“Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”
I can still hear Jillian Michaels saying this in one of her workout videos as I struggled to hold a plank position in my living room. This phrase applied to almost every workout of hers that I completed. It’s this absence of comfort that makes us stronger in the long run. Little did I know that the quote would also become my mantra as I traveled by myself to Paris for the weekend.
Being abroad has reminded me of how easily we take for granted the sense of familiarity that resides in us as we go through our daily home routines. We know how to get to school, to work, and to other everyday places without taking one second to stop and think.
I guess I should have anticipated this uncomfortableness as I traveled between countries. It resides like the sense of anticipation you get before making that first descent on a rollercoaster. It acts as a reminder that I would be coming home with a renewed sense of self upon touching down on U.S. soil.
One weekend in March, I flew to Paris by myself to meet up with my roommates who had left a day early. I was wary of the language barrier I would face upon touching down, and I prayed that my basic knowledge of Spanish would at least allow me to figure out common French words. I knew I would have to figure out how to use public transportation to get to my hostel, and I relied heavily on the directions my roommates had texted me that morning.