“Oh Shit,” I thought. Approaching the Canadian boarder, I had just glanced down at my speedometer–which lacks an inside arc denoting km/hour. Fearing Quebec might have a “welcome party” similar to that of North Troy, I readied my phone’s conversion app. I was clearly out of my comfort zone; and that was a very good thing.
Comfort zones are easy to dial in. We not only rely on them but embrace them, perhaps a bit too much. We calmly function on assumption and understanding rather than over analyzing trivial details. Comfort zones help us function properly in society. But they also dull the senses and reduce awareness. Avoiding novel experiences robs us of new perspectives, exciting discoveries, and diverse experiences.
Anticipation floods me when I visit a ski area for the first time. By definition, you only get a novel experience once. Though we might routinely chase re-occurrence, you can never again see it for the first time except through someone else’s eyes. So we either accept monotony or pursue the novel experience; never content to accept sameness and repetition without deviation.