When I was 11 I was obsessed with British culture. Mainly it was due to the fact that all of my English teachers up to that point were somehow connected to the UK, either they were British or their spouses were British. And it most certainly did not help that I was very into Harry Potter (yes, posters up on my wall and going to HP movie premiers in costumes). So one can imagine how desperately I wanted to visit London. It was the dream destination, I knew everything there was to know about London (or at least I thought so). But when you are 11, solo traveling is not an option and my mom was not keen on the idea of taking me on her own to London. You ask why (I most certainly did at every possible occasion). She said that she did not know the language and was unfamiliar with the city. You see, my mom only traveled because of work or went on these super touristy group trips. And the thought of being alone in a city where she has never been before was just too much for her, so I had to postpone that dream for 5 years and visited London for the first time when I was 16.
But there are so many benefits of traveling outside of your comfort zone.
S O M E T H I N G new
You will most likely experience something you have never experienced before: The most obvious one is you can add a new city or a new country to your list, you might get a glimpse of a new culture. Traveling outside of your comfort zone could mean to someone perhaps trying out solo travelling, or actually getting the chance to plan the trip on your own from start to finish. Or instead of staying in a hotel as per usual, why not stay with a local and try out couch surfing or Airbnb? Or switch the plane for a train, or travel multiple cities instead of one city at a time, or instead of visiting the capital, go to a smaller city or to a country side? There is so much room to experience with something new.
D I F F E R E N T perspective
I recently read a story of a girl who had never traveled outside of the States. She had never even traveled outside of her home State or even outside of her city. So imagine her reaction and all of her emotions when she landed in Prague for the first time for her school trip and stayed there for almost a month? What changed? Her perspective of the world. Suddenly the world was a bigger than just her southern culture. She gained crazy amount of inspiration, the yearning to explore and travel and realizing there is so much more out there than just what we go through on daily basis.
D I S T U R B the boring
What are the stories you want to tell one day? The adventures you want to have? To have something you never had before, you guessed it, you have to do something you have never done before. And why not share stories of volunteering abroad with a purpose, meeting locals, working in a new environment, and making this Summer the best Summer you have had so far? Do it. Do not hesitate. Check out the opportunities AIESEC has for you!