Saturday, July 27, 2013

Doing Something Different

By Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig
One of the reasons that I went on break for a couple of weeks was that I was on vacation in Kenya. :)
It was a wonderful vacation.  We have family that live and work in Africa and had encouraged us to experience Kenya.  It was great to have guides who were so familiar with the area (and who spoke several languages).  We saw the bustling Nairobi, the lovely Rift Valley, went on safari, and experienced the Kenyan coast.  It was an amazing trip. (And I'm clearly trying to still catch up, since this post is a day late!)
And y’all know that I rarely even leave my house unless I’m running errands or shuttling children around—so this trip was a big deal to me. 
As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m a planner.  I’m very cautious and need an abundance of information on something before I experience it—that’s even true of small events I attend near my home or camps for my children.  I packed weeks before we left…and repacked. And shifted things from bag to bag.  Yes, I’m fairly neurotic.
When I talked with friends and family about leaving, I’d bring up all the aspects of the trip that made me anxious—the vaccinations we needed, organizing the flights, staying healthy, our accommodations, etc.
People who knew me best had a particular reaction to the news.  “Oh, Elizabeth,” said more than one person, “that will be so good for you.”
They were right and I knew it when they said it.  We can be too fond of the familiar, too eager to keep away from crowds, too happy to stay at home.  As writers, it’s also good to grow a little.  To stray from our comfort zone.  To fire up our imaginations with different experiences, different sights, different tastes, different people.
I don’t think we have to go to Africa to do it, either.  We can push ourselves into new and different situations nearer to home, too.
Have you broken out of your routine or your comfort zone lately?  What was it like?  How did it go?