Warning: This article contains strong language. If the abundant use of f-bombs makes you uncomfortable then please refrain from reading.
—By Laura Van Jangles—
A wise man once told me, “He who standeth in the middle of the grocery store aisle lacks wisdom to make decisions peacefully.”
Actually, what he told me was to get out of the way.
Why exactly was I mindlessly hogging the aisle at the local Raley’s?
I was trying to decide on some camping food so I could get the fuck out of Tahoe!
Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Tahoe. This is my home, man! Maybe I didn’t grow up here, but I grew the most as a person here (spiritually, emotionally, intellectually—hell, even physically a few times and back). I built a fucking great life here. I have the greatest support group and a badass house nestled in so much nature it makes my head explode.
My hamster Bubs lives in the back of my dark closet, and even he fucking likes it here.
But I don’t care how much you love where you live, I believe it’s not only healthy, but essential, to take the time to dip out of town every once in a while to travel. Don’t believe me?
Here’s a few great fucking reasons.
Reason #1. To take a step back in order to fully appreciate where you live.
From the outside looking in, Tahoe is a fucking dream.
However, even the most amazing of dreams gradually slips into the mundane as you become increasingly used to it. Do you think the Kardashians wake up every morning and say “Wow, what a gorgeous day! I’m so loaded and have never had to work a fucking day in my life! Every time I look at my ten Mercedes Benz in my diamond-encrusted driveway a sense of profound gratitude washes over me! What a blessing! Thank you, thank you, thank you, God/1000 million viewers!”
NO! They know they’ve got it good, but they are so used to their lives. Ever heard of hedonic adaptation? If not, Google that shit now.
In much the same fucking fashion, it’s like—you know Tahoe is awesome, but do you really know know? What other badass places have you been to to stack it up against? And no, your mom’s house doesn’t count.
Taking the time to get out and appreciate other regions, cultures, and lifestyles helps you calibrate exactly why it is you fucking love what you love.
Reason #2: Improve your level of stoke and productivity at work.
So you think traveling is a frivolous use of your time and money? Can’t live with the guilt of taking time off for anything other than flying back home to see your parents?
Well, guess what, you’re fucking way off.
A 2011 Intuit study shows that 82% of people who took vacations experienced an increase in job performance after they returned to work. Not only that, but that renewed energy and positivity is contagious, so individuals actually helped the level of productivity go up at work.
We Americans are so fucking addicted to our workaholic lifestyles that we perceive getting away from structure to be a waste of time.
However, partaking of experiences that are drastically different from what you know literally changes the way your brain processes information—and for the better.
Imagine coming home from a mind-expanding trip to the same old life you were living. Except the shit that you used to struggle with before doesn’t hinder you as much. That fucking annoying coworker…suddenly doesn’t bug you as much. You’re able to problem solve through the same work issues in a new, creative fasion. You actually have something to talk to your boss about so that promotion looks more promising than ever!
Turns out, you left town with a brain equivalent to an Apple iPhone 4s and came back with a 6 plus! Fuck yeah!
Reason #3: To get outside your fucking comfort zone!
Are you comfortable with your life? That’s great! The real question is— are you too comfortable in your life? That’s probably shitty.
When’s the last time you pushed yourself to do something you didn’t feel like doing? Tell me about the last time you took a crazy risk. Business? Travel? Shit, maybe you decided to pick up the 12 lb dumbbells instead of the 10 lb ones, you fucking maniac! Good for you!
Getting out of town, especially when you’re not used to travel, is not always comfortable. But guess where personal growth takes place?
Take a good, long look at this chart. I know it’s complex, so take your time.
That’s right. OUTSIDE OF YOUR FUCKING COMFORT ZONE!
Setting up a jankity old tent on a cold night in the middle of the woods isn’t always comfortable. Flying to a country where you have no idea what the fuck to expect is not always comfortable. Being stuck on a bus filled with chickens is never comfortable.
But guess what. Those are the memories you’ll never fucking forget. Plus it makes you less boring at parties.
Reason #4: To reevaluate your routine/lifestyle.
When you’re caught in the trenches of your routine and lifestyle, it’s pretty much impossible to take a step back for an objective look-over of what takes up your time.
Are the habits you have today in line with the dreams/goals you have for tomorrow? If you answered no, or I don’t know, then what the fuck are you doing with your time every day!? Because it’s not what you should be doing that’s shaping your reality, it’s what you are doing.
Getting the fuck out of Tahoe will kick you out of your routine and examine your daily steeze from a new perspective. You’ll also find out if you look forward to returning to your gig or dread the life you’ve created.
New challenges, new views, and new experiences are fucking fantastic for helping you reconnect with yourself and realize what it is you really want out of life.
Reason #5: Shed those “hillbilly thought processes”
At opening night at the Coldwater Brewery I witnessed a grown-ass man throw his drink into another woman’s face, exclaiming “I’ve been in Tahoe for over 20 years! This is my town! Get the fuck out!” Did I mention it was packed and only 9 p.m? A great setting to make a fool of yourself.
I don’t care what someone says to you, what’s the point in responding like a fucking imbecile? (I should add his ‘whiskey tango’ girlfriend was rooting him on).
I don’t know why his behavior shocked me so much, but it did.
Maybe because I assumed locality is equal for both the guy who just got here and the one who’s been here for years. Isn’t that the beauty of a transient town—that we get the opportunity to meet and live with people from all over and all walks of life?
I don’t know what the fuck it was, but all I could think was, “Wow, so you’ve been here for 20 years. And I take it you’ve never, EVER left?” This guy needed to get the fuck out of Tahoe.
Such a juvenile response to conflict immediately leads me to assume you haven’t done jack shit to explore outside what you know, hence why you rely on what I like to call “hillbilly thought processes.”
Don’t be a fucking redneck.
Get the fuck out of town every once in a while so you can break out of these white trash mindsets and expand your mind. People who get out and explore beyond what they know tend to be more tolerant, and, well, just plain rad!
Reason #6: To really get to know someone.
Think you and your loved one have the best thing going on? Hit the road with them and then you’ll REALLY know how well you click. If you really want to get to know someone, nothing is going to bring out their true colors more than an excursion to the unknown.
I don’t know what the fuck it is, but there’s just something about travel that extracts the true nature out of a person.
How enjoyable are you to sit in a car for 8 hours straight with? How patient are you when faced with an unforeseen obstacle? Can you crack jokes about that diarrhea or/and flat tire that comes along, or do you just spit and spew like a miserable jackass?
It’s not always easy to face your own true nature or that of someone else, but it’s good fucking practice for the real world. Getting out there with someone will either bring you closer together, or make you realize—eh—not so much. It will help you realize how involved of a relationship you care to develop, and what qualities you value in a mate or friend.
Sometimes the result isn’t what you want. (“Damn, I really wanted to bond on this trip but Bob is just not the dude I thought he was”).
Sometimes you find a new soulmate! (OMG I had no idea Sally was such an awesome, introspective person, I can totally see us becoming good friends!”
Either way, at least you’ll know it’s real.
#7. To just have a fucking great time!
You can’t put a price on great memories. The ones you make in Tahoe are great, but get the fuck out of town every once in a while and switch it up!