lifestyle

"The decision that changed my life and relationship (and made me a better person)."

For most of my life, I was what you’d call the “indoor type”.

My hobbies were things like shopping, reading and doing brunch.

Hiking, surfing or skiing? My. Worst. Nightmare.

And then I met my fiancé.

He was my exact opposite. A perfect day for him would be a morning swim followed by a bike ride and then maybe a relaxing three-hour hike to finish the day off.

So yes, there were clashes.

Alexis with her fiancé in Nepal.

Like the first time he took me skiing – which ended up with me having a panic attack and crying in the toilets.

Or the first time we went to the beach together, when I ended up literally eating sand after being dumped approximately eight times in a row (I grew up in the country. Don’t judge me).

Related: Rich history, incredible food, spectacular scenery: A traveller’s guide to Turkey.

For the longest time, I resisted. I’d always been the sort of person who hated trying new things (unless I was confident I was going to be really, really good at them). Plus, I was genuinely terrified of a lot of his favourite pastimes.

So while he was always happy to try anything I was into (yoga, dancing, eating exotic food) I was always the brat who made a big deal out of trying out his things.

But after a few years, I gradually stated to see the light.

Alexis canyoning in Vietnam.

 Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Navy Submariner. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

And it was while I was dangling off a rock while canyoning in Vietnam during our first overseas holiday that I had an epiphany: I made the conscious decision to become more of the “adventurous type”.

I was sick of missing out on things. I was sick of being too scared to do things with my partner that actually looked like a lot of fun.

Related: My comfort zone was the size of my couch, until I did this.

So we started slowly, with indoor rock climbing. And I loved it. After a few dizzy spells and freak outs, I started to genuinely enjoy it, and then become reasonably good at it.

Next up I decided to try hanglinding. My dad had always wanted to try it, so one Christmas my partner and I, my sister and my dad booked in a session and went for it. And it was great.

Every few weekends we would go hiking in the Blue Mountains. We went camping a few times. And we went to the beach often, and I finally learned how to NOT get dumped.

Alexis canoeing in Vietnam.

Then, the real test for my new adventurous attitude: A holiday to Nepal.

It included a 10-day trek through the mountains, followed by a session of paragliding and white water rafting for good measure. And guess what? Even though I spent an embarrassing amount of time being sick, I loved (almost) every second. It was one of the best trips of my life. And it was on that trip that I realised my decision to try and enjoy new, adventurous things was one of the best I’d ever made.

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Since then we’ve gone on another holiday to Morocco (which featured yet another trek). We’ve gone canoeing, horse riding, hot air ballooning and on a helicopter ride.

We’ve even become qualified scuba divers.

Related: BEAUTY: The best travel makeup bag ever. EVER.

I no longer miss out on things because I’m too scared to try them. In fact, I’m often the one suggesting we try things in the first place.

Sure, I still get a bit nervous before trying something crazy. But these days it’s more of a healthy adrenaline surge than a panic attack.

And the best part is that I know I’ve grown as a person because of that decision. Plus, challenging yourself really does help to keep life interesting – I swear.

My next challenge? A trip to the snow this winter, to try skiing again. Only this time, I won’t end up crying in the toilets. I hope.

Here are a few more ways to break out of your comfort zone and embrace challenges:

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How have you broken out of your comfort zone?

Being a Navy Submariner is a role like no other. It takes a unique individual to operate such advanced technology at these depths. It’s not the job for everyone, but if you are up for the challenge, it’ll reward you in ways you never knew possible. You’ll wear your Navy Submariner’s badge with pride, knowing you are going where few dare and doing what few dare.

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