Silver and Gold Magazine Fall 2016 - Page 26 TRAVEL TRAVEL COMFORT ZONE – By Heather Rath Once upon a time the idea of leaving Canada and travelling go to Viet Nam, he looked at me with agreeable surprise. I abroad terrified me.  I suffered from extreme culture shock.  knew then I had finally conquered my fear.  Couldn’t eat.  Couldn’t sleep.  Panic attacks.  Not the usual Without travelling I would never experience the mouthway you want to spend a vacation. watering seafood Ceviche in a stately restaurant in Peru or On the other hand, Norm, my husband, hit the ground dined on blue-skinned chicken, its blood used for a nourishing running in a foreign country.  Loved the challenge soup, in Beijing, or consumed tartar de carne (minced raw of unfamiliarity: not knowing the language, finding beef with seasonings) in a Parisian bistro after which I suffered a debilitating bout of stomach sickness. accommodation without a prior booking. Needless to say, I was the reluctant traveller.  So why would I go to these off-the-beaten track locations, like the Amazon jungle or Amman in Jordan or Lhasa in Tibet, that he embraced with fervent joy?  Why subject myself to this highest form of fear? Because deep down inside me I knew I wanted to experience my own unadulterated delight in exploring a culture other than my own.  But I needed to reach that comfort zone by myself.  It took years, leaning on him for support, before I reached that level of his joy.  One year, when I suggested we Travelling introduced me to the kindness of people worldwide and enriched my appreciation of new adventures.  It also introduced me to those who take advantage of a foreigner in new territory... like the carpet peddler in Istanbul who pestered and followed us insisting we share the name of our hotel in case we changed our mind to buy. Join me on my blog as we encounter what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land! • Heather Rath is an award-winning writer, past editor of a weekly newspaper and monthly magazine, before heading communications at a multi-national company. Follow her writings at Next time you travel: BRING YOUR OWN Did you know most plastic single-use water bottles are filled with nothing else than unregulated tap water? These plastic water bottles are detrimental to our environment, only 30% of them are actually recycled, never break down in a landfill, and studies show they even leach chemicals into the water... (read more facts on our website). Next time you travel – regardless of location – bring a reusable water bottle. Once you pass through customs with your emptied bottle, you can fill it at the airport, on the aircraft, and upon arrival at your destination... and it will save you a lot of money! 26 More articles, recipes & events online: