Beyond Dad’s Comfort Zone
Written by: Lombe Mwansa
Published: 31 July 2023


Embrace challenges with your kids, step outside your comfort zone, and create lasting memories for a summer of adventure and growth.


In my previous blog post, “Joy of Camping,” discussed the joy and benefits of camping as a way to connect with family and nature. Today, we want to delve deeper into the idea of challenging yourself as a dad by stepping outside your comfort zone. As a parent, it’s easy to fall into a routine and stick to what’s familiar, but exploring new activities can be an enriching experience for both you and your kids. By embracing these opportunities, you not only create lasting memories but also serve as a positive role model for your children, teaching them the value of embracing challenges and new beginnings.

5 ways to venture beyond your comfort zone

1. Go Camping: Reconnecting with Nature

I’ve mentioned camping on my last two posts because camping provides an excellent opportunity to unplug from technology and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. Start with simple car camping trips and gradually progress to more adventurous backpacking journeys. Spend quality time together around the campfire, engage in activities like fishing, and learn valuable outdoor skills like setting up a tent or starting a fire. The experience of camping teaches self-reliance and fosters a sense of wonder in both you and your kids.

Action Steps:

father and kids in the tent
  1. Research Campsites: Look for family-friendly campsites in your area or nearby destinations. Consider campgrounds with amenities like bathrooms and potable water, especially if you’re new to camping.
  2. Plan the Trip Together: Involve your kids in planning the camping trip. Discuss activities they’d like to do, whether it’s hiking, fishing, or stargazing. Let them help with packing essentials like sleeping bags, food, and clothing.
  3. Learn Outdoor Skills: Before the trip, spend time teaching your kids essential outdoor skills, such as setting up a tent, starting a campfire safely, and identifying local wildlife. This preparation will make the camping experience smoother and more enjoyable.

2. Take a Road Trip: Journeying Together

Embarking on a road trip with your kids can create unforgettable memories and strengthen your bond as a family. Let your children actively participate in planning the route and selecting activities along the way. Opt for scenic backroads instead of highways, and stop at quirky roadside attractions to add an element of excitement to the journey. Engaging your kids as DJs during the trip allows them to express themselves, fostering a sense of responsibility and teamwork.

Action Steps:

comfort zone - road trip
  1. Create a Travel Itinerary: Sit down with your kids and plan the road trip itinerary together. Decide on the destinations, stops, and activities you’d like to do along the way.
  2. Prepare a Road Trip Playlist: Let each family member contribute to a road trip playlist with their favorite songs. This way, everyone gets a chance to enjoy the music during the journey.
  3. Document the Adventure: Encourage your kids to keep a travel journal or take photos during the road trip. This will help them cherish the memories and create a wonderful keepsake of the journey.

3. Learn an Extreme Sport: Embracing the Thrill

Embracing an extreme sport together, such as surfing, rock climbing, or mountain biking, is a fantastic way to challenge yourselves physically and mentally. Learning something new as a family can be exhilarating and builds trust as you navigate unfamiliar experiences together. It also teaches resilience, determination, and the importance of perseverance when facing obstacles.

Action Steps:

splashing water behind father wakesurfing with daughter
  1. Research Local Lessons: Look for reputable instructors or schools that offer lessons in the extreme sport you want to learn as a family. Check their safety record and read reviews from other participants.
  2. Practice Together: Before taking formal lessons, spend time practicing the basics in a safe environment. For example, if you’re learning to surf, practice balancing on a surfboard on the sand before hitting the waves.
  3. Encourage Each Other: Learning a new sport can be challenging, but the key is to support and encourage one another. Celebrate each other’s progress and use any setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow together.

4. Volunteer as a Family: Spreading Kindness

Volunteering as a family is not only a great way to give back to the community but also instills important values in your children. Engaging in kid-friendly volunteering opportunities, such as tutoring younger students or caring for animals at a shelter, teaches empathy and compassion. By setting an example of selflessness and civic duty, you impart valuable life lessons and cultivate a sense of fulfillment from helping others.

Action Steps:

people at the beach picking up the trash
  1. Research Volunteer Opportunities: Look for local organisations or charities that welcome family volunteers. Contact them to inquire about available opportunities suitable for your kids’ age group.
  2. Discuss the Importance of Volunteering: Have a conversation with your kids about the importance of giving back to the community and helping others in need. Explain how volunteering can make a positive impact on people’s lives.
  3. Reflect on the Experience: After volunteering, sit down as a family and talk about your experiences. Discuss how it felt to help others and how you can continue to support those in need in the future.

5. Attempt DIY Projects: Cultivating Creativity

Diving into DIY projects that push your limits can be a fulfilling way to challenge yourselves as a family. Take on ambitious projects like building a go-kart, treehouse, or gaming table. Research instructions and watch how-to videos together, fostering a sense of teamwork and problem-solving. While you may encounter obstacles along the way, completing a challenging DIY project instills a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence in both you and your kids.

Action Steps:

girl painting cardboard house
  1. Choose a DIY Project: Discuss with your kids what type of DIY project they’d like to take on. Consider their interests and choose a project that aligns with their passions.
  2. Gather Supplies and Resources: Create a list of necessary supplies and resources for the chosen DIY project. Visit home improvement stores or online shops together to gather everything you need.
  3. Work as a Team: Involve everyone in the family in the DIY project. Assign age-appropriate tasks and work collaboratively to complete the project. Emphasize the value of teamwork and problem-solving throughout the process.


Stepping outside your comfort zone and trying new activities as a dad opens doors to new experiences and fosters a sense of adventure in your life. By embracing challenges and sharing these formative moments with your children, you not only create lasting memories but also build deeper connections as a family. This summer, seize the opportunity to challenge yourself, embrace the thrill of new beginnings, and lead by example as you encourage your kids to step beyond their own comfort zones. Happy adventuring!

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