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Comfort Zone

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Do you know of something that makes you uncomfortable when you travel?
6 years ago, July 26th 2013 No: 1 Msg: #173332  
Just wondering what different peoples comfort zones are in regards to travel? What makes you really nervous, anxious or grumpy? What do you just really not want to do? And even better, what do you do anyway? Reply to this

6 years ago, July 26th 2013 No: 2 Msg: #173333  
My hubby and I are quite different in our comfort zones when travelling. He gets quite anxious with the travel part, getting through airports and the transfer at the other end. I think he is really nervous about missing flights or transport and how would we fix that in another country.

I have absolutly no concerns about that and love the feeling of not really having a backup plan and lets see where it takes us. But i do get nervous about the safety of things especially in 3rd world countries. When you see in some locations they create buildings with bamboo scaffolding and there seems to be minimal work saftey or OSH it worries me that this giant roller coaster could fall apart very easily if someone didnt put the right screw in the right place, or whats the procedure if a 2 year old falls overboard on a little dingy right above a tank full of 6 foot sharks.

I noticed in one of the other discussions someone saying to make an effort to do things outside of your comfort zone when travelling so just wondered if people were aware of them and what youve done? Reply to this

6 years ago, July 27th 2013 No: 3 Msg: #173370  
B Posts: 1,977
Depends on how you define "comfort zone". There are things that make me physically uncomfortable, or cause actual pain, that I do anyway as an unavoidable part of travelling. There are things that make my psycologically uncomfortable, the usual meaning of "confort zone". Finally, there are things that used to make me psycologically uncomfortable that I've managed to get used to. Some examples from each:

Physical pain:
Long plane flights. Even with stretching exercises, I need hours afterwards to recover.
Steep hiking trails: I love the overall experience, so I just learned to live with the burn.

Psycologically uncomfortable:
Staying somewhere sketchy, both the lodging itself and the surrounding neighborhood. I remember one hostel where I slept fully clothed with my pack as a pillow because I was afraid of being robbed.
Sketchy areas at night: I've had to learn how to spot potential trouble, and steer away from it, but they still set me on edge. I suspect this is actually a good thing.
Driving isolated dirt roads: I'm always worried I'm going to break down or get stuck and not be found for days, if ever. I now take them slowly and carefully, and think about why I'm there in the first place

Gotten used to it:
Sleeping in a hostel dorm: At first, people kept me up and I worried about fitting in. Now I bring ear plugs.
Less than perfectly clean accomodations: Bugs and germs and dirt, oh my! I learned to take precations (flip flops to avoid athlete's foot, bug spray, netting, etc) and finally got used to it.
Street food: More variety and cheaper than restaraunts, at the cost of potentially getting nasty germs. I learned about what to look for (ensure its well cooked in front of you, for starters), and got more comfortable as I got more experience.
Whitewater rafting: I learned I could handle this one the hard way, by falling in and having to swim. The experience was important enough I wrote a blog on it.
Heights: Many hiking trails run very close to cliff edges and other areas with long views. I spent much time explictly feeling the security of my holds on the trails while staring at the views. The most extreme example was Angel's Landing in Zion National Park.
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6 years ago, July 29th 2013 No: 4 Msg: #173472  
Good question Tam

I agree with both you and Ezra that there are many ways to interpret this question. It looks like you want to discuss the things that makes us comfortable and uncomfortable.

Dave and I have extreme comfort as soon as we get on the plane. We have jobs that are stressful and require us to be available 24 hours on call. We love to go away because for a few days we no longer have that responsibility. No phones, no beepers, no midnight questions. We often go to the airport two or three hours early because it calms us down. We love to sit in the airport, read a book and people watch. Often we fall asleep before the plane takes off the ground.

Our jobs require us to be planners and most of our past trips have been planned events. In 2007, when we took off around the world we only had an airline ticket and the first three nights in Singapore planned. We found that we can be comfortable winging it.
I imagine we'll always be a bit more comfortable when things are planned but we had several months of travel that we "enjoyed" that was unplanned. It was a good experience for us. We look forward to the next unplanned trip.

