enriched because of it. I didn't marvel at the beauty of nature, or take pride in my strength. I just wanted a sauna and a hot chocolate.

So I think I'm going to take a more measured approach when it comes to challenging myself in the future. I think it's important I brush off what my inner scaredy-cat is telling me, and that I experience the world to its fullest. But I now know that I should weigh up my goals against my discomfort. After all, there's no point in making myself dread an experience or grit my teeth through something that's supposed to be a privilege, simply because the opportunity is there. Just because you can, I've realised, it doesn't mean you should.



We Are Proud to Work With