My husband and I love to travel together but I will tell you, our travel adventures can get a bit crazy.
You see, there’s this girl who always seems to tag along with us on just about every trip we take. She’s really annoying in the sense that she’s really fun, adventurous, fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal. She doesn’t go by an itinerary and she’s always up for trying something new. She talks to strangers and within minutes has made a new friend. She tries foods I wouldn’t normally order and she finds beauty in every thing she sees – whether she’s seen it before or not. (Like I said – annoying.) Sometimes I get jealous because I see how much fun she and my husband have together – I mean, seriously – who does this girl thing she is?!
Oh, wait. This girl I’m referencing is, in fact, me.
“The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” -Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
What is it about exploring and adventuring that brings out parts of you you’d somehow forgotten existed or never even knew were there in the first place? It’s true that I become this super fun, all-embracing adventurous “yes girl” when I’m exploring a new place. When Christian and I returned from a whirlwind trip to Paris & Italy last year, upon reflecting upon our time in each place, I think I shocked myself over how brave I was to simply ‘do all the things’ while we were there. I’d been up for everything and anything, truly saying ‘yes’ to it all, soaking up everything that was new-to-me. Blame it on the gelato or perhaps all of those European espressos, but someone could have asked me if I wanted to jump off the Love Locks Bridge in nothing but my underwear and I would have exclaimed, “YES!” with such gumption.
As wonderful as traveling to other countries is though, let’s be real – we don’t always have the time or money to do it (and wanderlusting around Pinterest just isn’t the same.) So how do we attain this sense of adventure while in the ordinary? I think it’s as simple as a shift of the mind and continuing to say ‘yes’ to NEW things.
Here are five things you can do right now to switch things up:
- Say ‘yes’ to a new hobby or to a new project at the office.
- Pull out that Bucket List – you know, the one you made way back in January – and choose one thing to conquer and check off in the next month.
- Skip the typical weekend of bar hopping with the girls and instead take them with you on a day trip to a town you’ve yet to visit.
- Take a different route the next time you drive home from work. Turn the radio off, roll the windows down and stick your arm out so that your hand can ride the waves of the wind.
- The next time you’re at your favorite restaurant, ask the people sitting next to you what their favorite dish is on the menu… and then order it to try for yourself.
When we step out of our comfort zone, out of the familiar place that feels safe and predictable, we step into a journey in which we can learn more about other people and more about ourselves, ultimately growing our hearts and our minds. Saying ‘yes’ to new things can reveal parts of your spirit that have been quieted under the rules you didn’t even know you’d created for yourself. Break the rules, switch up the ordinary, say ‘yes’ to new things, do something you’ve never done before. Believe that there are still parts to you that have yet to be discovered, and then go find them.
” A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
A version of this post was originally first shared on 6/4/15 over at Best Kept Self.