By Catherine Hayward
One of my most favorite outdoor destinations within driving distance of Furman is Turtleback Falls, also known as Umbrella Falls. While this destination is not in fact in Greenville, a short hour and a half car ride into North Carolina brings you to this refreshing, energizing spot. Equipt with a swimming hole and a natural water slide, no matter the weather Turtleback assures an adventure. In my
Hundreds of visitors come each year to experience Turtleback. After a 3.5-mile round trip hike to the falls, visitors climb with a rope to the top of the falls for a sensational slide over the 20-foot drop. This hike is recommended for strong swimmers and children over the age of twelve because the hike and the water’s current can be moderately intense. However, for strong swimming, thrill-seeking, adults, Turtleback will push many out of their comfort zones.
It is important to find adventures like Turtleback to experience new settings and find joy in going out of your traditional conform zone. Psychology Today explains that while staying inside your comfort zone keeps stress levels regulated and preserves emotional well being, embracing new opportunities is essential for character and emotional growth. Dr. Abigail Brenner says that “Your ‘real life’ is out there waiting for you…Your real life is the sum total of ALL of your experiences, not just the ones you’re comfortable with.” While Turtleback is a great example of a place to push your boundaries, these experiences do not always have to be outdoors. Any new encounter that may make you feel unsure is a perfect place to start.
Writer for Entrepreneur Magazine, Lisa Evans, outlines how to get out of your comfort zone in five simple steps:
- Do it on a regular basis
- Start small
- Reinterpret your fear
- Look for a challenge
- Focus on the why
Living in Greenville and going to Furman has pushed me out of my comfort zone greatly, primarily because of opportunities like Turtleback Falls. Personally, I find that interacting with wild nature allows me to discover important parts of myself. The next time you feel uncertain about trying a new activity, I say go for it! It can only lead you to better self-understanding and curiosity. These tips are what I live out daily to ensure I am experiencing all of the amazing opportunities at and around Furman.