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EXPANDING YOUR HORIZON, POPPING YOUR BUBBLE, AND BREAKING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

You never know who's waiting just outside your comfort zone.

Do you ever feel like you do the same stuff over and over and haven’t seen anything new in forever? My mom used to work in Manhattan and never went to visit the Statue of Liberty because she figured it would always be there. Well, it is still there, but now she’s lived in California for a few decades and has still yet to visit Lady Liberty.

Getting out of your bubble may take a bit of planning, but it’s always worth it. Just think, at the end of the year you’ll have a collection of wonderful new memories and a foxy Instagram feed, (not to mention all the new people you’ll meet)!

PLAN PROACTIVELY

This is the most important. New activities take a lot of planning, especially since you won’t know logistics. What’s traffic like? Is there parking? Are you better off using public transportation? Does it get crowded? The Internet can help you loads here. Between TripAdvisor, Yelp and random blogs, there are plenty of people eager to share the inside scoop on their favorite places. Chances are, it’s also great to make reservations. Try to take care of this and get new friends on board if it’s something that’s better as a group activity.

HOST OUT-OF-TOWNERS

Honestly, the best way to see your city is to show it to someone else! If you have hangups about doing “touristy” things, this is your free pass. I have no shame in admitting that I love hop-on hop-off bus tours. Even in my hometown of San Francisco, I learned things I never knew. When I took one in London, I came back to my office dropping trivia facts my British coworkers never knew about. Covent Garden? Yeah, they totally shot My Fair Lady there.

Your guests will probably have some of their own ideas about what they’d like to see, so this is your chance to weigh their input and add something to the itinerary that’s a new experience for you, too. Either host out of town friends, or sign up to be a host on a site like Airbnb to meet some new travelers!

JOIN A GROUP OR MEET UP

I’ve done so many cool things this way! Most people see groups and meet ups as a way to meet new people (which they totally are), but they’re also just a way to try new things. The people are a bonus! One of the coolest things I did with a Girls Love Travel group was take a photo at Kirby Cove in Marin County, California – and discovered the most Instagram-able spot to snap a pic of yourself and the Golden Gate Bridge!

CROWDSOURSE RECOMMENDATIONS

Sometimes your friends have the best recommendations! Or, you know, your best friend’s wild Aunt Lily, who’s been around the world and done it all – twice. Ask your Facebook friends what their favorite spot nearby is. You may be pleasantly surprised at some of the suggestions, and who offers to join in on your adventure!

MAKE A BUCKET LIST

Most of us have a bucket list for the things we’d like to do in our lifetimes, like see the Northern Lights, visit the Eiffel Tower, or hang out with the swimming pigs in the Bahamas. Just because your current city may not be as exotic, doesn’t mean it’s not as fun! Why not make yourself a local bucket list? It’s so easy to take for granted what’s right in front of you. Make a goal to finish it by the end of the year! Better yet – set the goal with a friend to keep yourself accountable!

Now get out there, get out of your comfort zone, and discover something (and someone) new!

(Feature image via @uopuertorico)

Michelle is a writer and UC Davis aluma who’s based out of the San Francisco Bay Area and is openly basic. When she’s not traveling, she can be found looking for pizza and candles that smell like tropical fruit. She hangs out at @themrick on social media.

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