I'm not afraid of heights but I'm afraid of falling. I have been very comfortable in hot air balloons, roller coasters, some tall buildings. Other buildings (when I can feel the motion) hiking on a narrow path or driving on a road with no guard rails make me uneasy.

Dave and I have some anxiety about missing connections. If we are given a choice we will take a 4 or 5 hour layover in between flights rather than a 1 or 2 hour. We like to have the cushion and don't want the stress. With that said when we returned from Morocco we had a 5 hour layover in NYC--- we didn't make it. It is a long story but we left Casablanca 6 hours late. bummer.

We have some mild anxiety about misplacing the passports and money so we keep them on our bodies at all times. We keep our cameras and computers with us at all time in the backpack. When seated we are seated we have the strap of the backpack hooked around our leg. If someone tries to take it they will have a surprise -- they will get us with the backpack.

After this last around the world trip..... we now have some concerns about oversees health care. Dave had a nasty fall in Nepal and we both had food poisoning. This aging thing is a bummer.

When we are doing budget travel we worry a bit about being able to get a room with a private bath and the noise level.



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6 years ago, August 16th 2013 No: 5 Msg: #174112  
My husband and I are at polar opposites when travelling. He is not a planner, doesn't worry about ANYTHING and just goes with the flow. He is rarely uncomfortable.
Me? Completely the opposite. I worry about everything. I am constantly worrying if I will be uncomfortable (most notably, bathroom situations!)
Sometimes I wish I was like him. Other times, I think someone needs to worry.... Reply to this

6 years ago, August 16th 2013 No: 6 Msg: #174121  
B Posts: 1,977

In response to: Msg #174112
There are many times when worry is a very good thing, as long as people understand how to handle it. For example, worrying about a long hike can help remind people of what they need to prepare beforehand. Many people have just wandered down interesting trails and ended up in a hospital 😞
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6 years ago, August 17th 2013 No: 7 Msg: #174141  
B Posts: 897
Hmm...very good question Tam, and the reason I am procrastinating and re writing my Sydney blog over and over again.

If I am totally honest the thing that takes me out of my comfort zone is.....people. I was terrified of going somewhere to meet people rather than be the lone ranger diving and checking out the scenery and finding my own way. I have no fears or annoyances with general travel flying, diving, driving, airports -(ok, im always annoyed at queuing and delayed flights and customs etc lol), climb a volcano? YEP! earthquake, flood, storm YEP, Fire not so much, cant speak the language even better its a little test of my abilities to adapt i guess.

But, meeting people actually takes me right out of my comfort zone. Im a West Aussie bogun LOL and I did find it intimidating going and meeting everyone in Sydney...for about the first 5 minutes 😊

I suprised myself by how instantly I felt at home and welcome. I worry that I wont fit in (I admit, I had a back up plan!) wont watch my language enough, will drop a fork at dinner or fall off the ship..none of which happened, but I have taken a good look at this issue and realised that is my travel fear...not the unknown, but the ..lack of anonymity?..not sure if that is the right word for it. Reply to this

6 years ago, August 24th 2013 No: 8 Msg: #174374  
B Posts: 1,298
Andrew and I are usually 'uncomfortable' about different things when we travel, so at least one of us is usually happy/calm/sane enough to make the situation ok. However there have been rare times when we've both been uncomfortable and that's when the alarm bells ring and we get the hell out of there! 😊

My most common (but quite low grade really) comfort zone issues are usually with using public toilets on road trips, people who happily rest their thigh or arm against you on public transport, loud talkers in small spaces, and close-standers in queues (who are also sometimes mouth-breathers)... ew! Reply to this

6 years ago, September 16th 2013 No: 9 Msg: #175150  
Definitely has to be being hot, sweaty, and sticky, or being hungry. We find this just leads to frustration, low tolerance to anything big or small, and ultimately a lack of patience which usually sees one of us act out emotionally.

Key here is to always, always have snacks packed in your bag for those emergencies. And as for the heat, well I carry around a sweat rag, effectively a face was cloth that I can wipe my face and neck with when I get sticky and hot. I find this helps a lot. That and to keep extremely well hydrated and perhaps even some cooling wet wipes to wash your face and hands with every now and then helps too. Reply to this

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