I’m Caroline. I’m from Scotland and I have been working as a tour guide around both the highlands and islands of my beautiful home country for the last year. Prior to this I studied photography at university. I will be undergoing the role as ambassador for Pure Exploration during the Adventure Guide Program.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” is a quote that has always resonated with me. The last two weeks I have certainly pushed this concept to it’s limits.
Rewind one month. I worked a job I loved. I lived in an apartment and in city which I felt at home. I drove a car with a whole heap of character (when i say character I mean Dolly Parton’s greatest hits stuck on repeat in the CD player and every day the engine successfully turned over was cause for celebration). I was a regular at coffee shop that knew my order. I had carved out a life for myself and it was brilliant.
Next thing I know, I’m diving head first off the edge of my comfort zone. My notice is handed in. My apartment is vacated. My car is sold (to the scrap yard). Emotional goodbyes began to commence and I’d ordered my last flat white for the foreseeable future from the barista round the corner.
I enrolled with Pure Exploration over two years ago now. It was no last minute decision. As much as I loved the life I’d created for myself in Scotland, I also adore travelling. I love learning about the world and growing as a person through the people I meet and places I see. However, that doesn’t mean when my departure date finally rolled around it didn’t leave me a little rattled. I had uprooted the comfort zone that I’d been meticulously crafting for over a year.
If I said it didn’t cross my mind, as I sipped my obligatory airport pint, just to stay put in my lovely little bubble, I’d be lying. Nevertheless, I got on the plane. Four planes for that matter. Edinburgh to Istanbul. Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur. Kuala Lumpur to Auckland. Auckland to Queenstown. If I said It didn’t continue to cross my mind on every flight I sat through that I wished more than anything I had just stayed in my lovely little bubble, I’d still be lying.
I would list all of the obstacles and emotions that nearly tipped me over the edge and left me secretly wishing I had stayed in my perfectly crafted comfort zone as I travelled across the hemisphere. I would do so if they were still relevant. However, the fact of the matter is the moment I stepped off the plane at Queenstown Airport and glanced across at The Remarkables, none of it mattered anymore. I had arrived and I had a really good feeling about it.
True to fashion I gave myself very little time to get settled into the new time zone I’d entered. I touched down on a Thursday and was picked up on Friday by the Pure Ex Adventure Guide Program instructors and shuttled into the mountains. As we drove up the winding road I stared out of the window in awe. Walking into our lodge at Cornet Peak and taking one look at the view from the lounge followed by getting to know my new like-minded peers, It was clear to me that my dive out of my comfort zone had landed me in a pretty sweet spot. Bring on the next twelve weeks!