Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese
Cesare Pavese’s perspective on travel is very true, however he forgot to mention that the brutality is self-inflicted. In the sense that the self-infliction is voluntary and it pushes a person out of their comfort zone to go after the wonders of the world. Who has ever heard of a traveler that only wants to stay within their comfort zone? I believe a traveler seeks adventure and, as Cesare Pavese said, that means accepting only having the essential things of air, sleep, dreams, the sea, and the sky.
As I have been living in England for a while, I have grown to learn that even I didn’t expect to be so out of my comfort zone. I came into this country already loving the culture and knowing the fact that it’s one of the countries that are most similar to the United States, but I have realized that the similarities are just above the surface. It was a brutal, but understanding, surprise to me when I realized that I’m much farther away from my comfort zone than I thought. At first, I was apprehensive and uncomfortable, but I soon realized that the different people, the different food (yes, it’s actually different too), and the different way of life here push my mind to be even more open than I already thought.
Even though I was uncomfortable in this new environment in the beginning, I have learned to adapt and appreciate it. I know that being out of my comfort zone won’t last long. Even though it’s a brutal push, it pushes me towards becoming the person I want to be in life. I want to be a person that has a broadened mind, more curious, and more eager to learn. One of the things that I have come to be familiar with again is the feeling of completely not knowing something and truly learning something new and alien to me. Through my study abroad program, I am pushed out of my comfort zone each day through learning new things and that just brings me closer to my destination in life.