We all have our own adventure comfort zones. They’re the bubble we live inside of that expands, contracts + wiggles about based on the life experiences we either love or hate. A person’s comfort zone is always changing; especially if you’re seeking out adventures. It can be a dramatic change of gaining confidence and comfort in a foreign country after weeks of language/culture immersion. Or, it can be a small change, such as falling asleep quickly in a tent the night after a restless, worried sleep on a backpacking trip.

It’s easy to miss the small changes, as they just become part of us. This does not discredit them in any way, they are still incredibly important adjustments to your adventure comfort zone. However, it’s the bigger changes that tend to be harder to assimilate into our lives. While we should never forget to embrace the daily choices that change our comfort zones, let’s focus on the choices that require more commitment + more courage.

Discovering Your Adventure Comfort Zone

For starters, everyone has their own comfort zone and that’s a-okay. It’s what keeps us interesting and unique. Never feel guilty or ashamed of your comfort zone, whatever it happens to be. More importantly, seek out people with varied adventure comfort zones. Those who have much broader views on life can help you expand yours, while people with more limited experiences may be seeking out someone just like you, for support and guidance to broaden their horizons. Be open minded…it’s a trait that will definitely help you expand your comfort zone!

Take myself for example. I am most comfortable on the trails on top my own two feet. I don’t like putting a bike between me and the dirt and I am not a fan of being in/on water. However, there are a lot of people in my life who absolutely LOVE mountain biking and find solace on the lake…so I’ve given mountain biking, downhill biking, kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing a shot this summer. Did I fall madly in love? Not yet. But I did truly enjoy myself out there. My joy came from the activities, but the best part was spending time with awesome people and watching them love life.

Now, for some insight on how to best embrace your current adventure comfort zone while pushing the edges from time to time!

Acknowledge that you have an adventure comfort zone. Seems silly, but no one is invincible and everyone has a limit to how far they’ll go or how much they’ll sacrifice. Keep in mind that this goes both directions. Your comfort zone isn’t just about all the adventures you see on Instagram. It’s about your entire life [which, surprisingly, cannot be encapsulated in any social media platform!]. For the more outgoing travelers, the responsibilities that come with home ownership is beyond their current bubble of comfort. That’s not at all unlike the idea of traveling without an itinerary making someone who has an established home base uncomfortable. See…it goes both ways!

Get familiar with your adventure comfort zone. You’re living in this bubble of life — mentally, emotionally + physically. Get to know it! Figure out what stresses you out and what makes you blissfully happy. Find the mellow of the “in between” levels of your comfort bubble, too. You’ll need these warm, fuzzy, simple pleasures of your “in between” to recharge when you’re chasing adventures or taking on the unpleasant. How you go about doing this will depend on your personality and goals. However, there is one chunk of advice that will apply to everyone. Ready for it?!

Surround yourself with people who support your nudges and leaps of faith! That’s it, the tidbit that’ll help you chase down your version of happy, one risky choice at a time. No joke. It sounds simple and straight forward. It is, on the surface. But before you can truly find a solid support system you need to get to know yourself, which is harder than you’d expect. Spend a little time being uncomfortable with life [ie: alone if you’re a people person; with people if you’re a loner], give yourself some time to think about how it felt and adjust your future decisions from there. Along the way, you’ll come across some incredible people who will support your way of pushing the limits. We promise.

Now that you have a better understanding of what you’re comfortable with in life…take a risk + embrace a chance to change the boundaries of your comfort zone! Try something new, say “yes” when you’d usually say “no”, eat weird food you’ve always avoided. Big changes start with small adjustments. Go for it!

Heidi Berghammer

Heidi is the founder of Adventure Feet First and the Creator of Experiences. She is the brains and legs behind all of the adventures created here at Adventure Feet First. This means she thinks up the itineraries and when they're even remotely close to home she is the one out there scouting the routes, campsites and local businesses. As a trail running, bikepacker and overall adventure seeker Heidi is definitely the person you want creating your adventures!


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