Drafting the recent piece on grandparents, I was reminded that one of the lessons I learned from my grandmother was to take myself outside of my comfort zone. She had me drive her to places she wanted to see, that were outside of my grandfather's comfort zone. She boldly went to Alaska in her 80's, basically saying she'd sooner die enjoying the trip, than sitting safely at home wishing she had gone.
Any place where I don't speak the language is stretch. If I work at it, I can muddle through in French, a little bit it Italian, and a tiny bit of Spanish. But not mutch. Germany turned out to be easy, virtually anyone under 40 speaks at least some English. Greece was a real challenge. The alphabet is different, I tried my normal preparation with audio language tutoring and found Greek impenetrable. In two weeks I think I got out hello, and thank you maybe five times. Yet it was an amazing experience. In Athens english was common, we got out into the countryside on that trip, and none of us spoke modern Greek and English was rare.
I am fascinated Japan and South Korea. They are outside of my comfort zone. Languages that are entirely different. I need to remind myself, that it is better to go outside of my comfort zone, than to die wishing I had.