“Life’s not about living happily ever after … it’s about living.”

Comfort Zone Project

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons, Pekka Nikrus

That is the tagline for my travel blog, d travels ’round, and was the motivating factor in the major decision I made nearly four years ago to quit my job in public relations and take a career-break and head out for a solo travel adventure.

It’s the same motivating factor that pushed me to quit my job again in 2012 and head over to Thailand to live as an expat and work for Save Elephant Foundation.

But, during my time in Thailand, something happened:

I lost my focus.

I lost my motivation.

I lost myself.

It’s easy to do, really.

I am a stranger in a foreign land. At first, I was wide-eyed, I was excited, I was go-go-go. And then, I wasn’t. I settled into a routine that wasn’t really a routine at all, but more of a passage of time when I wasn’t in the office or with elephants. I took up smoking again. I began to drink. A lot.

I found myself stuck in this comfort zone that I would never be stuck in a place where the cost of living wasn’t as cheap, where the culture here is to drink, eat, sleep. My blog suffered. But, most importantly, I suffered. Travel became a pain in the arse. And, when I did travel, there was nothing I found worthy of writing about really. I stuck to my corner of Chiang Mai, barely venturing out. I became that girl who does nothing with her life but watch it fly by. Soon, I was in Thailand six months … a year … a year-and-a-half … and other than my day job, had little to show for it. Friends came, friends went. And soon, I began to just be that wash-rinse-repeat person.

I am still me, but not the version of me I am happy with anymore.

So, I’ve come to a decision. It’s time for a major change in my life. It is time to live again. To live for me again.

Over the next year, I want to take you on my journey. I want to share with you the trials, triumphs and travel as I navigate my way out of The Comfort Zone and into a life I own — a conscious, happy existence.

What does that mean?

Well, I’ve broken The Comfort Zone Project into four quarters. The first quarter is all about gaining confidence I have lost along the way. It’s about quitting smoking. Letting go of my vices and getting healthy, mentally and physically, and how life changes as an expat when that is accomplished. I’ve always been honest with you about my life, my struggles, my achievements, and this will be no different. I’m raw. I wear my heart on my sleeve. And you will be a fly on the wall throughout this next year.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I can promise you the quarters after that are even juicier and will not only challenge myself, but also take a look at others living a life as an expat, travelers and more. My goal is to show you that, no matter where in the world you are, you, too, can make positive changes in your life while seeing the world. I also want to show you how others live and highlight people who cross my path as I work to better myself.

It may get bumpy, I may cry (hell, I know I will cry), but I also know I will laugh. I will smile. I will love. And, at the end of the day, that’s what is most important.

Get ready for the ride and come with me as I embark on The Comfort Zone Project.

This post previously appeared on d travels ’round.

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