Right this very moment I work on a banana farm.
If we've ever met you know exactly how hilarious that is.
I share my daily workspace with cockroaches, frogs, snakes and banana sap. I get muddy, sweaty, sticky and downright exhausted, each and every shift. The word "uncomfortable," barely skims the surface of this experience. And I absolutely love it.
Whilst gazing at bananas for some 9 odd hours a day, one's mind wanders to infinite and beyond. I've been giving a lot of thought to the nature of travel, and how I came to love doing something I would never do at home and being someone my friends would never expect I could be.
Why would anyone get themselves into these kind of situations? Not to mention enjoy them. From socializing with complete strangers, to making plans on a whim, travellers seek out weird, unsure and uneasy circumstances all the time...why on earth?
TRAVELLERS PREFER AN UNCOMFORTABLE STATE OF LIVING
because we get to...
Sample Someone Else's Life
At this point in my travels, I've had the privilege of staying in a small number of destinations for a long period at a time. Of course travel is about variety, but it's also about finding stability in a life different from your own. When it comes to working abroad, travellers have the unique opportunity to sample someone else's world. Immersing yourself in a new country allows you to see what else is out there and step into a culture other than your own. Working on a farm, I've come to appreciate that there are a ton of people out there who work so much harder than the average North American. My respect for food and awareness of waste is at an all time high after stepping into a farmers shoes.
Learn The Hard Way
Not all travelling turns out Insta perfect. It's important to understand that flexibility is key when travelling. As someone who likes to keep a good amount of control over everything I'm continually learning this the hard way. There's nothing wrong with having a goal and plan for where your path will lead, as long as you welcome the forks you will no doubt be fed.
Love Being Lonesome
Last year I went to my first ever movie theatre alone, ate my first solo restaurant dinner and did my first independent hike. All of these things might be normal to some, but for me they couldn't have been less natural. I've never been someone who values alone time or enjoys living independently. It's been an ego-boosting experience to realize that I can and will enjoy doing novel experiences by myself. Being comfortable with being alone makes you most appealing to other solo travellers; not needing, but welcoming great company.
When it comes to self improvement there's no better crash course than travel. Leave me a comment and let me know how very lucky you've been to face discomfort abroad!