One of the absolute best parts of my job is being able to meet some incredible women on our trips. As owner of this business I care deeply how these trips affect my travelers as this is a key component in elevating Purposeful Nomad to do the best job possible in meeting the needs of not only those that travel with PN but those in which we work with abroad.
Meaningful travel has always been a style of travel to which I feel most comfortable in. Digging a little deeper into culture, connecting with local people, pushing myself outside my comfort zone and being open to new ideas and beliefs is a lot of what traveling meaningfully signifies to me. I enjoy tapping into the minds of past “nomads” to see how Purposeful Nomad’s trips impact them. I had the good fortune of sitting down with the lovely Marissa Sutera to ask her a few questions about our trip to India this year. I couldn’t agree with her more that most of the time the magic of travel happens OUTSIDE your comfort zone.
What trip did you go on and in what year? The India trip in partnership with Wanderful in March 2019.
What was your favorite part of the trip to India? Meeting with so many local women! Our group also happened to be in Jodhpur during International Women's Day, and we were able to participate in the Women's March. That was by far one of the highlights of my trip, to be able to walk alongside women of all ages taking a stand for women's rights in India. In general, it was so special to have the conversations I had with local women throughout the trip to get to know them better and learn about their daily lives.
How were you able to step outside of your comfort zone in India? Cooking with the women at the Durag Niwas Guesthouse in Jodhpur was one of the activities that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I don't really cook much to begin with, and the women were so skilled and fast with each step of the prepping and cooking process! But they were excellent teachers and of course we all got to enjoy a delicious meal together at the end.
Were you hesitant or nervous before the trip? If so, how did you overcome that feeling? Yes, I think I'm always a bit hesitant when growing accustomed to a new culture. India is one of those places that seemed especially foreign and overwhelming to me from the outside. But my curiosity got the best of me and that's really the key to how I overcome that nervousness of going beyond my comfort zone. I constantly remind myself that I never know what I'll find on the other side of that comfort barrier until I give it a try!
Why is it important for travelers to step outside their comfort zone while abroad? That's when all the best things happen! Some of my most memorable travel experiences were when I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. You never know the incredible sights you may have seen or interactions you may have had if you don't challenge yourself to go beyond what's comfortable. Sometimes the trip itself is beyond your comfort zone, like India was for me. But now I feel like I see India in a whole new light having been there and met so many local people. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to experience India firsthand.