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How Choosing Discomfort Reinvents, Refines, and Reveals You

The Hidden Rewards of Seeking Discomfort Abroad

Danny Forest
4 min readAug 14


As I’m writing this, I live in a country that’s very far away from my home country. I escaped the very fun summertime with my family to go on the other side of the earth where it’s the heart of winter.

It’s cold, and I’m sure, much less bustling than it can be in the warmer months of the year.

When we told people about what we planned to do before leaving, they asked us a very simple question: “Why?”

And you might be wondering the same thing.

To be honest, it’s a very good question.

Why leave the comfort of our home to go somewhere less enjoyable?

In my home country of Canada, most people travel during the Winter to someplace warmer like Mexico or Cuba. It makes sense. Winters can be brutal, so they’re finding a more comfortable place to be.

It is more enjoyable. Even I like to escape Canadian winters.

So why go somewhere not as comfortable?

In a way, “comfort” makes you “weaker”. Or rather, doing uncomfortable things improves you.


In so many ways, I’d say.

1. It makes you more adaptable

My wife and I get reminded of this one every time it’s been a while since we’ve lived abroad.

When we arrived at our new apartment in Uruguay, it was cold. Our setup for working is far from optimal. The sidewalks are a mess (a real problem when you walk with a stroller). The air quality is bad. The prices for everything are much higher than we expected them to be.

On top of that, our son couldn’t start daycare until the next week and we had to work at the same time.

It was far from comfortable. We complained. We were wondering why we did that to ourselves.

We’ve been here for about a month now. We’ve adapted. Everything I mentioned just above is still true, yet it’s not a big deal anymore. We’re “stronger” than we were. We’re more at ease with things not going “perfectly”.



Danny Forest

Polymath. Life Optimizer. Learner. Entrepreneur. Engineer. Writer.