We have all seen the film “Yes man” and if you haven’t then you really should! The film depicts a man (Jim Carrey) who just morns the past constantly and sits at his dead end job every single day. He has amazing friends around him who encourage him to be outgoing, but he is having none of it. He literally says no to every opportunity which is presented to him.
Let’s apply this to real life. It can sometimes be so much easier to say no than it is to say yes. Understood. When a girlfriend asks you to join her out on the town at 10pm at night, it is so much easier to stay in your PJ’s and watch re-runs of Friends than put the effort into getting dolled up to go out.
Before I even came out to Australia, I was so uber tempted to set myself a “Yes Man” challenge whilst I was travelling. We all know in our heart of hearts that we have better experiences saying yes. Even if at first we do feel lazy and unmotivated. You return with a greater sense of self. Whether your experience was good or bad. Experiences are a part of life.
When you hit the great open road, experiences are everything and everywhere! Without even trying you’ll have the most unbelievable time! But travel is real life. And with real life comes the laziness and second guessing. Trust me.
I got inspired to write this during my time in Northampton, Western Australia (where I am right now, lying in a hammock). I moved out to a small country town. Population: 800. 500km north of Perth. I came here, because I found a job here. That is the reason I have visited 75% of the towns/cities I have here in Australia. Because I moved where there was work and more importantly, I moved to where there was opportunities.
With other remote work I have undertaken, I have felt very lonely but have been given so many opportunities to do some incredible things! Here, I am bar tending, in one of the THREE pubs they have in town. I am not lonely. I work over 40 hours a week, yet in the 7 weeks I have been here I have been jet skiing, taken on the back of a Harley through the Chapman Valley at high speeds, quad biked up and down sand dunes at Wagoe Beach and cuddled a joey Kangaroo on a raptor sanitary. ALL FOR FREE.
Why or how did I get these experiences? I just said YES! Working behind the bar, locals are asking me all the time if I want to go out and about with them. I make a point to stop myself, take a moment, and just say YES.
With a lot of backpackers, they want the big city lights, 24/7 clubs and more tourist attractions than you can shake a stick at. They want to visit a place which they instantly see “things to do”. Not many will visit a town in the middle of nowhere to work or play. Trust me, just yesterday a new barmaid starting at another pub in town left after 48hours of arriving to go back to the city. She really missed out!! Go back to the highly populated areas and tick off all the attractions in your guide book, or, take a job in the countryside, in a town which no guide book mentions and meet real locals and have REAL experiences.
Where saying “yes” was the best decision I made:
A guy I recently met whilst working in a pub invited me out on his jet ski one morning. How can you not say yes!?
I got asked by (almost) complete strangers whom I had met that day in the bar to go out to Lucky Bay with them and their family! By far one of the most picturesque spots I have been to in Australia and we had SO MUCH fun!!
I took a job out in Arnhem Land on a buffalo shooting safari camp! No phone coverage, no internet, no people! I went bush hunting. Learnt how wild animals are killed and skinned for their meat. Learnt how to make traditional Australian Dampa out in the bush. Became the most isolated person in Australia. Got caught in a bush fire. Bathed with crocodiles! Why? You guessed it… I said one little world to what seemed to me at the time, a ridiculous proposition!
Our driver in Bali told us about a coffee place which we would love and asked if we minded him taking a detour to show us. We were so tired and hot but just nodded. In return. We got a free tour and free coffee tasting! Win win!
Please don’t read this post thinking that every single day of my travels I get asked to go on some awesome adventure. But when I do, I say YES. But I also apply this to the little things on the road.
“Would you like to try our new raspberry flavoured syrup in your latte today?” … YES!
“There is a get together at the local knitting circle, fancy coming along?” … WHY NOT!?
“Would you be interested in trying a sample from our latest range of kangaroo jerky?” … CAN I HAVE TWO PIECES PLEASE?
Whether you are travelling the world or simply going about your day to day business in your home town. Don’t be scared of those three little letters. By saying “no” you are basically kicking life in the face when it offers you something which could open your mind!
I am not saying for you to to YES to everything. I really don’t want to receive a lawsuit because you said yes to something ridiculous and now you only have one ear!
It is always far simpler and easier to say no and stick inside your comfortable little bubble. Trust me. I know. But saying yes to opportunities when they present themselves is a sure fire way to start living life to the fullest!
You’re travelling, which means you are already living your dream and having a fantastic time, but take it to the next level. Walk paths which other travellers don’t. Talk to locals. Say yes to weird and wonderful situations. No need to be extreme and put yourself in danger, but the little things. Grab life by the tennis balls, stand up straight and scream “LET’S DO THIS!”.
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