Travels with Bob

 Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

Today’s travel options offer something for virtually everyone and, therein lies a growing problem for leisure travelers―almost too many choices. Furthermore, getting off the beaten path and away from the crowd has become increasingly difficult, especially for the substantial number of people seeking a more personalized travel experience.


Action travel may involve such activities as climbing iconic mountains or simply pursuing your passion for art, music or other special interests.

In advising hundreds of clients over the past decade, I realized that most of them fit one of three distinct types of travelers:

The Tourist―Destination and “bucket list” driven; travels at a quick pace and wants to see as much as possible in the shortest amount of time; takes countless photos to remember the trip because, unfortunately, they don’t always stop long enough to savor much more than the highlights of their journey.

The Cultural Anthropologist―Seriously interested in history and culture; desires to meet the locals and immerse themselves in native customs and the local lifestyle; she usually takes longer trips traveling at a slower pace and may focus on pursuing personal special interests.

The Adventurer―Clearly a thrill seeker, but he is not reckless; experience and adrenalin driven; takes shorter, more frequent trips and usually arrives home with “bragging” rights.

There is nothing fundamentally wrong with any of these travel styles. Yet, it’s important to understand your personal travel style, including its advantages and limitations. Knowing what you expect to achieve as you travel also helps define the experiences you seek. Therefore, it makes nothing but good sense to establish travel goals before you set out. You also must be willing to venture outside your comfort zone occasionally to realize full benefits of today’s exciting travel opportunities.

Here are a few travel tips worth considering the next time you venture outside your comfort zone:

• When planning your next leisure journey seek value over price, but establish your budget range in advance.
• Set aside additional funds for contingencies and unplanned opportunities.
• Always leave home with trip insurance because serious stuff happens at the most inconvenient times.
• Establish trip objectives keeping in mind that your travels are as much about creating memories and having fun.
• The more complicated your trip, the more sense it makes to work with a knowledgeable travel professional who can save you considerable time and money.
• Keep a journal as you travel, noting the details of your experiences, including the names and contact information for the people you meet. Then plan to stay in touch with your new friends.

The more you travel outside your comfort zone, the more you will realize that many of the people you encounter around the world share ideas, values and desires like yours. In fact, we even tend to laugh at many of the same jokes, although the punch lines may differ slightly.