3 Stories About Living On The Edge Of Your Comfort Zone

Doing things that make us scared is how we learn, grow, and feel alive. Each member of the Stint Team decided to share a moment in their lives when they took a chance…


“I was in the middle of Tokyo, this huge metropolis, and I felt anxious and sick. I was originally teaching English in Yamagata when I decided to move to Tokyo for a new job. It was completely overwhelming, living in a foreign country and not knowing a single person in the city. I don’t regret the decision one bit though. In hindsight, I realized it was a great experience in the general context of my life despite all my worries at the time. I learned a great deal. Perhaps the biggest thing I learned was that you’re a lot stronger than you think you are.”

– Aoife Bradley



“People often comment about how hard it must have been for me to move to Dublin, to start a life abroad, without knowing anyone here. The thing is, I’d been telling myself that living abroad is something I have to do ever since I was a teenager. It was just a fiction of my life’s narrative coming true. Those first few months of living out of a hostel, eventually finding an apartment and job, weren’t the biggest challenge. In fact, it was an adventure. I was living my dream (still am).


The biggest challenge for me was trying to integrate into the local community. When you’re new to a country, it’s easy to make friends with fellow travelers. Becoming a local is a different story; that requires more persistence. As a social introvert, I had to push myself everyday to attend events, go to meetups, or volunteer at a festival in order to meet people and make friends. It’s difficult but you just have to keep pushing yourself to go outside your comfort zone, even when you’re discouraged. My advice is to challenge yourself and, more importantly, to love the process.”

– Jeffrey Shiau



“Actually, starting Stint Ireland! It’s the first company I’ve ever started. You don’t realize how much thought goes into running a company until you actually do it. There are days when I feel completely overwhelmed by everything, anxious about setting up accounting systems, acquiring new properties for our interns, or building a new website – sometimes, all at the same time. In those circumstances, it’s like you’re facing a massive wave, and you want to deal with it by digging a hole and sticking your head in. But that’ll just guarantee you’ll drown so you just have to keep your head up and fight; you’ll realize how strong a swimmer you really are.”

– Melanie McDowell


This post is published as part of our “I Dream of Ireland” campaign, a celebration of travel, experiences abroad, and Ireland. Check it out and find out how you could win a free Stint Ireland program fee!