Traveling is a great opportunity. One I am blessed to have the ability to take advantage of so often. While you are traveling, you also have the opportunity to try new things. Which can be scary. I have never been a fan of trying new things. But when I started traveling, I decided I was going to change that. When you are in a new country, surrounded by a different culture, different foods, different people, different environment, how can you pass up the many opportunities? Ok, it can still be scary sometimes, at the very least nerve-racking. But, I gather my courage and continue to try new things. Usually, it ends well. Here are some examples from my recent trip to Thailand. (Yes, Thailand!)
I tried new foods at almost every meal. Ok, sometimes I got something that I had eaten before but I was in a new place and wasn’t sure how they would prepare it. Let me tell you right now, I am a picky eater. It drove my mom crazy for years. When she reads this, she will be astounded at all the new foods I tried.
I started off with Pad Thai. I really didn’t know what it was going to be, but it was one of the more familiar things on the menu our first night. I really enjoyed it! And discovered that beansprouts are a tasty addition to a meal, who knew? Throughout the trip I tried many things, both what I ordered and just a few bites from what my husband and our friend ordered. What I discovered I liked: Spring rolls are one of the best foods. Once we ordered them (maybe day 3) we got them at every single meal afterward. We all loved them so much. Shrimp isn’t so bad either. Crab was alright but I’m not sure I’d want to have to work that hard to eat my meal. I preferred just a bite from my husband’s meal. What I didn’t like: Chicken and Coconut Milk Soup. It was good at first. But then I tried whatever the fruit was they had put in it and I did not like it at all. It was almost spicy. Which was completely unexpected for a fruit. After that, the whole soup began tasting like that fruit. Thank goodness I had also ordered a side of steamed rice to eat as backup. I tried a bite of duck from our friend. I didn’t really like the sauce on it, but I’m not sure I’ll be eating it with a different sauce either. But hey, I tried! And that’s it. I tried different things at almost every meal, and only disliked a couple things. This picky eater pushed past her instincts and found several dishes she wouldn’t mind having again.
Trying new things doesn’t even need to be as scary as trying new food as a picky eater. It can be as simple as taking advantage of opportunities when you are in a different place. I grew up in the Midwest, have traveled to both sides of the US, I’ve been to several countries in Europe. Out of all of these places, I have only had the chance to hike in a jungle on this trip to Thailand. And quite the hike it was. The sign said it was only 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles) up, but by the time we went to the top and back, we had gone over 5.5 miles. We had small bananas in our backpack, a bag of cashews, and water. We finished all of the bananas, most of the cashews, and two of us ran out of water at the top. The view was beautiful though. And we found a pool of water on the way down that was a great place to cool of after the long hike. We saw lizards and heard different insects, (and maybe frogs) that we had never heard before. There was one insect that sounded like a siren going off. And we could hear it pretty much the whole hike. There were so many different trees, creatures, and plants to see that I would not necessarily have seen if we hadn’t gone on the hike. It was beautiful.
There were other things I tried too. We got to go snorkeling which was so cool. The sea urchins and rainbow fish were my favorite part. We got to feed elephants! They are my favorite animal so you will be able to read more about that whole experience in a future post. We also got massages from one of the many places offering. It was quite the experience. I’ve never had a massage before but I definitely wasn’t expecting the masseuse to climb up on the table and crawl up my body, starting at my feet and moving up. Let me tell you, this women got every single muscle. Sometimes to the point of discomfort. My armpits got a massage. My eyelids got a massage! At one point, she had me sitting on the table cross-legged, she was behind me and had me put my arms up so my fingers interlocked behind my head and she proceeded to lift me up over her body to stretch out my back muscles. It was a crazy experience. I’m so glad I did it, even if my feet and armpits hurt in the middle of it.
Trying new things can lead to so many new insights, interests, and lessons. Take advantage of the opportunities that you find, especially if you are traveling!
Do you have a fun story of something you tried while traveling? Share in the comments below!