Ding, ding, piercing ding.
Wake up to the same jingle you’ve despised since college.
Whip up breakfast, but quickly, because the snooze button set you back as usual.
Shower even faster, speed to work and hustle through the same office doors you walk through every day.
Every week.
Every year.

Routines are easy to fall into - but there are ways to break them and and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve!

Routines are easy to fall into – they let you put your brain on autopilot as you soar through the work week. But routines are also dangerous, limiting your ability to grow, to figure out who you really are beyond the neighborhood coffee shop or the local bar.

Like pretty much every human, I’ve fallen into my fair share of routines. Same grocery stores. Favorite lunch spots. Tried-and-true running routes. But, after breaking out of many routine ruts, I uncovered a correlation:

The longer you stay in one place, the more comfortable you get, and that familiarity suppresses your adventurous spirit. You know the fastest way to get from A to B, the tastiest restaurants in town and the dive bar where you can always find your best friends – so why try anything new?

Location complacency is a dangerous state of mind. You can go years without realizing you’re in it, then bam, you look around and everything’s so … normal. So standard. So boring.

While you may think only non-adventurers or non-travel lovers (if they exist?) would be drawn to routine, think again. I’m 100 percent travel obsessed and just last year found myself in this purgatory-like predicament.

I’d been living in a town for three years, frequenting the same restaurants, weekending at the same places and even walking my dog the same routes again and again and … you get the picture. Sure, I was still traveling but in between trips I wasn’t evolving as a person, I wasn’t challenging myself and I definitely wasn’t cultivating my passions.

Routines are easy to fall into - but there are ways to break them and and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve!

Then my boyfriend matched for residency on the East Coast so we packed our bags, put our life in a moving truck and headed to New York City. Suddenly I was meeting new people, I was exploring without abandon, and I was uncovering a travel writing passion I didn’t know existed.

By moving to New York City – away from my comfortable home – I woke up from autopilot and I couldn’t feel more energised even to this day.

Now, rest assured you don’t have to move across the country to break out of a location complacent mindset. (I wouldn’t wish the terror that is moving upon anyone!) There are, however, varying levels of tweaks and adjustments you can make in your own life to break from the boring and live boldly.

Explore new places

Yes, traveling to a foreign land invigorates the soul but you can recreate that excitement by trying new restaurants, drinking at new bars, visiting new parks and even taking a trip to a nearby city. After moving to the East Coast, I actually uncovered a near-obsession with hiking and now visit new parts of the Catskills and beyond once per month. If you’re a Travelette, you definitely know how to travel, so bring that curiosity with you back to your hometown!

Routines are easy to fall into - but there are ways to break them and and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve!

Attend an unusual Meetup

It’s easy to feel safe and comfortable with like-minded, familiar people, but push beyond the norm by attending a Meetup event with people totally different from yourself. If you love sports and food, go on an afternoon art walk. If you’re all about fashion and trends, go on a hiking trip. Unusual experiences invigorate the soul, keep you awake, and allow you to truly enjoy this life.

Take an out-of-the-ordinary trip

If you take similar vacations time and again, even those trips can start to feel the same. While revisiting your favorite places is not a bad thing whatsoever (I do it often!), as travelers, we need to sprinkle in new places to expand our horizons and grow our wanderlust. Earlier this spring, I took my first road trip across Iceland and the newness of this adventure sparked an interest in future excursions I never thought I’d yearn for (cough, North Pole, cough).

Routines are easy to fall into - but there are ways to break them and and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve!

Temporarily move

Sometimes location complacency can become so strong that you need a bold move to break free. In this case you have two options. First is to move for a short stint, such as a one-month volunteer position abroad or a Home Exchange across the country. This sort of change will push you well beyond your comfort zone and in many cases can help you get back in touch with the wild-at-heart, wanderlust-filled woman you want to be.

Move away

And, if the short-term stint isn’t working for you, cut the cord for good. Obviously moving is a major life decision and one you should think through carefully. But as you evaluate pros and cons, don’t let the fear of challenges ahead or uncomfortable, new situations scare you away. While change can be tough, it’s sometimes exactly what you need to disrupt routine and live your amazing life to the fullest.

Routines are easy to fall into - but there are ways to break them and and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve!

Home may be where the heart is but don’t let it be your hindrance. The most vibrant parts of life lie just beyond your comfort zone, so put those “usuals” aside and pursue the exciting, passionate life you deserve – whether it’s down the road or across the globe!     


This is a guest post by Stephanie Vermillion.

IMG_7587Stephanie is a NYC-based media professional, travel writer and photographer. Her travel blog, The Wanderlost Way, offers tips, guides and stories to help people of all experience levels embrace their spontaneity and curiosity for one-of-a-kind adventures. Connect with Stephanie on Twitter @WanderlostWay and Instagram @TheWanderlostWay.