Say “yes” more often.
Say “yes” to new experiences as often as possible. It’s so important to shove yourself outside of your comfort zone and learn about things that occur outside of your bubble. Accepting challenges and being adventurous will open an infinite number of doors, and will allow you to learn things about yourself that you otherwise would not have known.
Over a year ago, I took a friend of mine up on an offer to visit him in Asia. At twenty-four, I was finally allowing myself to be so daring and independent. During my solo-trek, I travelled from Tokyo to Singapore, from Singapore to Bangkok; I reached Hanoi and ended up in Beijing. I tried my best to absorb the culture and essence of each of these cities by accepting anything that came my way. Not once did I object to eating questionable meat on a stick in Khao San Road, or getting lost in China’s hutongs. I embraced the Monsoon rains in Singapore, and indulged in bars in the back of trucks. I really cannot imagine having such a great experience, had I been afraid of everything that was unfamiliar to me. I didn’t even let my (irrational) fear of heights stop me from walking the Great Wall of China – a sight that I never in a million years would have imagined seeing.
Not only did I learn so much about these pockets around the world, but I learned so much about myself: How much sleep I can operate on, how claustrophobic I can get, the fact that my stomach can handle almost anything that I subject it to, my ability to connect with strangers, and how (un)healthy some friendships truly can be.
I will never regret anything about the whirlwind trip I went on in my twenties, I only regret not saying “yes” to an experience like this sooner.
The things that you never imagined yourself doing, are the ones that shape you the most.