I am an extrovert and have always enjoyed being around a lot of people the majority of my time, outside of sleeping. I have a large number and wide variety of friends that I like spending time with, whether we are just sitting around someone’s yard talking, hanging out drinking wine, or having a night out on the town. I have never really spent anytime alone or on my own. I don’t see this as a bad thing, but where I am on my current journey I have had to learn how to deal with long stretches of time where I have only myself to keep me company.
James and I love where we are on this adventure and wouldn’t change it for the world. We have gotten to do and see things that we otherwise would not have had the opportunity to do/see. However, there has been a learning curve for me. I am living half way around the world from my comfort zone, from the people and places that have always been there for me when I need or want them. A quick phone call or text to anyone of my friends and I was able to avoid being alone. It’s not that I think alone time is a bad thing, its just that I have never had to deal with it………..ever.
So I have had to find things to fill my time with. I have had to search my mind and find things that interest me and will keep me occupied for longer than a few minutes. I have had to find hobbies that I enjoy, and boy has it been an interesting journey.
I have found some things that help to pass the time, thank goodness, or else I am afraid James would have sent me home by now!
One of the things that I have always found that keeps me focused and calm is coloring, whether it is a children’s book with a large box of crayons or in one of the latest adult coloring books with some colored pencils or pens. Another thing that I have found that I enjoy spending time on is playing video games. I have only started playing them, so I am not really any good, yet, but I do like getting lost in the story of a game. All of them have been on the computer, because it is too difficult to get a console system set up and running properly with the amount of internet that we get here.
James and I have also set a type of routine for the free time that we have together. We have explored the area around where we live and have found some great restaurants that we like to visit on the weekends. We take one of the days of our weekend and make sure that we go out and spend time out of our apartment, by having lunch at one of our favorite spots and then having some delicious frozen yogurt while we walk off the lunch we just finished. Some of our favorite spots are right on the water, where we can walk along the beach and talk, and others are in the Avenues mall, where we can spend a little longer sitting on the “patio” people watching.
While this has been a learning experience for me, it has been enjoyable and I would suggest that others take a chance and take a step out of their comfort zone. Whether that is moving to a new city, a different state, or doing like me and taking a leap and moving to another country!
I would say to anyone who is taking a step outside of their comfort zone to:
- Go for It!!!! There is nothing to fear about taking that step, and if you are afraid then be afraid, but do it anyway!
- Find things that you enjoy doing, hobbies that you can spend your spare time on, things that make you happy.
- Explore the area that you are in. Take walks, be a tourist, find the hidden gems of where you are living.
- If you feel homesick, make use of the marvels of technology and talk to friends and family.
- Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride!