How Travel Can Teach Us To Choose The Adventure

Updated November 10, 2015
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“It’s a sniper hole”, our guide casually mentioned as he brushed away some leaves and picked up what looked like the lid of a small box built into the ground. Beneath was a dark hole, stretching into a tunnel that looked like something only a small child could fit into.

“Does anyone want to climb in and close the lid?” 

“Yes”. Wait. What? Had I just agreed to that?


sniper hole vietnam cu chi tunnels

The sniper hole at the Cu Chi Tunnels near Saigon, Vietnam

Travel can teach us to choose adventure, in the face of a more normal cautious response.

When you’re travelling it’s somehow easier to take chances. Something about being in a different place can help you throw off your inhibitions and step outside of your usual self.

Swim in water in a national park in the middle of Vietnam infested with god knows what? Yeah, why not?

Creep around in some caves in the back and beyond of Canada, no gear, no torch, and no one knows where you are? Sounds fun!

Move to a new country, sight unseen? Well clearly it will be awesome.

Despite outward appearances my natural personality is actually a cautious one, and part of the reason I love to travel so much is because it’s actively helped me overcome this. This doesn’t mean my heart still doesn’t pound with fear sometimes or that my brain doesn’t try to freeze my muscles as I attempt to do something, I’ve just learned that for me the rewards are always worth it, the feeling of triumph in even the small wins I have in pushing myself.

But choosing the adventure doesn’t always mean big sweeping decisions, adventure activities or travel, sometimes it’s as simple as walking to work for a change, or speaking to someone in the line at the store.

It’s not a new idea that travelling changes you, broadens your horizons and pushes you out of your comfort zone. That travel can immerse you in different cultures leading you to make different decisions and have experiences you wouldn’t have at home.

But what happens when you go home, or make a new one somewhere?

Most likely, aside from the post-travel blues, you’re brimming with excitement and newfound knowledge, wanting to talk to everyone about all your adventures. Except no one is going to understand them like you do. How that sunrise over a temple made you feel, the people you met, the hilarious friends you made and all your inside jokes.

Slowly things slip back to normal, or become normal if you’re living abroad, and you go about your daily routine inside your comfort zone. While the travel may have changed you, it’s less obvious now.

But it doesn’t haven’t to be. You can keep the lessons so many of us talk about from travel.

There are so many opportunities in daily life to choose the adventure. 

Speak to new people, try a new hobby, volunteer at home, not just when you’re travelling. These are all things that can enrich your life, and become adventures in their own right. Maybe you’ll make a friend who becomes a friend for life, maybe you’ll find a new career path, or gain satisfaction from helping others as home, as much as you might have abroad.

Thanks to my parents, I started choosing the adventure early, and I’ve tried to keep doing so since.

That day at the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam was just another time I surprised even myself by taking a chance. It’s not a happy or easy place to go to, but closing the lid on a dark place in reality and in history, is a reminder for me to make that extra effort to do something that scares me when I’m in my normal life.

cu chi tunnels sniper hole vietnam saigon

Getting into the sniper hole at Cu Chi tunnels, Vietnam

There’s always a reason to hesitate, to not try, to take the well worn path. I don’t mean to preach, but I do think we all need a little reminder every now and then, myself included.

Don’t let the habit of choosing the adventure in travel fade away when you get home.

Sonja x

Have you been travelling and found it changed your “normal” life? 

Want some more inspiration? Check out these travel quotes to fuel your wanderlust

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How Travel Can Teach Us To Choose The Adventure



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  • Reply Monica November 11, 2015 at 7:12 am

    I loved this post! It’s a gloomy day here in Toronto but this just made me smile and made me remember all the craziness I did in my last backpacking trip. Thanks! 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 11, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Thanks Monica glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully you can carry some of that craziness into your life back in Toronto, even on a gloomy day 🙂

  • Reply Wanderer Wannabe November 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Oh God, such a small place, but I completely understand what you’re saying, I made some things that I wouldn’t do at home, just because I was travelling and had to try “all” the adventures. let’s try to forget our fears.

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 11, 2015 at 10:42 am

      Definitely! I think we definitely take more risks when we travel, and in some ways we should bring that back with us home!

  • Reply Sonal of Drifter Planet November 11, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Love the post and your clean layout 🙂

  • Reply Marlene Affeld November 13, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Loved your post, great photos. Thanks for sharing an awesome adventure in Vietnam. I am envious.

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Thanks Marlene! Vietnam really was one huge adventure, but this one especially. Hope you can find such adventures too!

