Just a few years ago, before I started traveling, I was very set in my ways. For a human being who still was a child in life it was not surprising to be so naive. I always crossed in crosswalks, and never ate new things. I always ate my pizza starting from the tip, never with the crust. There was always a logical way to do things, never a reason to step out of my box.
As I found myself calling the Netherlands home and yet on vacation in England, I couldn’t help but feel I was out of my comfort zone. Certainly I was able to communicate with the people around me however it was all new. My feet had never touched these stones; my nose never experienced such a spell-bounding fragrance. The sights and the smells were overwhelmingly new and there I was with a giant smile pasted on my face standing in the middle of it all. I knew then that I had to dive in; Its all or nothing and I hadn’t come all this way for nothing.
One day in London, I had scheduled lunch with two girls I met on my internship back in France followed by dinner and drinks with a friend from high school living in the area. I filled in the time between with random wanderings around St. Paul’s Cathedral and Picadilly Circus. I found a beautiful park to sit in and observe what life is like across the pond. I talked to strangers even though my mother always told me not to. Stepping out of my box never felt so good.
When I went up to the office to meet with the girls, they said they planned to take me to a sushi place. Being a vegetarian and quite picky, I had never had sushi in my life but today was about ‘c’est la vie’! Knowing I am a vegetarian, my friends were sure to pick one of everything I could eat on the food escalator. Yes, you read that right. Sushi that comes circling around the room past tables. The color of the dishes its served on determines the price of your meal. I wasn’t fond of everything but I tried every single vegetarian dish this place offered. My taste buds were overwhelmed. It was the most amazing mixture of tastes I had ever experienced.
Realizing I had been missing out on so much by limiting myself, I decided at that moment that risks are a very important part of life. When Amanda asked me if Indian food sounded good I couldn’t let myself chicken out. Spicy is not my thing so I was super nervous about dinner. Getting lost on the way there definitely didn’t help the situation but once I found my friend and we started catching up I found myself with strange food in front of me. It was delicious! There was a kick to it, but the aroma of the restaurant and the yoghurt sauce they gave me for dipping made me forget about the spice after every bite. We had such a wonderful time talking about things past, present and future then took a rainy jog across the River Thames.
I’m so glad that I allowed myself to be so open during my travels because it has carried over into my everyday life. Instead of writing things off right away I am more willing to get to know it better, wether it be food, ideas, or even people. The ability to be open to things unknown is guaranteed to change the way you perceive the world.