Cruising tends to evoke images of sandy Caribbean beaches, catamarans, and zip lining through a lush rainforest. For many who haven’t cruised before, a Caribbean or Bahamas cruise may seem like the pinnacle of cruise vacations. For those who’ve cruised enough, we know there are plenty of other cruising destinations, from as close as the Mexican Riviera and northeast Canada to as far away as the Greek Isles or the South Pacific. However, many cruisers may not even consider a cruise away from the standard Caribbean or Bahamas – simply because they are happy with a cruise in the sun. For many, a cruise outside of sand and sun is daunting, outside of one’s cruise comfort zone. They shouldn’t be. Cruising outside of your comfort zone may be the best thing you could ever do for your next cruise vacation.
YOU’LL GROW AS A TRAVELER
Let’s be honest, as excited as you may be to travel somewhere new, there’s a little part of you that is nervous about the unknown. New places are weird for human beings and that’s alright. But let me tell you, the more new places you go, the more new places will seem familiar. Booking that exotic or foreign cruise may be the best decision you’ll ever make for your travel state of mind. Actually traveling somewhere new or far away will help build your travel personality, build up your sense of adventure, allow you to experience new places, cultures, and languages. All this exposure to new things will build you up as a person and as a traveler. For me, I’ll forever be changed for the better by my decision to cruise from Istanbul with Viking Cruises. Which cruise will change you?
YOU’LL SEE NEW PLACES
Sure, it’s great to go back to places you love! Who doesn’t love going back to their favorite beach or staying at their favorite pre cruise hotel? But, as much as we may love those places, they won’t do anything significant for our sense of adventure. Routine can be devastating and we can quickly lose excitement or interest in something if we do it too often. So, by picking a cruise out of our comfort zone, we allow ourselves to go venture to new places, to explore new cities, to find a new favorite beach, fortress, or park. I love choosing a cruise based on how many places I haven’t seen. Because, honestly, who wants to keep seeing the same things over and over again? What’s cooler – seeing the same beach for the tenth time or seeing amazing ruins for the first time? I know which one I’d pick.
YOU’LL EXPERIENCE NEW THINGS
Going along with seeing new places, cruising out of your comfort zone will allow you to experience new things! Languages, food, culture, people, everything! The more we experience in life, the more diverse and thoughtful we become. The more we know, the more we can understand and teach others. Experiencing new things allows us to build up ourselves, but build up others as well. I’ve come back from numerous trips, sharing the amazing things I’ve learned overseas. From something as simple as teaching a friend the proper way to say “thank you” in Turkish, to teaching my pastor the proper way to place down your chopsticks when eating sushi. Experiencing new things allows us to expand our minds and impart wisdom acquired abroad to all our loved ones at home.
YOU’LL STILL HAVE A CRUISE SHIP
Possibly the best part of cruising out of your comfort zone? You’ll still have a comfortable cruise ship. No matter where you sail in the world, you’ll still be able to return to a cozy, comfortable, familiar cruise ship at the end of a long, tiring day exploring a new port of call. It’s one of the greatest benefits of cruising – the ease and convenience of a floating hotel, where you only unpack once, and experience a variety of new ports in only a few days.
YOU’LL HAVE A GREATER APPRECIATION FOR TRAVEL
Trust me, as scary as a big trip to somewhere far away may seem at the beginning, you’re going to be heartbroken when you return home. I’ve found that my most “daunting” trips have had the most impact on my life and travel personality. Sure, I was pretty freaked about my Grand European Tour with Viking River, only because I was turning 20 during the trip, which freaked me out, and I was worried I’d be very lonely due to the age difference in guests. Turns out, I was completely wrong. My fellow guests from the Viking Lif were my favorite group of passengers I have ever sailed with – far from the stereotypes of river cruising. During that trip, I saw incredible, new places; met amazing people, each with different backgrounds and stories; and experienced so many different cultures and true travel moments. Looking back now – for as worried as I was – that cruise was the definition of meaningful travel – new places, new people, new moments – and I would have never experienced it had I not cruised out of my comfort zone.
So, when you find an amazing deal on someplace far away and new, don’t hesitate to break up with the Caribbean for a summer and head over a new horizon. I promise you that it’ll be worth it. Travel is all about experiencing new things, new people, and making new moments – don’t miss the chance to rediscovering cruising and at the same time, yourself, by cruising out of your comfort zone.