For my 19th birthday, i found myself herding and lassoing goats. As i entered the practice area, the goats stood huddled together fixing me with a simultaneous distrustful glare. I think they knew i had no idea what i was doing, and were despairing the absence of a quick, competent catch. I gave them a (slightly evil) grin and wildly flung the lasso around my head. “Yeah, just like a cowboy!” i thought, when in fact it was probably anything but. The goats where not impressed, but i kept swinging with gusto anyway. After all, if i thought i looked cool, that’s all that matters right?
When you’re travelling, you come across plenty of experiences where you just have no idea what you’re doing. You throw yourself off the deep end, and hope you splutter inelegantly to the surface. I ended up catching my goat by throwing down my lasso and chasing it around the arena until it gave up, but i still count it as a victory; Emily 1 – Goat 0. But away from the judging gaze of your peers and society as a whole, it is a lot easier to jump in with both feet. So when i found myself in a Vietnamese cooking school in Hoi An, i ignored the fact that food and me have a hopeless relationship and cooked up a veritable disaster with enthusiasm. So what if my spring rolls were drooping sadly off the plate, and the main course looked like i had hacked a carcass with a chain saw? I had great fun doing it (surprisingly, i am now slightly better at cooking. I have survived so far anyway).
Let go of any embarrassment or reservations you have, and throw yourself into activities whole heartedly, so you have no room for regret when you leave, or years down the line. If anything, think of all the cool stories you can tell your friends, or regale people with at boring office parties. Even if it ends up an absolute disaster, you get one hilarious story for your future repertoire, and a memory you are certainly not going to forget in a hurry. This doesn’t just apply to the extreme activities, like the dreaded bungee jump or the skydive, it applies to the little things, like jumping up to dance the local dance thats happening around you, or eating that new and frankly bizarrre thing that-you-hope-is-edible-and-really-don’t-want-to-know-what-it-actually-is-when-it is-put-in-front-of-you-sort-of-thing. To be honest, it is usually better when you don’t recognise it.
Do you have a funny story you want to tell? Give us a link below in the comments, or write it in full. We all love travel stories! I my even regale you with mine one day.
See you tomorrow daredevils,