When I was in college I took this class called “Movement.” If I haven’t said so before, I was an actor. Maybe I still am I’m not sure if it ever goes away. Anyway, to earn my degree it was required to take a sequence of “Movement” classes. It’s not dance or aerobics or
yoga, but is more about knowing and becoming familiar with your own body. Knowing you …basically. The instructor was a bit looney, but I can’t say that he didn’t have to be to instruct that sort of class. The biggest lesson I learned in this class was the idea of “yes.” “Yes” meaning to take what you are given without any hesitation or preconceived notions. “Yes” means that you go with it and live in every moment.
“Yes,” I will go and get a Chinese massage in KL.
“Yes,” I will go to the beach with you even though I literally just walked into my hostel off the plane and am tired as all hell.
“Yes,” I will go have a pint with you and these friends you just met.
“Yes,” I will go shipwreck diving with a tour group in Brisbane even if I am alone.
“Yes,” I will go explore Paris at 3:00 in the morning with you and the Barcelonians.
Stay safe…yes…but still accept to opportunities that are presented to you. So how do you agree with all of this AND stay safe and smart? There are a couple of small elements to always factor into your mind in an unfamiliar situation in an unfamiliar country.
Numbers. Large numbers are always a plus. Whether you are traveling in a large group of people (even if they may be strangers) or with only a couple of other people but in a largely populated place, you always should be able to be easily able to get to a large amount of people.
Documents. Do NOT ever….ever ever ever….give your passport to anyone else. A bartender doesn’t need it. Grab a license or state id when you go traveling. A police officer does not need to hold on to it for any reason. They can look with their eyes. Hostels do not get to keep passports. You can figure out money, clothes, cameras, but you cannot be in a foreign country without a passport. Say yes….as long as it means not parting with your passport.
We are all different. We all love to do different things. Surfing, zip lining, museums, visiting basilicas and churches, clubbing, theatre. No matter what it is, if the opportunity is served to you then go for it! Who are you to say that this will ever happen to you again? You do not want to have regrets.
I have a moment where I did not say “yes” and it follows me. It is consistently in my mind
and nagging at me. When my mom and I were visiting Mexico, we toured around Chichen Itza. It was a day trip of seeing the temple ruins and village and then visiting a cenote (swimming sink hole in the earth). It was a hot beautiful day with scattered cool showers. I do not know what came over me that day. I was moody. Arriving at the ruins, when the time came I did not climb to the top of tallest ruin for fear of my long skirt and sandals on the crumbling steps. When we got to the cenote, I did not jump into the sink hole for fear of creatures on the bottom. Even now writing this I have a small drop in my stomach thinking about jumping, but that is no excuse! I should have done it. I should have tried. There were all kinds of people swimming in the hole. Why was I any different? Nothing should ever hold you back. Embarrassment, pride, fear….it’s not worth it in the end.
“Always say yes! You will never know what will happen until you do it” as my movement teacher would yell at us.