Saying YES to the New

July 5, 2016


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:

  1. Say ‘yes’ to a new hobby or to a new project at the office.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?

EG signature

A version of this post was originally first shared on 6/4/15 over at Best Kept Self.

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  • Yesss girl! Having new travel experiences definitely brings out a more subdued part of ourselves, and definitely leads to future new experiences! I just experienced this with my husband on our trip to Holland…it was his first international trip (besides Canada) and we discussed this very thing frequently. It was amazing and such a good time! Thank you for putting it into words for me, because at this point I’m still trying to do that haha.

  • Yes – I definitely need to start stepping out of my comfort zone. I think my social anxiety makes it difficult, but I need to do it!

    • I’m finding that even just little baby steps of trying new things can make such a difference. Here’s to bravery! 🙂 XO

  • YES! I was just talking about this a few days ago. The first year we were married, we traveled EVERYWHERE. We weren’t home more than a few weeks at a time before jetting off somewhere new, and it was wonderful and adventurous. Now he works allll the time and I’m busy with baby Jack, I’m learning that it’s so important to try and incorporate those feelings into normal life, too. Every day life can be an adventure. <3

    • oh man, I miss traveling! You’re exactly right though – every day can most definitely be an adventure! 🙂

  • Stepping out of our comfort zone is so crucial…and can be done anywhere, I love that you point that out!

    • It’s easier when we’re put in a new place but I think it’s more fun to find the new things in the places we’re already familiar with.

  • I’ve been trying to adopt this mentality more often 🙂 In the last month I’ve said YES to friends when I’d usually say no. YES to a country concert on a work night. YES to drink on my friend new patio two days before our week-long vacation (even though I have SO much to do). YES to an impromptu drive-in movie night with my cousins 🙂

    • Concert on a work night – love it!! That’s one of the things I’ve had to get out of the habit of doing… and that’s just always going to bed like right after dinner haha. We need to live a little, you know?!

  • I just love the questions – when was the last time you did something different for the first time! We did some different things this weekend but it is all too easy to fall into the same routine or rut. I’m off to think about what I want to do different this week. Here’s to a great week.

    • I’ll be adding to my list of NEW this weekend… just a few things here and there 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Sheryl!

  • I love this! Definitely inspiring me to try something new!

  • Emily, your words here have encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone. I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in a pattern and because nothing was “wrong”, I haven’t changed anything. Time to mix things up a bit. Thank you!

    • So glad lady!! And yes- that really is true that when there isn’t anything necessarily wrong, we tend to just stick with the same ol’ same ol’ – but it’s really fun to throw in some new things here and there.

  • Love every part of this. I wrote out my goals in my planner for the month of July and one of my goals is to try something new. Totally scheduled a SUP Yoga session for later this month. So excited!

    • Good for you girl! I have a workout class on my list of NEW THINGS too! So fun!

  • I LOVEEEEE to ask the waiter what dish their favorite is and then order it when we go to a restaurant. I’m SUCH a terrible creature of habit and so often order the same thing every time we go in somewhere SOOOOO, I change that by leaving it up to our server! 🙂

    • I’m the same way and it’s hard for me to try new foods – especially if I’m at a restaurant I already love! But it’s also really fun 🙂

  • We are traveling to Paris and Spain in December! Love your encouragement to step out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it is so easy to stick with the status quo instead of being a little adventurous.

  • I LOVE this. I am such a stick in the mud that I need to try this. Like yesterday!

  • Jae

    The last time I did something for the first time, I nursed a very sore body for the entire week (i.e., surfing, hanging obstacle course, and cardio kickboxing). Hahaha!

  • I love this! I love trying new things…of course this often means when I go somewhere I have a huge itinerary of new things I want to explore. I always, always ask the person waiting on me what their favorite thing on the menu is but I’ve never thought to ask those around me!

    • I know it, there’s a fine line between planning the new things and over planning and possibly missing new things happening naturally- I struggle with that especially when we travel! Before we went to Paris, I was hellbent on making a complete itinerary of all the things I wanted to see and the night before we left, I deleted the entire list – it was just too much! So instead we just walked and explored and it was the best time!

  • I love this! Thanks to my anxiety my initial reaction to new things no matter what it is, is “No thanks” but seriously, like 85% of the time I end up saying yes and it always is an epic time. Thanks for the reminder to step out of my comfort zone!

    • Thank you for such a sweet note, Elyse! If the new thing involves a lot of other people, I tend to want to say No Thanks too – but am always glad when I force myself to do it and end up having a great experience 🙂