Every day, people say no to opportunities that come their way. And everyone has a reason behind their ‘no.’ Fear is a huge one. The fear of looking dumb– of not knowing how to respond in a new situation. The fear of the unknown– of places, people and situations unimagined. And then there’s laziness and comfort– life at the moment isn’t bad per se, so why change what we’re doing? And sometimes, we say no just to say no…
I have a secret. And since I’m such a terrible secret keeper… I’ll tell you: I’m a NO person. I didn’t even realize it until recently, because I said it with a smile and always had a great excuse. I thought I was making smart, safe decisions, when in truth, I was choosing the status quo instead of a life of adventure. I was choosing Netflix over exploring a new place. Cherishing ‘me time’ over friendships. Choosing to sleep in instead of stepping out of my comfort zone. None of those things are intrinsically bad… but my NOs were holding me back. And so, I’m making steps to be a yes person, which looks like this: when an opportunity presents itself, I say yes. (Aside from things that are illegal or ones that I think are not ok morally, because a girl’s gotta have boundaries!)
Because of this new philosophy, I’m getting out more, doing more, seeing more… and as a result my life is full and my heart is happy. On the flip side, because I don’t ask too many questions before saying yes to a new adventure… I’ve also had some unexpected experiences.
Here’s what’s happened since I started saying yes:
- A trip to Rome planned in about 24 hours with an awesome mother/daughter from Montana where I got to be in the audience as the Pope gave a blessing. (I promise that’s him up there.)
- On my first hike in New Zealand, I packed a granola bar, a bottle of water, and wore a tank top and shorts expecting a nice 1-2 hour hike. But when we reached the mountain (yes, mountain), the sign said 6-8 hour hike. Which was all uphill. Some of it on loose rocks. And I was wearing no-traction Nikes. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything, because Mount Alfred taught me the joy of reaching the top of a 4,500+ foot mountain and showed me friends’ generosity as they lent me snacks and a jacket when it was raining and nearly freezing at the top. And the view from up there? Absolutely killer (which also describes the way my legs felt the next day).
- I was anxious to get back to my beloved Chiang Mai, but said ‘yes’ to an impromptu trip with a few new scuba diving friends to Khao Sok. I can’t imagine saying no to it now, because it was one of my Thai highlights! We traveled by longtail boat and bamboo raft, slept in tree houses and raft houses, spent our days kayaking in the lake, climbing and jumping off trees that grew in the water, trekking in the jungle and got up close and personal with monkeys… one of whom nearly made off with my GoPro.
- A day in Phuket with girls I met on a food tour in Chiang Mai. We visited the Big Buddha, ate fresh fish on the water’s edge, shielded our eyes in Patong, and thought we were being kidnapped by our Songthaew driver (don’t worry… he was actually taking us to a bargain shop).
- Dating… has happened. Which is more than I can say for my time living in Dallas. “You want to be asked out? Then say yes when you’re asked.” That sentence from this blog really changed my perspective on dating… and so now, if a guy has the courage to ask, I say yes… And that’s all I have to say on that topic.
- A 13.1 mile and 6+ hour hike… with the most gorgeous views of Arrowtown and Lake Hayes.
- And last, but certainly not least… because I said yes to entering a competition with over 1,000 travel bloggers from around the world I am leaving TODAY on the trip of a lifetime. Because you voted (thank you!!), I’ll be joining 28 other bloggers in India for the Kerala Blog Express, a two week immersion in all things Kerala. I can’t wait to cruise the peaceful backwaters, trek in the Western Ghats, see if I can stand the heat of real Indian food, and taste the sweetest dessert they have to offer!
If you’d like to follow my Kerala Blog Express adventure… here’s how you can stay connected:
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I can’t wait to share this adventure with you!