The thing with the comfort zone


You all know these oh so inspiring quotes and memes, hurrying through the internet and promising you, that your life will be oh so great as soon as you get up off your butt. That there’s no life as long as you’re staying in your comfort zone. Or maybe your friends, parents, whoever, tell you all the time what you have to change in your life to make it like this or like that.

And yes, every now and then leaving your comfort zone doesn’t hurt you (well, okay, sometimes it does and well, sometimes I guess it was the wrong thing to do, but well, you get what I mean). I know that it’s good for me to leave my comfort zone every now and then, do things I’ve never done before and sometimes even screw things up. I need this. As otherwise I get bored with life sooner or later.

me in bagan eden motel 2Me in Bagan, Myanmar, totally happy about our room. With electricity. Sometimes.

But I also need home, time on my own. Time on my sofa, with good friends, going out for breakfast always in the same café, routine, everyday life. And I need days in my pyjamas. Comfort zone.

And I need travelling, as otherwise I get grumpy. I feel happy when travelling, especially when I get this “walking on clouds” feeling after a while on the road. But I get the same back home on my sofa. Comfort zone.

So, what I need is: being home, being on the road and doing new stuff every now and then. Then I feel good and I’m happy. And as long as I’m happy everything’s fine. Because that’s all that matters. Being happy.

I could say: I’ve found the magic key for how to live a happy life. But the thing is, yes, I’ve found it, but only for me. Just because it’s working for me doesn’t mean it would work for you too.

ich so morgens in der mongolei Mongolia was outside my comfort zone in the beginning. And then after a few days it was right inside.

Maybe you feel uncomfortable when leaving your comfort zone and doing exciting things doesn’t make you feel happier. Then don’t do it. Just because others are doing stuff like this you don’t have to do it. Maybe you think staying the whole day in my pyjamas and doing nothing is the most stupid thing ever. I really like it. I could say: IT’S THE BEST THING EVER. It is, but maybe just for me (I love btw doing this while I’m travelling too).

Sometimes it’s stressing me out when I see these oh so inspiring quotes and pics or when other people think they need to tell me how I should live my life, especially when I just made myself comfortable in my comfort zone (I’m guilty on all counts as well (especially on my Facebook page), but probably it just felt good for me in that very moment, and if you don’t like this, just tell me).

I don’t care at all how other people are living their lives. And if I feel like sleeping for a few hours in my hotel room, right after arriving in a new country, instead of jumping into the unknown, then I will do this. And when I don’t feel like adventures and new worlds and prefer to sit on my sofa in Berlin and watch TV shows, then I will do this. And that’s exactly how it should be. I love my comfort zone. As long as I don’t get bored with it, until my inner voice is shouting and then I have to leave again and see the world and who knows maybe I will even ride a camel again, just to see if I won’t fall off this time. Maybe not.

mein lieblingsbild mit zwei kamelen und einem omaniCamels make me happy. Well, kind of, as long as I don’t have to ride them.

The thing is that, and unfortunately it’s not always easy, and yes, eventually you have to leave your comfort zone for this: you have to find out what makes you happy on your own. Others can inspire you or kick your ass, if you need it. But if the thought of changing everything stresses you out, and you’re happy with your life just like it is… then it’s good like this. And if the thought of leaving everything like it is stresses you out, and you’re unhappy with your life just like it is… then that’s ok too, you can change it. In the end it’s your life.

You have to decide if you want your life to be an adventure, unbridled fun or a comfortable boat ride. And whatever you choose, it’s gonna be fine. Really. You don’t have to feel guilty if you don’t want a 9 to 5 job and you also don’t have to feel guilty if you do want to have such a job. Just because someone else is living another life and tells you that his life is the best ever, you don’t have to do the same. Let them life their lives and you, you should just live your own life.

Just be yourself and be happy. And if you’re not happy with something, change it. Easy as this.

Areyouhappy_a2_web_1024Credit: Blog.H34

Joss Whedon would say:

“Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that.”

On that note: Cheers to life from my favourite comfort zone. My sofa.

Hi, I'm Yvonne. Travel addict. Guilty as charged. Right now I'm probably falling off a camel somewhere in a desert, getting a new tattoo from a monk in Thailand or am carrying my luggage through a river in the jungle. But just as well I could be sitting on my sofa in Berlin, in my pyjamas. Good girls to to heaven, bad girls go everywhere. Everywhere sounds much more promising. So be travelous and follow me!

Discussion8 Comments

  1. Great point – happiness is very subjective. We each need to find our own definition of the word, determine how to manifest it for ourselves and then plan our own path to reach our happiness. What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another and that’s OK. I recently moved to Arctic Alaska and the lack of high speed internet, lack of paved roads, and lack of several other things, would not be a suitable challenge for everyone. However, it’s a great one for me at the moment.

  2. I love this. I agree that for some people, things that seem perfect on paper just don’t work for other people. Sometimes I would sit and look at something beautiful and feel bad because I didn’t value it as much as other people did. Then, really simple things sometimes make me incredibly happy. It’s all about pursuing your own passion 🙂

  3. Hi Yvonne,

    “Confort Zone” ohhhh I know what it is… your post describes it exactly!!! Thank you !
    Happiness is a way not a destination ! I’m sure about that… and for me it’s more and more clear… I want to be happy and make things I like. TRAVEL is a need… as you!
    At present, something inside me is missing and I know it … It’s a little bit complicated to travel when you do not have money but I try to do it as soon as I can. I continue to think about my real life with my real ambitions, it is so sacred and unique!
    Happiness is not far sometimes but for me it’s a need to discover always more and more.
    Travel and come back home time to time would be the perfect fit for me !

    Are you now in Berlin for summertime ? I wish you all the best ! 😉

  4. Love this, Yvonne. From quiet brunches in the middle of Schöneberg to your wild+crazy adventures in the middle of Asia, it felt completely natural to imagine you were saying all of this in casual conversation: word for word, and in person. 🙂 Thanks for writing this!

  5. YES! I love this. You pretty much wrote a post of how I feel 99% of the time. I always see those quotes or have people telling me that I HAVE to leave my comfort zone and at the same time I hear people telling me that having a 9-5 job is what I need to have to be an adult. And it’s not true. It’s whatever I think is true for myself. Everyone has a different opinion. So thank you for writing this amazing post.

  6. This is so accurate – happiness is not about pushing yourself if that’s not what makes you happy! It’s about what is right for you, not what people tell you is right 🙂

  7. Great post. I, too, need a balance in my life between adventure and nights on the couch watching Netflix. No matter how many tips I read regarding how to avoid or combat jet lag, I’m going to get to my destination, take a shower, and take a two-hour nap.

  8. I couldn’t agree with you more.I am a creative soul who wants to be inspired and travel the world.I am planning to travel to England next year.But for now I am just staying in my comfort zone.Saving money,same bar every weekend,same gym everyday.Routine.But at the end of the day,I keep my eyes on that goal and I sometimes find inspiration in sport,music books and sometimes in doing absolutely nothing at all.

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