Outside the Comfort Zone

BitterrootsBackpacking and skiing in New Zealand for 6-8 months sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

But when I actually say that out loud to people, I tend to get a lot of questions like this:

“Are you going with a boyfriend?” No.

“Are you going with girlfriends?” No.

“Do you have friends there?” Just a couple.

“Do you have a job there?” No.

“Didn’t you LIKE your job?” Um, yes.

“What are you DOING?”

And that’s what I’m struggling with, for all the romance of this great adventure that I’m about to embark on. All of these questions have evolved into doubts and made their home in my mind, and I start to wonder “What AM I doing?” In fact, all of the scary things about being alone and all of the logistics of an international adventure keep me up in the middle of the night, spinning circles like a manic hamster on a wheel.

And then I remember: I’m following my dreams. Maybe just not in the way that most other people would do it.

I’m going alone because I see this as a chance to re-invent myself to become who I’ve always wanted to be. So much of who we are is shaped by what we think other people believe about us. By traveling alone, every new connection I make is a chance to be the strongest, most capable, creative, and happiest version of myself.

Yes, I quit my sweet job. I did like being Director of Outreach and Engagement for Women’s Voices for the Earth, and I was good at it. But I know that there’s more out there, and there are many more things that I want to do with my life. If I don’t take the leap, I will never do those things.

Yes, I’m leaving my fulfilling, supportive community, and what I think is the greatest town on the planet–because I need a CHANGE. It’s nice to be comfortable and content, don’t get me wrong. But growth and greatness come from taking risks. And from stepping off the edge.

Here’s to spreading a new pair of wings.

11 thoughts on “Outside the Comfort Zone

  1. We’re sad we can’t give you a hug in person, but glad that you’re opening those wings and flying. Have a grand adventure and we’re so happy you’ll be writing and keeping all of us in the loop. Love you Cass!
    – Katie and Mark

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! Sounds VERY familiar!!! I guess the only difference with me is that i never asked the question, “what am i DOING?” that trait has served me well over the years! I love you and i know this will be the adventure of a lifetime. Take good pics!

    Uncle Doug

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Buen viaje! You won’t ever regret taking this time for yourself. Don’t worry, everything you’re leaving behind will be very similar when (if) you return to Missoula.

    One of my favorite quotes (by Dr. Seuss): “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Have an amazing time!


  4. once you get on the road, absolutely NO ONE will ask you those questions anymore, my friend. those you meet will be your new community of dreamers, risk-takers, and searchers. and you get to decide how much time you want to spend with them and how much you want to be on your own, and it will be as educational (or more) than any job you’ve ever had. xoxo


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