Monday morning; wake up have breakfast. Get in car. Go to work. Look up and see the Sky Tower. Meet with people and in places I know. Wednesday morning, wake up have breakfast, but where is the breakfast I know? Navigate the subway. Look up and see the Empire State Building. Meet with people and in places I don’t know. Routine and comfort is a true privilege but sometimes we need to step into different environments to be able to level up and see even more.
I’ve recently returned from my fifth trip to New York City (NYC) to build a bigger part of my speaking dream, but taking what I know into environments that fall outside the day-to-day routine is not as simple as just jumping on the plane and and running on the other side. In fact the other side becomes a combination of learning to walk and sprinting at the same time. Yes people speak english in NYC but other than that it is completely foreign from what I’ve got comfortable with living here on the North Shore; the climate, the transport, the food, sights and sounds, all things that make me realise that I’m outside my day-to-day routine and with this taking a while to adapt to it’s as if I’m learning to walk. But then the alarm is off at 5am and after an hour in the gym it’s meeting, meeting, meeting, speech, speech, speech, interview, interview, interview (with all the other foreign stuff thrown in between) and at 12:15am the head hits the pillow knowing there is another 7 days living at sprint pace, a pace that saw that 18 hour day evaporate in a blink of an eye.
So why do I do this and why do I suggest doing this for anyone wanting to take their business, their career, their dream to the next level. Three reasons…
The only constant in this world is change and each time we do things we adopt new experiences which means we take home different learnings. Sometimes we need to prompt this change rather that wait for it to happen.
Through discomfort and vulnerability we are forced to think outside the square on how we do things and we are forced to think of them fast.
There is limited time in which we have to embrace the opportunity and leverage the environment, we don't want to mis anything, we don’t want to waste our time but we are the greatest unknown so we have to think differently, we have to be bold, we have to be brave and have to believe in us 100%
Now I’m back home, I’m in an environment that I know like the back of my hand, I can pick up a phone and not worry about things like an accent, I don’t need to feel vulnerable or uncomfortable, I can go into the cafe I know, the gym I like, I can embrace my environment to a whole new level, I can propel my dream beyond what I could initially comprehend IF and the ‘IF’ is very important… IF I don’t forget what it felt like to be outside my comfort zone in NYC and IF I don’t let the lessons learnt there be lost in the familiarity of home.
Travel, whether it be for personal, pleasure or professionally opens our eyes and stretches our imagine, it is what I believe to be one of the universities for life. If things start to feel stale, if we don’t know where we're going, or seeking change that we can’t yet identify… jump on a plane to somewhere new with the intention to do there what we do at home and with that will come appreciation and innovation within what we know.