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I Will Try Anything Once

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It was July of 1994, I was twenty-five and naively fearless, when I embraced a new motto that changed my life…  I Will Try Anything Once.  I had just been laid off from my job at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and my friends, Kenny and Kansas, had just returned from Europe.  They were bursting with hilarious back packing adventures that intrigued me to call Julie, a childhood friend, to hear about her back packing experiences.  With enthusiasm and a hint of jealousy she offered to loan me her back pack and go through her journal to provide me pages of places she loved to visit, stay and eat.  It was the sign that led me to Barnes and Noble where I picked up the back packer bible, Let’s Go Europe.

Once I secured a: passport, Euro Rail pass, youth hostel card and cheap plane ticket by giving up my checked luggage to a courier service (obviously pre 9/11) my momentum was strong enough to overshadow my fears.  Back packers are an adventurous community of temporary nomads that bond over their passion for travel.  On trains and in youth hostels we share experiences which provide the compass for choosing our next destination.  Although it was not uncommon to travel alone I was relieved when Tony, a friend of a friend that I barely knew, offered to join me for the first weeks of my journey.  At the time back packers did not travel with cell phones and there was not an internet cafe on every corner.  I sent postcards to catch up loved ones on where I had been and how I was doing.   It was seven weeks before I called home and I did so via a pay phone, so I was grateful to start my journey with the help of an unexpected partner.

This is one of the many times in my life where I put my logical mind aside and relied on my heart and gut.   I was led by a feeling that drove me to get started, then gathered information and I was not exactly sure what I was getting myself into.  This was a part of stretching myself and in hindsight I was grateful for not knowing how it would turn out.  If you told that my back pack would break open upon my arrival at Heathrow airport or that Tony and I would nearly kill each in the first few days of the trip, the logical side of me might have intervened.  After making that first step I chose to figure it out because the thought of going home was an unappealing back up plan.

Stretching myself brings incredible opportunities.  Throughout my life, my I Will Try Anything Once motto has loaned me courage to try things I never would have otherwise.  The most exhilarating part of my back packing trip involved stepping outside of my fear of heights to go bungie jumping in Greece and to climb glaciers in Switzerland.  Stretching myself opens my mind and helps me avoid complacency, which drives me a bit insane.

So what is next BIG stretch for me…  I am going to write a book.  My gut is telling me to make this a priority in 2012 or I may never do it.  Before October of 2009 I would have never even thought of attempting this even though people had suggested it.  My fear… I was the furthest thing from writer or a story teller.  I had no writing experience.  Ironically I won a book proposal program, which I saw as a sign, and gradually started to explore it.  I have an idea of the huge mountain I am about to climb and I realize the odds are against me (which I kinda like) but for whatever reason, I am willing to stretch myself way beyond my comfort zone and see where it takes me.

Will you join me?  How do you want to stretch yourself in 2012?  It can be anything, big or small and I would love to hear about it!

 

Action Ideas & Tips:

 

  1. Be Open to Possibilites

Start to pay attention to what your heart and gut are telling you.  They provide clues and if you start to listen you can hear them.  What intrigues you? 

 

  1. Start with a Little Reaserch

Instead of thinking of all the reasons why you can not do something, start to explore the possibilities.  

 

  1. Take a Baby Step

Make a move in that direction.  What is one small or big thing you are willing to try to test the waters and see how it feels?  Find supportive people with whom you can talk about this.  



2 comments

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  1. Sabrina Sigg

    2012 looks as if it will allow me to pull back a little from my travel intense professional life to enjoy life at home with my fabulous daughter and pets which will allow my husband to pursue his professional goals more. This is a new chapter of my life as my career has been a BIG part of my identity for the past 20 years. Looking forward to enjoying the moment and exploring this new chapter.

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  2. Laura

    Sabrina,
    This is an amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to hear where it leads you. I am so excited for you.

    All the Best,
    Laura

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