With my friends in the catamaran

‘Getting out of comfort zone’ is a phase we are all most familiar with.  To many of us, this is about doing something new or doing them differently. It is really difficult to do this as many of us are just too stuck in our old diehard habits. It really comfortable there; no sweat as we can predict what will happen next and have rehearsed million of times on how exactly we are going to manage the situation. We are just simply too comfortable living our lives over and over again without having to make any changes. This is why many people don’t move out of their territories even if it means getting better results, getting refreshed, broadening our outlook, learning something new, appreciating life better, etc.

Recently, I have had a very good experience of this; something that will stay with me for a long time. It was about getting onto my first experience of a 10 day sailing, (not a cruise trip because it is about comfort) to the Andaman Sea on an old catamaran to visit the many unexplored islands and uncharted waters of Myanmar.  For a long while I hesitated whether I should make this trip as I could ‘smell’ what was coming.

Six of us roughing it out and loving it

With reluctance yet with courage and determination I decided to take the plunge into this unknown world.
So with five other business owners, we decided to exchange our comfort of air conditioning, modern amenities, good food, plentiful space, etc for a small 42 foot ‘slow boat to China’ with only the bare basics of life to offer us.

Wow! I’m Captain for the moment!

Indeed this was getting out of our comfort zone for sure. Deprived of our luxuries we had to bear with the scorching sun and little wind as we slowly sailed in unknown waters with hardly any living inhabitants whom we could turn to for help, let alone any forms of sympathy.

Added on to all these were no decent toilet to relieve us as everything ‘out of you’ had to be done either in the open ocean or in the uninhabited islands. Bathing a day was strictly limited to 4 buckets of water with no cleansing chemicals of soap and shampoo. We had to sleep on the open deck where a careless turn could throw us into the dark deep waters. The only sources of light were the moon and stars that acted as our ceiling lights. Food was basic; it was either from what we could get from the sea or from the catches of fishermen whom we occasionally met.   There were many more “sufferings” but space doesn’t allow me to write more. 

So they were the downsides of hell living to an extent.

But the wonderful thing was that there were many “upsides” that money can never buy. The big picture of it all was getting into the self realization of who we really are after all. The private space gave us plentiful time to realize that no matter who we are, we are simply ordinary human beings who must continually subordinate ourselves to the almighty forces of God and His creations.  Really, life is about humility; we need to appreciate and count our blessings for the things we have today etc.  We need to bury our ego, demonstrate generosity for each other, give and take to live in harmony with others, build bridges instead of walls with people around through compassion and understanding for each other.   

Indeed the sea became my ‘classroom’ for the many lessons in life.
I’d never   have realized all these so deeply if I had turned down this opportunity to leave my comfort zone and therefore remained forever dumb and blinded to the true realities of living. I thank God for this rare, once in a lifetime chance.

When we take courage to do something beyond our comfort zones, we really expect to experience wonders and miracles beyond our wildest imagination!

So will you want to come with me when I take on the next sailing trip, or you rather be where you are?

Life is about making choices, even unconventional ones, right?