  • Reply shayan Naveed November 13, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    I can totally relate. That’s why I make it a point to try new adventures in my city, Bangkok….and I have found plenty! Adventures don’t have to end when you’re home, indeed. Great post. 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

      Thanks Shayan! I think it’s so important to try and find adventures where you live. All too often tourists seem to have done more than I have! Bangkok would give you endless opportunities I imagine 🙂

  • Reply The Blonde Mademoiselle November 14, 2015 at 7:05 am

    Loved this post! What a crazy adventure! Now I want to visit Vietnam!!

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

      Thanks! Vietnam is FULL of adventurous activities like this! It’s such an amazing place. There is still so much I’d love to see there. Hopefully you get the chance soon!

  • Reply Becky Matthewosn November 14, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Love your style of writing. And yes, travel has continuously shaped my “normal” life for a very long time 😉

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 14, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Thanks Becky! :). Me too!It’s crazy to think what my life might be without it!

  • Reply Yvonne November 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Yes very true, for some unknown reason, I do tend to take risks when travelling, it makes me feel even more ‘alive’ I think, or I just throw caution to the wind and think ‘why not?’ 🙂

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 16, 2015 at 7:15 am

      Exactly! I think it is something to do with being out of your comfort zone, but there is something to be taken from that, which is to take the risk at home too!

  • Reply Sophia November 17, 2015 at 4:00 am

    Ah most definitely. Travel brings out the curious side of us, don’t they?

    I have been told by many that I seem like someone who’s very cautious and reserved, but when they see me taking daredevil-type risks and doing things most people would shy away from, they get surprised. But apart of me feel like it all comes down to how curious we are of the things around us and how much we are willing to bet on to get to the end of it. To me, escaping comfort and always experiencing the new and unknown is exactly that, to combat my curiosity even if it means I have to be outside of my comfort zone.

    (By the way, new reader to your blog. Really loving your writing so far! :))

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 17, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Thanks so much Sophia it’s lovely to hear when I’m just starting out! Hopefully better things to come 🙂

      It is so interesting how travel can affect our personality! I totally agree with you, when you are curious about something it’s about how much you want to take the risk to know the outcome or have the end result. I think some people forget that though when they are back home, so it’s a great thing to remember! I think it’s always, or at least the majority of the time, worth it to take that chance!

  • Reply Kevin Wagar November 17, 2015 at 7:05 am

    I love how travel pushes us out of our comfort zone and gives us an excuse to try all the things we might not ever do! Thanks for sharing!

    Keep travelling!

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 17, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Thanks Kevin! Me too, I think it’s one of the best things about travel, and hopefully we can capture that when we are not travelling too 🙂

  • Reply Daniela Frendo @ Grumpy Camel November 23, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Totally agree with this article and the comments. I think taking risks and being out of our comfort zone in different places teaches us a great deal about ourselves and the world around us.

    I always feel braver, happier and more confident after an adventure – but unfortunately these feelings tend to fade as I slip back into my daily routine. This is why I also think it’s important to look for adventure or something new closer to home if you can’t afford to travel more often, even if it’s just learning a new language or taking up anew hobby.

    • Reply Migrating Miss November 23, 2015 at 9:40 am

      Thanks for your comment Daniela! I totally agree, adventures don’t have to be big grand gestures or expensive travel all the time, there are so many simple things we can do to try and step a little bit out of our comfort zone and keep growing in our daily lives. Recognising that is probably the first step :). Learning a language is one of the things I’m trying to do at the moment!

  • Reply Steph Dyson December 9, 2015 at 2:02 am

    Hi Sonja,

    I couldn’t agree more! We have this idea that adventure has to be something crazy, but really an adventure is something personal to you, something that helps you to appreciate life from a different perspective, even if it may not see like the most adventurous act to someone else.

    Although, I have to admit I don’t think I would have got in that hole!!

    • Reply Migrating Miss December 9, 2015 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Steph thanks for your comment! Adventure helping you appreciate life from a different perspective is such a great way to put it, I definitely agree. If everyone is seeking to push themselves past their own comfort zone I think a lot of great things could happen.

      Sometimes you never know what you’ll do when given the chance, I don’t think I ever thought I’d do that either haha.

  • Reply Kellie December 19, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    Great post.! I’m currently in the phase of settling into my homestate (Oklahoma) for a few months before traveling again. And it’s been hard to not get frustrated with the normalcy of my life right now. I sort of settled and had to readjust my mindset with an awareness of the adventures that I can find here. Along with some helpful positive outside perspectives, I’ve been able to realign myself with some exciting goals here in my old college town.

    And by the way, you’re super ballsy for entering that sniper hole.
    Adventure on!

    • Reply Migrating Miss December 19, 2015 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks Kellie :). I found it so hard when I had to come back to Australia for a bit, it’s definitely a bit of a mind game to try and make staying put positive when you just want to be travelling and on the road again! I’m glad you’ve been able to make some goals, I did the same and it really helped to have something to be working on, and to keep me busy. Good luck with your home adventures!

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