Get out of town and see the world

Adventures and new experiences through travel build coping skills.

It’s Spring time – almost Summer – and we are all thinking about travelling. Going somewhere else.

Whether it’s summer holidays, planning to attend a college or university in the fall, moving to a new community, or not planning to travel at all, it’s exciting just to think about it.

Tool Man and I have made plans to do a bit of travelling this summer, and it will be the first time in years that we’ve done more than drive from point A to point B and back again. I’ll tell you more in a few weeks if I get the chance.

But it got me to thinking about journeys and what they do to us. I’ve met several people over the years who spend their entire lives in the same community they were born into, and they’ve always been very nice people. However, my advice to young people has always been “Go West!” Or, now that I am “west”, I can say “Go East!” Or North (if you want a good paying job).

The point is, go see something that you’ve never seen before; experience a culture that you’ve never experienced before. Step out of the “same old same old” comfort zone and stretch yourself, your beliefs and perceptions. Measure yourself against something you never knew existed before and see what you think.

You will never be able to do this if you never leave home, even for two weeks.

And why is this important? Even for the non-adventuous types out there, sooner or later “Life” hands us all an unexpected curve. A crisis that is way outside our comfort zone. It could be the loss of an important job, or the inevitable death of a loved one. Having experience with being outside the comfort zone can come in handy in those situations.

At the very least, it helps us develop good instincts and teaches us to trust ourselves whether we’re in the middle of an emergency or buying a car.

I think of all the field trips we took in school and how exciting they were; and I listen to our cadets excitedly recount their recent trip to Halifax and the east coast and I know those trips have left their valuable, indelible stamps on us all.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal