What it Means to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Abroad

Written By: The Planet D

Stepping out of your comfort zone is the #1 message that I’m trying to spread through my travel writing.  From my experience, it’s the best way to make the most of your time on the road.

But first, let’s back up a bit.  If you are agreeing to travel in general, then you are already agreeing to step out of your comfort zone. You are willing and eager to explore new territories, meet new people, try new foods, and immerse yourself in a new culture. That’s the nuts and bolts for why we all travel.  Creating new experiences, which later result in creating lifelong memories.

What it Means to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Abroad

step out of your comfort zone

But that’s not all.  That is just basic stuff.

If you really break down the phrase “Stepping out of your comfort zone,” it means doing things that you don’t feel comfortable with doing. Getting outside of your comfort levels. I encourage you to push yourself in unfamiliar places, to do things that you wouldn’t normally do. Now, I realize that this can mean several different things to different people.

In my mind, stepping out of my comfort zone means:

  1. Doing an extreme sport or activity (like bungee jumping)
  2. Asking random people on the streets for directions
  3. Approaching a girl in a bar who doesn’t speak English
  4. Trying a crazy foreign food
  5. Venturing out “off the beaten path” to explore hidden parts of a city
  6. Living on the edge

Everything on this list can be accomplished with the “mind over matter” mentality. If you can think of it, then you absolutely can do it!

Always New Possibilities

making a friend in nicaragua
making a friend in Nicaragua

Every day when I am on the road, there are numerous opportunities where I can step out of my comfort zone.

I try to indulge in as many as possible, whether it be fun, crazy, exciting, thrilling, or all of the above. When you really think about it, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll see any of the people again that you meet in foreign countries. Take that mentality, and you can be whoever you want to be.  That’s the way to do it!

By stepping out of my comfort zone over the last few years, I have created incredible and unforgettable experiences.

Unforgettable Experiences

holding a snake in sri lanka
holding a snake in sri lanka

I can’t even describe to you how thrilling it was to go bungee jumping in Switzerland from 150 meters high, or that time when I went cliff jumping in Greece.

What about that time when I made best friends with a random stranger in Sri Lanka who didn’t speak a lick of English. All of these experiences are what keeps me hungry for more. There’s no question that it’s the best way to live life.

Lastly, I would like to share a story from a time when I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone in Istanbul

I was in Istanbul with 2 friends in the summer of 2012. On one warm summer afternoon, we were roaming around the streets when we saw a street sign for a “Turkish Bath.” We immediately looked at each other in agreement and walked inside the building.

My Turkish Bath Experience

selfie with random koreans
selfie with random koreans

At the time, I had only heard about Turkish Baths from a friend. He just told me that I needed to check it out.

I didn’t know any details. Well, my friends and I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.

From the second we walked through the doors, we were stared at from all directions by people who spoke zero English. Basically, we walked inside and were told to strip down fully nude and put on this tiny skirt that didn’t even fit around my waist. Then, we had to walk into a large sauna, where we got scrubbed down by an old, hairy, and fat Turkish guy.

The guy stretched out every muscle in my body while pouring buckets of freezing cold, soapy water on my head. I remember looking at my friend and saying “What in the hell are we doing right now?”

Overall, it was a hilarious and unforgettable experience. I can proudly look back, share my story and laugh at the memories. But this story only exists because of one thing.  Can you guess what it was? I stepped out of my comfort zone.

Do it, and you won’t regret it 🙂


Bio:  Drew is a college graduate who has visited 45+ countries since the beginning of 2012. His favorite things about traveling are eating the local foods, meeting awesome people and experiencing the nightlife scene.

 Website link: Drew Binsky Twitter: @Drewbinsky7 

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

Leave a Comment

19 thoughts on “What it Means to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Abroad”

  1. I completely agree with this, and I’m trying to do it more and more.

    It can really lead to some amazing experiences and getting amazing people too!
    Thanks for sharing

    • Ha, that’s sort of true, but can’t “real life” be just that much more amazing and you don’t have to go back to your old one? You can instead make your old one better because you are inspired to try new things. That’s what we did.

  2. OMG what an incredibly gorgeous place to bungee!! So true about not seeing the people around you traveling again, that in itself provides a unique freedom!

  3. “Mount Everest towers above the Khumbu at over 8,848 m and is perhaps the most iconic symbol of challenge and adventure on Earth. “

  4. I think stepping out of your comfort zone is sometimes important, but it’s not a necessity of travel. Obviously it’s good to challenge yourself, but also it’s not really enjoyable. Not being in your comfort zone means you’re uncomfortable after all. As long as you’re having fun, that’s the main thing that matters. Whether that means jumping out of your bubble or staying in it.

    • Sure, I agree that everyone is different. I am just sharing my experiences for my preferred ways of traveling. I agree, as long as you’re having fun that’s all that matters. Thanks for your comment