Dear Reluctant Traveler

Planning big adventures is not for everyone. Some of us are more reluctant when it comes to stepping out of the realm of the comfortable, especially when it comes to travel and goal setting. It's okay if you're not a born adventurer.

Some people are born adventurers. They are people who have a much easier time taking on ambitious endeavors and acclimating to new landscapes. They are people who tend to thrive in immersive environments and experiences that challenge them physically, mentally, and socially. 

While these people are not necessarily rare, I would say they are also not the majority. Many more people tend to be less curious and more reluctant when it comes to stepping out of the realm of the comfortable, especially when it comes to travel and goal setting. 

Planning big adventures is not for everyone. Many people prefer to stick with the familiar, because it is predictable. Let me clarify this further: there is absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a lifestyle that works for you within the boundaries of the comfortable. 

But if you are someone who is asking yourself whether there is more out there than what you are experiencing in your day to day, and whether something else is within reach for you, I am here to say, “Yes, there is!” and “Yes, it is!” 

Before CreateJoy was even a conceptual seed in my mind, I was a person who spent a portion of my adult life staying within safe limits—limits I had deemed “acceptable” adult behavior, limits I had imposed on myself mostly out of fear of the unknown and a need to control situations. 

I had experienced significant loss, and also gains. I worked all the time and was dedicated to my career as an event planner, leaving little room for much else. I was good at my job, planning elaborate celebrations, and exciting and engaging events for other people–successful people, fun-seeking people. But when it came to my own plans, or celebrating my own life and accomplishments, I lacked the energy and desire to do so. More significantly, I did not have the desire or energy to pursue the things I once loved. 

There was, however, a time earlier in my adulthood when pursuing a professional career was not the center of my life. When I was a woman in my twenties, with fewer responsibilities and commitments to other people, taking on new adventures was not only feasible, it was thrilling to me. I enjoyed meeting new people, trying new foods, visiting and exploring new places. Travel is what made me feel alive and exhilarated by life. 

I began to miss that version of me, a version that had been more fearless, daring, and curious. That more confident version of me who knew, even when I took risks, everything would turn out okay. 

Then I lost my father in 2018, and I became deeply depressed. I gained weight as my introverted lifestyle meant constant Uber Eats in bed. And even though I had ambitions to travel and gain more experiences, my ambitions alone didn’t lead to any action.

I found comfort in lazy indoor days, and long work days that kept me distracted from making any moves or changes. My motivation seemed to bounce back and forth the way a ping pong ball does without ever leaving the table. I knew I needed to do something about my choices and lifestyle, but I didn’t know where to begin.

So, I started researching how to motivate myself to achieve something outside my usual routine. To my surprise, I discovered that reframing my comfort zone did not necessarily require intense behavioral modifications, expensive life-coaching, or psychotherapy, and that I could begin making changes on my own, with just a few, small steps.


Your comfort zone is where you feel secure, within the boundaries of what is comfortable. It is the safe space where you spend most of your time, because you feel most at ease there. Some things within your comfort zone may make you happy, while others may seem monotonous, uninteresting, or may even cause you to feel low. 

An article in Positive Psychology reinforces the concept that, “Within the comfort zone, there isn’t much incentive for people to reach new heights of performance. It’s here that people go about routines devoid of risk, causing their progress to plateau.” 

Actually, a plateau is a great metaphor to visualize as you read the rest of this blog. On this plateau, bigger goals may feel distances away, and downright intimidating. But in order to get out of your current scenario, out of your safe bubble, or even out of isolating behaviors you have adopted, you need to get off that plateau, so to speak, to get into new surroundings and experiences.  

Leadership coach, Rachel Bellack, suggests substituting “comfort” in comfort zone, to mean something different than what is safe. She states that when you redefine and reimagine “comfort” to mean growth, learning, and purpose, that’s when you become more inspired to take action and make change happen. 

Life enthusiast and writer, Omari Tani, gives us another manifesto: Growth demands a new you. 

Challenging your comfort zone is as integral to one’s personal growth journey, as it is to broadening one’s horizons with travel. 

When I talk with professional and recreational travelers alike, what I have found is that these two types of experience-seekers share something in common: No matter how many destinations they have visited, mountains they have climbed, or various tables they have sat at, many of these travelers will stand by the notion that stepping beyond what may be seemingly uncomfortable can lead to fuller, more engaging, and sometimes, transformative, experiences overall. 

If you are still reading this and are starting to get that anxious, itchy feeling just thinking about being uncomfortable anywhere, but especially when thinking about foreign and unfamiliar settings–smelling and eating different foods, navigating language and cultural barriers–then you have come to the right place. 

As someone who has rekindled my love of travel, I can tell you that manifesting a different kind of life, one that prioritizes having different experiences, is not only possible, it is more achievable than you think. 

So what helped me to overcome my fear of the unknown? Truthfully, it was not as complicated or painstaking as it sounds. The impetus for change came with the loss of my father, and after I had become increasingly dissatisfied with the choices I was making, and the lifestyle I had settled into. I was fed up, and wanted something different for myself, for my overall well-being and health. But what really helped me to shift my mindset, was a set of simple yet effective, reframing exercises

These were exercises that nurtured a different kind of outlook than the one I previously held, and they were self-directed exercises, which allowed for a friendly pace that did not overwhelm me. Over time, as I defined and redefined my comfort zone, and outlined my bigger ambitions into more manageable goals, I felt more and more emboldened to take that first step outside what was comfortable. I finally took that first memorable trip, and I began having the kinds of experiences that really changed my life. 

Fundamentally, this series of mini-exercises gave me permission to become a more intrepid traveler and a better version of myself, and through this process, I also learned to give myself permission in regard to what I believed I deserved. And now, I want to share what I have learned with others.

At the heart of Create Joy, we are about creating and sharing authentic experiences, in the hopes we can inspire, empower, and cultivate a community that is encouraging and resourceful. As a travel consultant, I have further developed these initial reframing exercises to guide and facilitate new and one-of-a-kind experiences for our clients– experiences that take into consideration a person’s preferences and goals, but also reach into the realm of what else is possible. CreateJoy wants to support your independent and unique journey, as you broaden your horizons with travel. 

From our first consultation to our ongoing interactions, you can expect CreateJoy to offer a holistic planning process that will provide valuable insights into who you are as a goal-setter, an adventurer, and an experiential person. 

And, we will be here to motivate, prepare and coach you, if that is what you need at this time, as you step off that plateau and reach for that next experience and new you. Begin your journey with Create Joy today.


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